The one-day fair in Charlevoix was located right on Lake Charlevoix in a charming, terraced waterfront park. This was a small event, but well juried and had some outstanding exhibitors. Most of the attendees were very familiar with the event, and remarked upon the unique nature of Wayne's work as well as his first appearance at this fair.
The only downside was the schlepping. Man, it was crowded when we arrived. The park and fair are located on the main drag of Charlevoix, a two-lane "highway" a la Route 66. Since this slices right through the heart of the downtown section, traffic was slowed to a crawl in all directions. Parking for artists was limited to non-existent but being late, we managed to slide into a spot just as someone was sliding out.
Oh...did I mention we were late? HHmmmmmmm well there is a serious ninety-degree right hand turn that we failed to negotiate or even notice in Petosky that would have kept us on Route 31. As it was, we ended up on Route 131 and our nice little 4-hour ride down turned into a 5-hour frustration. We made it, after realizing things didn't look right and driving until we could find someone to ask what to do. As it stands, we got a look at Boyne City and just about everything there was to see in the entire county.
Hot and irritable, we did not relish the prospect of schlepping all our stuff, piece by piece, about 150 yards to the booth. Miraculously, the local High School Drama Club was on hand to help (for a small donation). They made quick work of our carrying needs, and promised to come back for take down after a $20 donation was offered. They did not come back, but by then it didn't really matter - we just hauled the darn trailer to within 10 yards or so and loaded it up like that.
We stayed in the most friendly 1950's style (and vintage) motel called Villa Moderne. Nope, the name does not fit but hey - the rooms were large with a little microwave, coffee pot and dorm-sized refrigerator, and the staff really friendly. They gave us an "artist discount". I'm not kidding! It was a great choice. We stayed on the end unit with the extraordinary pink/mirror wallpapered bathroom. You'd just have to see it. I hope to add photos when I'm not just getting ready to pack for another fair, but for now the description will have to suffice.
The fair itself was a reasonable success. In one day of sales, Wayne made more than his two-day combined total at Art On The Rocks. The town was cute, we had a lovely walk on Sunday, and enjoyed a leisurely drive back to the UP. Final fair in two days: Green Bay - home of the Packers. I'll be watching them in their pre-season game tonight and rooting for my favorite team!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Life the last week in A2 was kind of insane: recap is four days of art fair, followed by two days of packing up the house, one day packing a moving truck, one day driving to the UP, one day unpacking the moving truck and then setting up the next day for Art On The Rocks. Whew.
Saturday was cooler and damp with lovely cloud cover keeping the whole place at room temperature. It was a welcome break from the swelter of the city. Intrepid and experienced art fair attendees all had their mini-umbrellas at the ready, and the occasional rain did little to deter the faithful. Sales were slow-ish but OK, and the day was capped off with a lovely party at Patrick Dragon's place featuring his astonishing barbeque and fun,live music.
Sunday was hot, hot, hot. I came down mid-morning with a bathing suit and towel so Wayne could jump in the lake (which he did) and discovered he had been awarded First Place in the Mixed Media category. Way to go Wayne! It came with a modest award, which helped Wayne's spirits as sales had been non-existent to that point on Sunday. There were a few to be made in the afternoon, but by and large it was a small-ish event in comparison to A2.
Perhaps the most wonderful happening of the weekend came next. Take-down for the show was miserably hot and sticky. Not even the proximity to The Lake (Lake Superior) was a cooling factor. We had arranged earlier to meet Jeff and Sarah on their Nonesuch, which was anchored closeby at "Stinky Beach". Our timing was flawless as the were just finishing a late afternoon sail as we were putting the last of the stuff in the car and trailer. We sped home, dropped the trailer, and returned to the shore. We plunged into The Lake and climbed aboard the dinghy for a quick but exciting ride out to the boat. There we are in the picture above: relaxing on the Menzel's boat in the cool evening air, floating on the beautiful and crystal-clear Lake Superior. What an incomparable ending to a long, hot weekend.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Day 3 A 2 began with the threat of thunderstorms, which escalated from there. Executing my wifely duties faithfully, I created the usual lunch for Wayne, and parked in the usual spot at Luther for what I thought would be a pleasant little stroll. Nope. Huge cloudburst! Luckily, I had what is now a permanent art fair accessory with me - an umbrella. I slipped off my sandals and ran oddly enough to the shelter of the apartment building where my daughter Cate lived during her junior year at U of M. When the worst had passed, I was able to travel the small distance remaining to the Wayne and deliver said lunch.
Patrons were still strolling about, mostly experienced art fair goers with their trusty umbrellas. Although they were scant, at least they were still trying. As the photos above illustrate, however, as the rain worsened the last customer was seen fleeing the scene - leaving only the dudes for company. The dudes abide. (Unfortunatley, they are still abiding at our place as they did not sell!)
Wayne had to abide as well, until a bit later in the afternoon a horrendous siren went off. Man, it was loud! Apparently that siren represented a tornado warning, and everyone closed up shop and went home. That was alright with Wayne as it had been a pretty bad day sales-wise and the third day of a four-day fair is pretty exhausting.
We have subsequently learned that the tornado siren is one of the A2 Art Fair legends, and you haven't really lived so to speak until you have had that experience.
Day four was a gas, as our friend Suzi LaFreniere came down to visit and strolled the entire fair with me. Yes, every single street and area. It took all day, but it was really fun. Our buddy Robert Ayotte helped out with the take-down and we cleaned up slightly and celebrated what had become an extremely successful fair for Wayne at Paisano, an excellent Italian restaurant in A2 which I had always wanted to try. Poor Suzi was so pooped out by the pilgrimage that she could not join us at Paisano. As such, Robert gallantly purchased a couple of really fine bottles of red wine, and we had a mini-party with her when we returned home.
Returning home home was actually the next order of business. On Sunday and Monday, Wayne and I packed our entire household. Tuesday we packed that into a 15-foot rental truck (thanks, El if you are reading this). Wednesday we drove the truck and car and trailer 8 hours back to the Upper Peninsula. Thursday we unpacked. Friday we set Wayne's booth up for Art On The Rocks (AOTR). It's now Monday and we are still wandering through bags and boxes, but we are here and off for 2 weeks. Description of AOTR coming soon, but for now I just need to take a break.
Impressions of the A2 fair (in no particular order):
South U. is definitely the place to be.
The art patrons are mostly discerning and not afraid to spend money.
It's just too big.
We hope to return next year.
Impressions of A2 in general:
If you have to live in a city, this is the one.
Wonderful friends, we will miss them greatly.
Can't wait to return for the Detroit Jazz Festival.