Saturday, July 21, 2007

Purplebabydaddies at the Ann Arbor Art Fair

We're back, amazingly enough, in the exact spot where Markel and I met 15 years ago today! For anyone who doesn't know, the Ann Arbor Fairs are an extravaganza, the largest art fair in the country, the world, as a matter of fact. There are 4 major fairs and 3 or 4 unofficial fairs, plus every merchant in town either rents out their sidewalk space or exhibits their wares, outside, themselves.

We have been busy with our store(s) for the past 8 years (one on Liberty Street in Ann Arbor and then two subsequent locations in Key West), but now that we have closed all of the stores we are back to doing art fairs. Hal Stevens, who used to run the Ohio Designer Shows and knows us from there, called us and offered us an exhibit spot last winter. Of all of the thousands of spaces in this whole town that we could have been offered it just so happened that he offered us the spot where Markel and I first met and fell in love.

We have been back in Ann Arbor since last Fall. We have been wrapped in a cocoon of our own making, rejuvenating, recuperating from the devastating loss of our beloved store. What can you do but pick up the pieces, reassemble them, learn, and make something of equal or surpassing beauty.

We have been selling wholesale for the past 11 months to the wonderful galleries from around the country who loyally buy from us again and again. This was the official beginning of our return to doing art fairs, made more auspiciously special by magically occuring in the exact space where Markel and I first met and began our lives together as a family and as collaborating artists for the first time exactly 15 years ago today.

In spite of the fact that we didn't advertise, we were amazed and flattered by how many of our loyal and enthusiastic collectors found us. Scary clouds filled with tornadoes swirled around us on Thursday causing damage in nearby towns, and a very shaky Michigan economy dampened overall sales somewhat, but all in all we had a good show. It was like a 4 day reunion party, running into our friends who stopped by to visit and sit in our extra chairs, friends who didn't know we were back in town who were surprised to find us, and customers who have been collecting our work for years, some since we first began showing, came and added pieces to their collections . Thank you so much everyone who came and said hello and bought from us. We are truly glad to be back in our beloved and bustlingly thriving, Ann Arbor.
Is there anything lovelier than an art fair morning, strolling with coffees and a bagel. The weather was gorgeous after the storms passed by on Thursday.
You can see our work in the background. We were beside a lovely display of fountains by artists from Arizona.
Everything was a big hit.....Now on to Charlevoix Waterfront Fair on August 11th. In closing, a couple of little quotes that have helped me through the hard times.

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you're a vegetarian. -Dennis Wholey

...and

Growth begins when we start to accept our own weakness. -Jean Vanier

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3 comments:

Palmer said...

Wow !!!Your booth looks wonderful...so glad you had a good show...& much luck on your next one...xox Palmer

Sandra at 7th St. Studio said...

Just finding you here in blogland...love the paintings and the fun artwork! Makes me want to run out to my studio and pull out the happy colors and just paint the day away! I must thank you for the quote at the bottom of this page...I think in the bottom of my heart I always did think eventually the world would treat me fairly because I was a good person...what a fabulous quote...I may need to paint that somewhere in my house!!! Love reading your story and am off to keep reading!-Sandra

Gd fr yr eye said...

I finally found you! I saw one of your large sunflowers in a jewelry store in OC Maryland two years ago. My husband said 'no' but I am determined to own one of your 5-6 foot happy flowers to stand guard at the end of our dark hallway. Shipping and handling with the large plaster base is a problem. I have an idea that may win me success...could such a flower be shipped without the base and I could make my own later? Simply in awe, Loretta Sachsel Imagine.rett@gmail.com or 240-682-9807