Nurturing creativity with art, animals, and science fiction

Category: Art Fair Delights

Shoppers in a crowded store and a massive Amazon fulfillment facility.

Beating Supply Chain Issues

By Jan S. Gephardt

We’ve been hearing a lot about supply chain issues, and the resulting problem of inflation (due to the market forces of high demand and lower supplies—no, it’s not the infrastructure bill). Deals aren’t as good, this year, we hear. Shop early, and don’t wait for deals, we’re told. Supply chain issues are messing things up, and there could be worse to come!

Be scared! Be angry! These messages come through loud and clear. The economy is going to hell, and we’re all gonna die. Or so some would have you think (mostly so you’ll give them money).

I don’t believe it has to be that bad. And you don’t have to receive that word, either. We can beat supply chain issues and have a lovely Christmas/Holiday season, if we keep our priorities straight. In this post I plan to focus on smaller-scale, creative and adaptive things we can do to beat supply chain issues in sustainable ways.

Four images of backed-up shipping lanes off the coast of California.
Back in February 2021, the Coast Guard documented a growing backup of cargo ships outside California ports (Freight Waves/US Coast Guard).

We Can’t Whip Inflation and Supply Chain Issues with a Closed Mind

If you have a fixed idea of What Christmas Has To Be, and it’s built around the newest, coolest, hottest toys, electronics, and fashions, I can’t help you. Is hitting the Black Friday, Cyber Monday (or, for that matter, the After Christmas) sales your idea of a good time? Do you seek out the very most rock-bottom prices for trendy items that are on “everyone’s” must-have list? Well, then, for you I’ve got nothin’.

If you (or the people on your gift list) will only be satisfied with those hot new, influencer-endorsed, “must-have” things, this post is not for you. You live in a different reality from where I’m centered.

But if you’re willing to open your mind and be flexible, to focus on the fun, the personalized, and the unique, then read on.

Shoppers in a crowded store and a massive Amazon fulfillment facility.
A lot of people will be fighting through crowds or fueling a massive wave of shipped packages this year in an effort to get ahead of supply chain issues (iStock/Sculpies; Amazon).

“Buy Local” is a Survival Tactic—For Us and Our Communities!

You’ve heard the mantra “buy local” a gazillion times by now, and there are good reasons why—even if the local shops are a bit more expensive. Local shops (even local franchisees, although they often aren’t able to be as flexible) are invested in the community. Larger concerns are not, and they actually can’t be.

I’m old enough to have seen some “big box”-type stores rise and fall. Remember K-Mart?They still exist!—but not around Kansas City. Do you remember Borders Books? They were fun while they lasted. But when things went sour and the business model changed, they cut their losses and closed local outlets.

Never mind if they’d run local stores out of business and now they were the only sources. I’ve lived in rural communities where that was literally the case. But their corporate offices didn’t care.

That was then. Now it’s the online stores that grab ever-greater percentages of buyers. Maybe you don’t worry about the possibility that you’re perpetuating inhumane workplaces. Maybe you can ignore underpaid, stressed-out warehouse or factory workers, who have to meet ever-higher quotas at an ever-faster pace.

Shipping from overseas adds a significant carbon load to the environment. Shipping from online outlets can drive up the price of your bargain. And ultimately, everybody’s fuel prices, too. What’s the carbon footprint, even if it’s “free” shipping?

A different view of a very busy Amazon fulfillment facility, and a Foxconn factory with suicide nets.
At left, Prime Day 2021 at an Amazon warehouse in North Carolina. At right, do you remember the Foxconn suicide nets from 2010? It’s clear that extreme pressure in factories and fulfillment centers can still be a problem. (NBC News / Rachel Jessen / Bloomberg via Getty Images file; Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition).

