It was a hot summer day and I was promised if I behaved myself I would get an ice cream cone of whatever flavor I wanted. I was surrounded by hurried adults and towering white tents. We started at one end and worked our way through the maze of unique paintings, ceramics and other crafty creations.
I remember being so absorbed in what was going on around me. Each tent filled with it's own secret world of treasures waiting to be discovered. The artists had this energy and life about them. I wanted to be them.
A couple of years ago I went to one of the annual art shows in Centennial Park in Nashville. It was a beautiful show but there was something missing. I started talking to one of the artists. She was an older woman and her tent was filled with premium quality leather handbags and goods.
She told me how outdoor art shows had changed. They weren't how they used to be. Fewer and fewer artists were participating in art shows because it was too expensive and too time consuming.
I told her I painted from time to time and I always wanted to participate in an outdoor show. This woman looked me straight in the eye and said, "You really should. If young people don't start doing shows, one day art shows won't exist anymore." Gah, I felt like there should be a PSA with a Sarah McLachlan song asking us to donate to save the artists.
The thing about outdoor art shows is they are time consuming, expensive, long, and sometimes extremely frustrating. It might rain, it might be too hot, maybe it's not the right crowd. Loading in and unloading can be a nightmare when you have to walk back and forth a mile carrying all of your supplies and display parts.
But, they can also be extremely rewarding and a major self-esteem boost. At my last show a mother brought her son into my tent. His mom told me he wanted to be an artist one day. He looked at everything so seriously and thoughtfully. I let him look and ask questions because maybe one day he will have his own tent with his own art. It's the circle of life people.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.