I got through the first quarter of 2017 unscathed by any craft shows. However, we ended April with a three-day event here in Denton: the 37th Annual Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. This was our first participation in this event as a vendor. I had submitted my application, with the requisite three photo examples of my work, and I was pleased and surprised to find that they placed me in Artists’ Row rather than with the Crafters. As is always the case, the weather had an effect on activities: the day prior to the Friday opening the weather prediction was for 100% chance of rain on Saturday with possible severe storms. Saturday rolled in with clouds and occasional patches of blue sky, but the clouds darkened and we got only gusty winds and some drizzle in the late afternoon.
Attendance was down Saturday, according to some veteran vendors, but we were fortunate as it turned out, because tornados touched down just east of Dallas. “The National Weather Service confirmed four tornadoes touched down in East Texas on Saturday where four deaths were confirmed. The tornados’ strength ranged from EF0 to EF3 with one EF3 carving a path for 51 miles in Henderson County. The most severe damage was reported from the Canton area of Van Zandt County where the Canton Fire Department said one person who died had been in a vehicle that had been tossed by the tornado along Highway 64. Gov. Greg Abbott, who toured the area Sunday, said: ‘It looked like in areas that were filled with trees ... that they'd been ripped down as Tinkertoys, just completely knocked down. You saw homes and other buildings that were completely flattened, as well as others that were nothing more than rubble. ... It was just large swath after large swath of devastation.’ "
The wind and drizzle we received in Denton was merely an inconvenience. Sunday proved bright and sunny most of the day, but the winds kept temperatures in the sixties – a significant change from the high of 88 on Friday. Attendance was good, though, and vendors felt that they almost made up for the slow business on Saturday. Personally, Suzanne and I enjoyed most of our sales on Sunday, with one fellow purchasing four items, one for him self plus three Christmas presents. I also made connections that should be beneficial in the long run: a source for cut mesquite logs, several individuals who wanted custom ornaments made and the operator of a classic car show we did not know about at the end of September who invited us to be vendors this year.
The only down-side was that my right hip and leg are killing me from the unusual activity of set-up and take-down of our booth and wares. Today is Monday and I am staying off my feet pretty much all day. But I’m sure that it will be worth it, once I can walk again.
I am still trying new show venues to find those that provide the most effective exposure for my works.