Beat Supply Chain Issues by Buying Local and Staying Open-Minded

If you shop from a list of pre-determined items, your track is rigidly set. The only issue becomes “what’s the lowest price?” Maybe you also shop for quality or value-for-the-money. Maybe you shop for “can-I-get-it-by-X date?” But if that’s your strategy, then serendipity is not your friend, and neither are supply chain issues. You may have to wrap a box that contains a picture of the “someday my box will come” item.

I have often made excellent gift-finds by walking into a local store and looking around. I once bought half my Christmas presents at Kieran’s Hardware Store in Lockwood, Missouri (there’s still a hardware store there, but it doesn’t seem to have Kieran’s name on it). One of my students, who clerked there part-time, offered great help. We had a fun and creative experience. Most of those gifts were a major hit with their recipients, too.

A quaint row of small shops in Kansas City, MO.
A block full of small, mostly local shops in the Kansas City Brookside neighborhood (First Washington Realty).

Local Gems

I bet your area has such stores, if you seek them out. Places like Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kansas They know their stock, they gift-wrap for free, and they’re experienced “book matchmakers.”

Places like the R&R Center in St. Clair, Missouri, which is on its fourth generation of owners from the same family. It is way more varied and essential than just another Ace Hardware Store.

Or places like Brookside Toy and Science in Kansas City, Missouri, a shop I’ve depended on for a couple of decades’ worth of great Angel Tree toy finds. Their knowledgeable staffers are amazing!

Storefronts of Rainy Day Books, R&R Center, and Brookside Toy & Science.
L-R, The proprietors of Rainy Day Books outside their store, R&R Ace Hardware, and Brookside Toy & Science’s storefront. (Rainy Day Books; Google/Laura Montgomery; Google/Brookside Toy & Science).

Beat Supply Chain Issues by “Shopping Local” for Food

If you’ve followed this blog for very long, you know that both my sister and I have strong feelings about supporting local businesses, especially artists. My sister’s posts “Setting the Table” and “A Necessary Indulgence” on The Weird Blog offer glimpses of how she treasures small craftspersons. There were strong elements of this aesthetic in her recent post “A Birthday Indulgence,” too.

But artisanal efforts don’t only happen in the realms of art and fine crafts (we’ll revisit those disciplines later in this post). The most delectable artisan crafts create food.

The season for farmers’ markets may have passed, but that doesn’t by any means show that all the local food-oriented businesses have closed. Very much to the contrary! Just look at “the two Kansas Cities.”

Some KCK Connections

Here in my neck of the woods, we have Bichelmeyer Meats, another longtime-local (70+ years), family-owned shop (pronounce it “BICK-el-my-er”). They’re located across the state line and the Kaw/Kansas River, in Kansas City, Kansas.

This old-style butcher shop supplies locally-reared, grass-fed meat that’s never gone anywhere near a feedlot or a meat-packing plant. They also offer a selection of outstanding house-made sausages and their own, competition-tested barbecue sauce. It’s Kansas City. Of course they have barbecue sauce! They also do their best to be affordable, even for folks on a tight budget. Does your area have such a gem, too?

You might not have exactly the same ethnic mix in your area, so the specialty foods will vary. But I bet you have delicious and unique offerings! Strawberry Hill Baking Co. has operated in Kansas City, Kansas for more than 100 years, and their Povitica (pronounced “po-va-teet-sa”) has become pretty famous. It’s an originally-Slavic treat that all of us can enjoy!

Sausages, the Bichelmeyer’s logo, four kinds of Povitica and the Strawberry Hill logo.
Along with locally-sourced, grass-fed meats, Bichelmeyer offers house-made sausages. And Strawberry Hill Baking Company makes Povitica in a dizzying array of flavors. (Bichelmeyer Meats; Strawberry Hill Baking Co).

But wait! There’s Chocolate!

Kansas City, Missouri has deep roots in chocolate candy-making. We’re the original home of Russell Stover Candies. But if that’s too “mainstream” for you, we have a deep “chocolate culture” here.

