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Sunday, November 16

the women gather

Well, the holiday crazies have begun.4 shows in 5 weeks. The degree of largesse our families can expect this Christmas directly tied to our net sales. No pressure.

" Women's Gifts" is a tradition now. It's been held for about 10 years, I think, and has a following. Unfortunately, the followers are used to coming to the show in mid December. Many of us were concerned about the date change and we were right, I think. Sales were down for most of us.

But that's the bad part. The good part? Well, for starters, the show is held in an old church that was renovated as an arts complex by Ani DeFranco. The place was falling apart. Literally. Chunks of it toppled onto pedestrians until they taped yellow tape across the sidewalk to keep them away. Scavengers stripped the place. The city contemplated demolition. They do that a lot. No structure too elegant that it cannot be reduced to rubble in an afternoon.

Thank God for people like Ani.









So, in the mist of all this newly minted elegance, a festive, eclectic craft show sets down. All women. Artisans, musicians, chefs. It's an estrogen bonanza. There is laughter and hugging and tales told. Girls will be girls after all. Haircuts are examined, diet tips exchanged. We talk of our children and our art in conversations that dance and wander in turn as the set up moves along. By 10 am it has been accomplished. A maze of light and color. Music playing. The aisles fill with shoppers and browsers.




Women's Gifts is a carefully unjuried show. The mission is to celebrate the creativity of women, all women, and to encourage those who are just beginning to consider the possibilities of selling their work. But most of the participants are seasoned veterans, accomplished artists who have adopted this show with affection and who know enough to get the application returned within hours of receiving it. This makes for a nice combination of wonderful, professional work with a sprinkling of fresh ideas.





So, OK, most of us had fewer sales than normal, we think because of the date change. But, on the plus side, I managed to get all my stuff displayed in a scant 6 foot spot. I was so proud.



and even better..I got to see some sister-artists that I cherish in this community of art gypsies:






Ah, those classy artist types. I'm gonna pay for that last one. :)

This is a bittersweet time of year for me. It is great to have good venues for holiday sales. I see lots of friends. It is a festive and anticipatory time. But...you have to store some of those profits away like a squirrel with the last chestnut of the year. I have 2 applications for next year already, sitting on the mantle, staring at me. Waiting for jury photos and checks. My supplies are depleted, my hands ache, the studio looks like an unnatural disaster hit.

But this morning, I sit in my big ol' leather chair, writing about and remembering the show. I can share the pictures and the stories, but there are some things you can't explain. You can't explain how women bond, almost instantly sometimes, as if there was a soul-mate detector in the ovaries. It's hard to describe the communication between women, silent and subtle, messages sent with a look, a touch, one lifted brow, a tilt of the head, a smirk.

Women see each other with their hearts, I think. And today, my heart is full, even if my purse isn't.

2 comments:

Rurality said...

What a cool place for a show. Looks like a nice one too. I'm done with my last one for the year (neener, neener!). Sales were down 20% for us, but I'm glad that people were buying at all.

Cindi said...

Hi everyone!
I got this link from my wonderful friend Debbie, and after reading through and looking at all the great pics from this show ---- I realized I had a big old smile on my face. How I agree with everything you said.
Thanks for the beautiful details of this show and the life we are all involved within.