Monday, June 4, 2012

More about Omaha, more about shows in general

Omaha went very well, but then Countryside normally goes very well.  It's a strip mall in a upper income area in Omaha ( close to one of my favorite Omaha restaurant, Wheatfields) and it's always well attended.  We have done this show for 4 years now.  We have had all kinds of weather... hot, cold, rainy, dreary, and sometimes all of those during one weekend.  ( The hazards of living in the Midwest.. the weather is very variable )   Despite whatever the weather, people come and see the art ( and the art is very nice, a good mix of painters, photographers, mix media, pottery, and jewelry.  This year one of the neatest was a gentleman that did all kinds of treatments to copper sheet.... heat patina, paints, various mix media substances, etc to make lovely abstract art.  I wish I could have taken a picture for you, but I couldn't get close enough to ask the artist permission, and you should never ever take pictures of an artist's work without checking with them first.

I even bought a piece of art, I'll try to get pics next blog.  It's a mug, but once you see the picture you will understand why I had to have it.  It's going to grace my work table and hold pens/markers etc. 

I've had a question about how you set up for a show in the past, so I'm going to take the opportunity now to walk you through it.

I've talked before about the jury process in getting into the shows, but once you are in and on site....

Depending how how big the show is ( and I've done shows with 20 artists, and shows with 350) the first consideration is getting your car as close as possible to where you set up your tent, dump your stuff and then get the car moved as quickly as possible.  You want to be as kind to your neighbor artists and not block access for them, anymore than you want to get blocked in .

We own a grand caravan, and it barely fits everything we need for a show and ourselves.

To do shows I have 2 cases of jewelry.  These are light and easy to carry.

To sell these 2 cases of jewelry, I have to have the following :

10x10 tent

3-4 tables

2 shelf units

5 large tubs full of  table cloths, display busts, bracelet holders, spinning racks, mirrors, jewelry pedestals, etc etc etc

small tub with show supplies: clips, spikes, bags, credit cards, business cards, tape, pens, cleaning supplies,  shims, etc etc etc

mats for cushioning on hard cement

2 chairs

my tool bag

2-3 heavy bags full of jewelry components, beads, wire etc, so I can make adjustments to my jewelry on the spot for our customers.  For local shows I take 2, and for long distance shows I take extra mix of stuff just in case someone wants something custom.  I can't take everything though, so I've taken commissions at shows and then mailed the person the finished piece after the fact.

small bag of extra boxes /bags etc just in case we run low

If it's an indoor show we skip the tent and take an extra tub with lights in it.

We also have "light bars" that also serve to block wind on windy days.

So we drive to our spot, unload the car, Jerry and I set up the tent quickly, then he goes parks the car while I finish setting up the tent.

He comes back and we both set up tables and shelves and the light bars if needed.  He makes sure the tent is weighted or staked, sets up sides as needed, etc.

While he's doing this, I work on getting the tables draped and digging out all the displays.  I arrange the displays and run a quick cloth where needed for clean up.

then I get out the 2 bags and Jerry and I set out the jewelry.

then we hide or stash the empty tubs out of the way.  I get out the cash box, receipt books, cards, brochure, pens, and credit card reader ( and check to make sure it's working)

Working together, we can get the booth set up and running in under 2 hours if conditions are optimal. 

Conditions vary... ie, other cars are blocking our way, early customers, something wrong with our space ( say, a tree smack in the middle of our space..) bad weather, etc. 

does that sound like alot of work?

tent, tables, shelves, and displays are up, working on getting the jewelry set out
Yep, it's just like it sounds.

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