Annedore’s Fine Chocolates is within walking distance from my house—yet, alas, nowhere near far enough to walk off the calories! André’s Confiserie Suisse (which shares a building but is technically next door to the local Swiss Consulate) is about an equal distance from my father’s South Plaza condo. And we can’t forget Christopher Elbow, with a shop downtown! Each has their own approach, and each has been judged as world-class.

Yes, the chocolate is strong with Kansas City! What is your home town’s specialty food?

Annedore’s, Christopher Elbow, and André—all Kansas City chocolatiers.
Kansas City’s world-class chocolatiers Annedore’s (top) , Christopher Elbow (center), and André’s present a divine approach-approach-approach conflict! (Annedore’s Fine Chocolates; Christopher Elbow Chocolates; André’s Confiserie Suisse).

Beat Supply Chain Issues by Shopping Local Artisans, Artists and Crafters

If you’re onboard with the philosophy of shopping locally and creatively, you probably already have scoped out local art fairs, festivals, and craft shows. This time of year, they often pop up in malls and convention centers. Earlier in the season, they might have been outdoor street fairs. We recently had such a gathering in our River Market district.

But even if there’s no show this week/weekend, that doesn’t mean there’s no art to be found. Here in the Kansas City area we have any number of wonderful creators with their own studios. Check out Genevieve Flynn (jewelry) or Susan F. Hill Design (fiber art). For paper-based art, consider Angie Pickman’s Rural Pearl Studio (wonderful cut-paper art; technically in Lawrence, KS), and my longtime friend Randal Spangler (fantasy art originals, prints, and more).

If you’re aware of a local artist, they’re probably planning a holiday open house. Ask to be put on their mailing list, so you’ll know when it’s happening!

And don’t forget local artist groups and associations. They’re probably having holiday sales, too. For example, the KC Clay Guild has its 39th Annual Holiday Pottery Sale and Studio Tour this coming weekend. The Weavers Guild of Greater Kansas City already participated in the Creative Hand Show and Sale for this year, but Creative Hand has a great list of artists and their websites. You can bet than most of them would be willing to sell you cool stuff.

Offerings from the holiday shows for “Creative Hand” and the KC Clay Guild.
Holiday sales offer quite a range of interesting objects and wearables. (Creative Hand; KC Clay Guild).

Options for Beating Supply Chain Issues are all Around Us

Thinking outside the commercial run of average stuff may be an adjustment, but it’s worth the effort. We just have to look for local options, and keep an open mind. I hope this overview gets the ideas flowing (I do plan to suggest more ideas in an upcoming post). Our own supply chains will be that much more resilient when we “shop local,” and our communities will be, too.

I’d love it if this post gives my local favorites a boost (Go, Kansas City Metro!). But it’s also true that there are local treasures wherever you live. If you already love local gems in your area and want to give them a shout-out, please mention them in a comment below!

THANKS!

First of all, thank you, just in general, to all the local businesses I’ve highlighted in this post. I’m proud of you for persisting in the face of price-undercutting by “big box” and online competitors, COVID lockdowns, market crashes, inflation, tight job markets, and all the other challenges you’ve faced—sometimes for decades and across generations. You’re part of why I love my hometown.

Second, I deeply appreciate the sources of all the photos and logos used in this post. Please note that all images are credited in the cutlines. All montages, except the 4-photo collection from the US Coast Guard via Freight Waves at the top of this post, were assembled by Jan S. Gephardt.

Karen Ann Hollingsworth’s enchanting fantasy artwork

My personal highlight of the Capricon 39 Art Show

I’ve written several posts about Capricon 39, this year’s Chicago convention from Phandemonium. I wrote about assorted (weather-related) experiences, and about fellow panelists who are authors, but no group of posts from me about a convention would be complete without mentioning the art.

In this case, one amazing artist, whom I particularly associate with Capricon. Although Karen Ann Hollingsworth exhibits her work at many different sf conventions art fairs, and other exhibitions, and although she is an accomplished illustrator as well, I first met her when we were on a panel together at Capricon 38. That also was the largest collection of her art all in one place that I’d seen.

