I’ve just finished two weekends participating in the springstART festival in Banff, Alberta. Our event took place at the beautiful Rimrock Resort in Banff, where five artists were selected to show their art and do demonstrations in the lobby throughout April.
The Rimrock offered free wine and appetizers to the guests who came out each of three Saturdays. Yesterday was the last Saturday event, and as usual, it was great fun to make connections and talk with people about our art.
Anyone who has done an art event knows it is a lot of work, but once you are there, it is such a great way to connect with people. I always come away with some fabulous new contacts, and many, many stories. This event was no exception. I had great discussions with folks from age 5 to 75.
A five-year-old boy stood at my booth and asked me lots of questions about my printmaking. As his mom moved away from the table to go back to their room, he lingered a bit, then said, “Your art is awesome!’ I thanked him, and he jogged past my card display to catch up with his mom. Then, he stopped abruptly and yelled loudly, “Are you selling THESE too?? These are great!!” Then ran off. He made my day!
I spent some time talking to a science teacher who was interested in my process, but also my business plan. He asked me all about my overhead costs, where my studio was, what I paid for art supplies and how I determined the price of my art. He was so curious and so gracious, and I knew just how he felt … when I go to events, I am also curious about the ins-and-outs of other people’s businesses.
Last weekend at the Rimrock, I had the pleasure of meeting the woman behind A Banff Boutique Inn Twitter account. She bought my art cards, then was lovely enough to send out a nice tweet about how much she loved them. I’ve followed their Twitter account for a while, but it was so nice meeting the person behind the media.
A sweet couple from the foothills near De Winton (Alberta) came by yesterday and we had a great chat. They were looking through my prints, and every once in a while they would pull one out, and exclaim, “This is our backyard!!” or “This is our view!!” Then they would look at each other and smile. I told them I had grown up not far from where they lived, and we agreed we shared a love of that special landscape. (And, they took one of “their” prints home.)
Towards the end of the day yesterday, Barb (who shared the event with me on April 20) was mobbed by a group of teenage girls who asked shyly, “Can we take a picture with you?” She was flattered, and of course said yes. She posed as they snapped their iPhones. About 5 minutes later, another group of teenage boys came by and asked, “Can we have a photo with you?” Barb thought something was up. After inquiring, they happily shared that they were part of a scavenger hunt and they had to find and photograph someone wearing an apron!! Poor Barb! It burst her bubble of fame…LOL.
I love doing this event because the staff at the Rimrock are so wonderful – from the chefs and sommeliers at our tables, to the concierges who parked our cars and the porters who graciously helped us load and unload our bins and art – such a luxury for artists! All the managers and staff were so helpful, it made it a real treat to attend.
I had Eric beside me yesterday serving foie gras with beet root two ways, an elegant appetizer that looked like a macaroon. When I pulled out my printmaking carving tools, he gasped, “Hey! We have those exact same carving tools in the kitchen!” I was surprised to find out that the chefs use Speedball art tools to carve fruits and vegetables!
As we left, Mike from the Resort helped us load my art, then Barb’s large paintings into our vehicles. As we were on the Resort’s entranceway with the paintings in a luggage rack, some guests came in and laughed, “Are you stealing those paintings??” Barb quickly joked back, “Yes! It’s much easier if you enlist the hotel staff to help!”
And so, although I am tired today, it was — as usual — a fantastic way to spend two Saturday afternoons, and I was honored to be asked by The Rimrock Resort to be part of it again this year.
Many thanks to the Rimrock and my own “village” of people who get me to, from and through the shows! I’ll be back at it again in May – check my event page on Facebook to find out where!