Jul 22, 2007

Salem Art Fair and Festival: I am a Booth Sitter

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This weekend, Salem, Oregon celebrates its 58th Salem Art Fair and Festival. And I am a booth sitter. Not an easy task, by any means, A multitasking task actually. I have to sit, I have to watch, I have to wait, and I have to constantly tell the public, 'the real artist will be back in 15 minutes.'

Several customers, actually complimented me on my booth sitting abilities. "You sit very well, they said." Of course, I thanked them.

Set among the historic oak trees of Bush Pasture Park, the Art Fair's Artist Marketplace features over 200 of the top artists and craftspeople from around the country. Artists offer work in a wide variety of mediums including painting, ceramics, glass, jewelry, wood, photography and fiber. It is the largest juried art festival of its kind in the state of Oregon.

As one of the best community-driven events in the Northwest, more than 3,000 volunteers participate annually in this three-day celebration. Some of us serve food and beverages, some of us clean-up after others, and some of us sit. Visitors hail from all parts of the state and beyond, with attendance estimated at more than 100,000. With this many in attendance, volunteers are always needed.

In addition to the Marketplace, 50 free performances by regional and national acts are presented on the Main Stage and Family Stage. Other attractions include tours of the Bush House Museum; art exhibits at the Bush Barn Art Center; fun art activities and performances for children in the Kids' Court; art and cultural demonstrations in the Artisan Village; a wide variety of food fare and gourmet goodies in two Food Courts; and northwest wines and microbrew beers in two Wine and Beer Gardens.

I sat, I watched, I snacked on my complimentary kettle chips and RC cola, and I made the artists of Aisle 15 very happy. I did such a nice job of booth sitting, that I made some of them happy, twice.

And as I stared down at the fish in my $5 Art Fair t-shirt front with its big title 'Volunteer' on the back. I couldn't help but notice...wouldn't the design of these fish make a nice quilt?


Shelina said...

I did some booth setting for a couple of years before Sushi was born. I hated it. The artists weren't sure they could leave their stuff in my care, and I didn't know enough about the art to tell anyone what they were looking at. I think assigning an aisle would have been an excellent idea! And then someone was interested in buying something, and the artist had told me to just tell them to come back another time.

atet said...

That t-shirt is great, and yes, it would make a fantastic quilt. Love your orphan train blocks! Like you, I've been wanting to climb aboard but I really have no orphans to speak of -- I cut into and started playing with one set I had and the others that go with it will be going with my play group. Hmmn...I wonder if you modify them enough do they still count as "orphans"?