I was enchanted.

 I’m also beyond excited to share some of her gorgeous work with you in this space. I hope her visual magic will enchant you, too.

"Imagine" is Karen Ann Hollingsworth's signature piece. Mostly rendered in tones of green and yellow, it's a picture of a beautiful fairy on the right side of the composition, looking straight toward the viewer, surrounded by Celtic-looking swirls and leaf-shapes.
Imagine is Hollingsworth’s “signature” work, because it embodies so many aspects of her art.

I asked Karen for permission to post some of her images here, and she not only gave me permission–she gave me stories for each piece. Here’s what she said about Imagine

“I must lead with my signature piece Imagine. It combines both [of] the ways I approach my work. The right side the way I work when I do illustrations and commissions and the left is done in the intuitive way I approach my fine art pieces. It also embodies the sense of magic and wonder I try to infuse in all my work.

“Most of my work is done in watercolor and colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper. The only time I involve the computer is when I scan the images in to make reproductions, for a client or for doing promotion.”

"Catnip Dreams" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth shows a light tan cat curled up asleep in the center of the design. around the cat is a green, embossed-looking design of catnip leaves. In bands at the top and bottom of the composition are stylized designs. The band at the top is a green, embossed-looking frieze of flying birds. The one at the bottom is a similar, green embossed-looking design of stylized fish.
Catnip Dreams by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Karen wrote: Catnip Dreams is an example of one of my private commissions. I got permission from the client to sell reproductions of this one of the three images I did for them.

"Shades of Grey" is a stylized, fantastical design of abstract, vaguely tree-branch or plantlike looking forms, rendered in a range of gray tones the go from near-black to almost white.
Shades of Grey by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Karen described the origins of Shades of Grey“This is an example of one of my intuitive fine art images. I was experimenting with doing a black and white watercolor.”

not only saw the next piece at Capricon 39, I voted for it

"Just a Dream?" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth was created for the Artist Challenge at Capricon 39, which it won. The composition is a study in mostly green foreground images on a lavender-to-greyed purple background. In the upper part of the painting is a very goatlike green kaiju, entangled in an aggressive-looking seaweed. In the lower third of the painting a small white goat sleeps in a nestlike bowl structure, with its head on a glowing green-and golden egg.
Just a Dream? by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Just a Dream? is my very latest piece, winner of the Capricon 39 Artist Challenge,” Karen wrote. Challenge artists had to “incorporate a goat (the convention’s mascot) and three of the following five items: an animal skull, a carnivorous plant, a kaiju, a strange/glowing egg, or a monster-hunting weapon” in their composition.

"Coffee Dragon" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth is a study in black, brown, and tan, with a light green coffee mug in the lower fourth of the composition. Above it, appearing to form out of the steam rising from the cup, is a serpent-like brown, wingless dragon, whose head is turned to look directly at the viewer.
Coffee Dragon by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

Green Tea Dragon is one of my most poplar images. This year I finally got around to finishing the series, with the Coffee and Hot Cocoa Dragons,” Karen wrote. “I do like doing series. I don’t always realize . . . till after I do something that it will become a series.”

And speaking of series (she has created 7 or 8 series so far), here’s an example of another:

"Great Horned Owl" by Karen Ann Hollingsworth is a fanciful painting of a Great Horned Owl, with a swirly blue background and a tan, brown, and white owl, whose enormous, yellow eyes with black centers dominate the composition. The owl is painted in a stylized manner, almost seeming to be made of the dark green leaves from which it emerges at the bottom of the picture plane.
Great Horned Owl by Karen Ann Hollingsworth

“I completed [this series] last fall. My owls,” Karen wrote. “I started with the Screech Owl that I had been hearing outside my window at night. I didn’t know what it was. When I found out and saw photos I had to draw one. More often I hear the Great Horned Owls. To my amazement they sound just like the owls in cartoons. It’s always special hearing them. I don’t find they sound spooky at all.” 

