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Sunday, April 3

dear Allentown Arts Festival-redux

OK, all is forgiven. You found me presentable this year and even gave me the spot I asked for.

What changed this year? Well, just going by the number of shows that have extended their app deadlines and/or notification dates this year, maybe there is a smaller pond from which to fish? Or maybe you just had smarter jurors this time around. Matters not. I have a good show steps from my front door. All is well.

Now, as for Three Rivers Arts Festival in Pittsburgh...what is up with YOU? I applied to your show as a backup to A'town, hoping that if I got a "no" from one I might get a "yes" from the other, rescuing my weekend. I carefully checked the notification dates and "withdraw" dates so that I could avoid throwing booth money at a show I wasn't doing. Your notification date was 3/10. Then it was 3/25. Then it was 4/1. Still nothing. Are you kidding me?

A fellow artist, familiar with the show, says they are still working on booth layout. That makes no sense to me. This show has been going on for decades. Why would you do the booth layout after the jury chose the artists? Wouldn't you have the layout and then place the artists in the existing grid? Makes no sense.

Here's the thing. We all have a season to plan. We cannot plan until you tell us whether or not we have your show. If we don't get the shows we applied to we have to find others. This is how we earn a living, people. Don't play with us!

There is a love/hate relationship between the folks who plan the shows and the ones who exhibit in them. I know we can be a pain. Not following the setup rules, pushing the boundaries of our spots out into the aisles, sending in fuzzy jury images, bouncing checks, complaining about our location, our neighbors, the coffee you provide. But what we need from you is pretty simple. Respect for the fact that while this is a once a year festival for you where you get to wear badges that say you are responsible for this fun event, for us it is a mortgage payment. The word "festival" means little to us. It is a job. Oh, most of us love the job, no question, but that doesn't mean we are immune from the frustrations that come from any job.

So, Pittsburgh, sorry I won't be there in June to try your show and make a stop at Ikea. I'll be in my own neighborhood, saving hotel fees and gas. But I sure wish I knew what was really going on down there. Because that layout excuse makes no sense. I wish you luck.


Gorilladustdesigns said...

Yes, Three Rivers is driving me insane as far as the notification dates too! Their website still says March 31st, however their facebook page now says April 8th. What the heck, that is the third postponement now and a month past the original date of March 10th.

Stefani said...

Wha?? Ikea?!

Still, it's their loss, Pat - and Allentown's gain. Congratulations!


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jeanne @ juNxtaposition said...

just found your blog...and you are making me laugh already...cant wait to read more...
just an fyi...i am from pittsburgh...and NOT doing the local arts fesitval...for way too many reasons to tell you..i would NEVER do this show...(and it would mean no travel, no hotel, etc...but NOT)..i am in fact coming up your way this your lovely festival..
although i am doing the allen west show....anyway...dont feel bad..the right choice happen to you by chance !