I told her I usually like to include links to pages where people can buy prints, but she is still rebuilding after website problems last year. “As far as buying reproductions or prints of my work the best way to do so is in person at the Art Fairs and conventions I participate in,” she said. “People can contact me online via email if they know the image they want.”

What’s next for Karen? “At the moment I am hard at work prepping for my next Art show/convention. . . . I’ll be in Kansas City, MO [March 29-31, 2019] showing and selling in the Spectrum Fantastic Art Live pavilion [Booth #1412] within Planet Comicon

“It’s my 6th time doing Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, but [my] first at Planet Comicon. Not certain how my work is going to go over. I plan to have more updates on my website soon about some of the special products I will have at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live  / Planet Comicon.”

Don’t worry, Karen. If the Planet Comicon attendees have eyes, they’ll love your artwork!

IMAGES: All images are © 2007-2019 by Karen Ann Hollingsworth. They are posted here with her express permission. Please do not re-post any of them without her permission! For prints or more information about purchasing her originals, please follow her blog to learn about the art shows where she’ll be exhibiting and selling her work, or contact her directly. Unfortunately, she’s currently having to rebuild her website. Perhaps you can buy her art there at a future date.

Art Fair Delights: Phil Schmidt and Denny Dowdy

I recently found a couple of talented watercolorists at the 53rd Mid Winter Art Fair at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center in Kansas City, MO.

This year’s Mid Winter Ward Parkway Art Fair was well-attended.

Phil Schmidt and Denny Dowdy both have been painting for several years, and neither is a stranger to Kansas City or this show. Both are masters of their demanding medium, and both have excellent websites where you can see much more of their work (see embedded links). 

Denny Dowdy’s V-Highway Creek brilliantly demonstrates his command of the transparent watercolor medium.

Not surprisingly for watercolorists based in the Kansas City area, both men have been attracted to natural subjects. Dowdy seem more attuned to natural landscapes and river scenes. 

Same Creek-Different Place gives another virtuoso demonstration of Denny Dowdy’s mastery of watercolor.

Schmidt is more drawn to wildlife (though natural beauty-spots form the background for most of his paintings).

Phil Schmidt captures a blue heron and its riverbank home, in his luminous painting Invasion of Privacy.

Schmidt’s love of flying things extends beyond birds. He also has an entire collection of aviation subjects. 

Watch Your Six is a great example of Schmidt’s aviation imagery, and also demonstrates his ability to compose dynamic action.

And you’ll miss a treat if you don’t also take a good look at Schmidt’s nautical subjects. 

Phil Schmidt’s flair for the dynamic surfaces with gusto in Hold on Tight.

Dowdy prefers subjects that move around less. In addition to his paintings of natural subjects, he also offers thoughtful images that turn relatively mundane architecture into objects of interest and beauty.

In Balconies, Dowdy uses rhythm and skill to portray a mundane subject in a pensive, lyrical way.
Asymmetrical balance and well-chosen details give Dowdy’s Missouri Farmhouse an almost mystical feel.

As noted above, both painters have excellent websites with large galleries of images to explore. Both also exhibit their work in shows all over the Midwest. Please consult the calendars on their websites for more details.

IMAGES: The photo of the crowd and artists’ displays at the 2016 Mid Winter Ward Parkway Art Fair is by Jan S. Gephardt (taken 2/14/16). Many thanks to the Watercolors by Denny Dowdy website for the photos of his paintings, and to the Phil Schmidt Watercolors website for the photos of his paintings.


This Month’s Art Fair Delight: Dawn LaGrave

I met Dawn LaGrave at the Brookside Art Fair in Kansas City, and was immediately blown away by her artwork. As a paper sculptor, I responded to the dimensionality of her work. And as an artist, I found the rhythmic abstractions of the images both fascinating and beautiful.
Here’s a detail of LaGrave’s Ste. Chapelle piece, showing the 3-D aspect.
I couldn’t wait to get inside her display and take a closer look at the work. These pieces would reward viewing again and again over time. One of my tests for “would I live with this piece?” is how well I think it would reward repeated viewing. I believe these images would stand up to that test beautifully.
LaGrave’s Pink Dahlia is an eye-popper for sure.
If you agree with me that this is way cool work, you can see a much larger variety of images on Dawn’s website and her Facebook page. If you’re curious about her technique, she explains her process on her website.
Here’s an idea of how she uses source photos. Very sorry–I couldn’t find the name of this piece.
Here’s what LaGrave did with a cactus photo.
The source photo was pretty interesting, but LaGrave’s treatment takes it to a whole new level.
Dawn is one of those aesthetic beings who did not go to art school. She made a practical living in the corporate world of health insurance, until the urge to “do something more creative” with her life became an overriding need. As she explains in her “About the Artist” page, she brings her love of “geometry, angles and symmetry” to each piece, but she also enjoys bringing “a different perspective of actual places and things, to which people may have a strong connection.”  
This piece is based on a photo of the Smith Tower in Seattle, WA.
It’s better to see original artwork in person. Please look for Dawn at an art fair near you! Check her website for a list of upcoming appearances. 
The source photo is of Notre Dame de Paris.
If you’d like to buy some of her artwork, but she’s not scheduled to be at a show near you soon, she offers online purchasing options on her Facebook page, her website, and her catalog on ISSUU.
My friends who are sf fans will recognize the T.A.R.D.I.S. in this image.
IMAGE CREDITS: All artwork featured in this post is the work of Dawn LaGrave, and the images are posted with her permission. These artworks and others may be seen and purchased on her Facebook page, her website, and her catalog on ISSUU. A visit there will be time well spent!

This Week’s Art Fair Delight: Kevin Erhard

I encountered the artist Kevin Erhard at the Art Westport show in Kansas City, MO. I’m a dog-lover anyway, and his whimsical pooches just totally made me smile. I hope you’ll enjoy them too. 
The whimsy of the ceramics was what pulled me in; the variety, expressiveness, and lively sense of humor kept me happily looking for a while. 
Not only did Kevin agree to let me feature his work, he also has a website where you can see more than just this small collection. Take a look at his gallery on Earth & Cloud Studio‘s site.
It’s better to see original artwork in person. Kevin and his wife Machiko, who also is a talented potter, live in Overland Park, KS and have a studio in their home.

NOTE: Earth & Cloud Studio is hosting a Studio Sale THIS WEEKEND! Meet Kevin, his potter-wife Machiko, and more of their work in Overland Park, Friday through Sunday Dec. 12-14, 2014, or Saturday Dec. 20! See their “Event” page for more details.
Earth & Cloud Studio is represented in the Kansas City area by The Phoenix Gallery on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO, and in Colorado by Pinon Hill Art Gallery in La Veta, and The Pottery Studio Gallery in Littleton.
According to the Earth & Cloud Studio websiteKevin Erhard was born in Minnesota and grew up in Olathe, KS. He attended Johnson Community College for his Associate degree and worked for Ceramics department as a studio technician. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He was an Artist in Residency at Pottery Northwest, Seattle, WA and now is back in Kansas enjoying making his art work.” 
IMAGE CREDITS: All artwork featured in this post is the work of Kevin Erhard, and the images are posted here with his permission. These artworks and others may be seen Kevin’s website. A visit there will be time well spent!

This Week’s Art Fair Delight: D. L. Homola

I am a total sucker for lampwork glass beads. If I were an avaricious dragon, my treasure hoard would include a lot of them. As it is, however, I have to legitimately buy them, which means I don’t have nearly as big a hoard as I’d like. 
Bright Blue and Silver Bracelet is available on Homola’s D.L. Homola Glass Art website.
As of the Summit Art Festival in October 2014, my hoard finally does include some of D. L. Homola’s work! I’ve been following her career for a while, now, admiring (and, I admit, coveting) her wonderful glass work.
Homola’s Color Play Necklace gives a sampler of some of her skill.
I could show you my own recent acquisition, but instead have chosen to focus on items that (at this writing) have not yet been added to someone’s hoard. In case you’re adding to your hoard, too, they may be purchased from her website, D.L. Homola Glass Art. There are direct links to the specific pieces in the photo cutlines.
These are Homola’s Burnt Orange Earrings, also available on her website.

If you’d like to know a bit more about Debbi, she has a bio page. If you’d like to know more about her lampwork technique, please watch her demonstration videos, including one created in 2013 for KOLR TV, Springfield, MO.

Homola’s Fall Color Mixture Bead Set is available for use in jewelry or on its own.
It’s better to see this work up close and in person. Please look for Debbi at an art fair near you! Stay current with her calendar of her upcoming appearances. If there isn’t one coming up as soon as you’d like, please enjoy her website in the meantime.
One more before closing: this is Homola’s Soft Peach and Sterling Silver Bracelet.

IMAGE CREDITS: All artwork featured in this post is the work of D. L. Homola, and the images are used here with her permission. These pieces and others may be seen and purchased on her D.L. Homola Glass Art website. A visit there will be time well spent!

My Art Fair Dilemma

I go to a lot of art fairs. I don’t create artwork fast enough and in enough quantity to be viable as an exhibitor, but I appreciate those artists who can and do, so I go to all the art fairs I can.
Here’s a view from last month’s Kansas City Plaza Art Fair.
But I have a consistent, intransigent problem with art fairs. They’re too big for me.
Here’s one “arm” of the 2014 Summit Art Festival in Lee’s Summit, MO.
It’s not that I want fewer artists to be juried in! No way! I think there are many wonderful artists in our world, and I want as many as possible to have a chance to show and sell their work to the tasteful and intelligent folks who come to art fairs.
Another view of the 2014 Summit Art Festival.
It’s just that I, personally, never seem to have the time or the strength to get all the way around your average art fair without having to cruise by and give only cursory glances to many of the exhibition booths these artists have spent years, driven hundreds of miles, and plunked down thousands of dollars to bring to the fair.
Here’s part of the Prairie Village (KS) Art Fair, held in June 2014.
As an artist myself, and as a person who has friends on the art fair circuit whom I hope will prosper and make more art, that seems wrong. I know what it takes to create the work, build a unique approach, and bring an attractive exhibit to an art fair. It’s a LOT of work! It deserves respect and attention.
Another view from the 2014 Prairie Village Art Fair.
It has always frustrated me as a blogger, too. How can I possibly do justice to all of the artists whose work I admire at a given art fair, when I have a limited amount of time and space to post something before it ceases to be “timely”?
This is the 2014 Art Westport show, in Kansas City’s Westport area.
I hope I’ve finally found a way. I’m starting a new series on this blog, called “Art Fair Delights.” In each post I will feature one artist whose work I have seen at an art fair recently, and whose exhibit broke me out of “cruising by” mode so I couldn’t resist crossing the sidewalk and weaving through the crowd to look more closely.
Another view of the 2014 Prairie Village show.
I have spoken with each of these artists personally, introduced myself as a blogger, and received permission to feature their work. They all have websites or a web presence of some sort, from which I’ve obtained images of their work. My posts will include links to them, for any of my readers who want to know more.
Another view of Art Westport in 2014.
Please come along with me. Let’s cross the sidewalk, go inside the booth, and take a closer look at the work of some of these amazing, talented folk! Watch for a new “Art Fair Delight” in this blog space very soon.
IMAGE CREDIT: All of the photos in this post were taken by me at art fairs I have attended during the past 4 months.

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