This weekend was Labor Day. Last day of summer, except in Ohio, where it’s still in the 90s with no dip in sight for a week. And, though I don’t usually opt for standing in line with festival goers when it’s at 78 percent humidity, we decided to the Labor Day Art Festival a try.
I’m glad I went. It was one of those old timey ones with country dancing and Irish music. They still had the lemonade shakeups and kettle corn and added an Indian pita sandwich that I almost had two of. And a henna lady who we spent almost an hour waiting to see. She was worth it — that henna has stayed with exquisite precision.
The art fair I used to run — when I inherited a festival as events manager at a chamber of commerce – was a tired affair. Sunset watercolors and tinny jewelry. THIS show really was fine art. I saw six or seven items I’d have gladly haggled for if Leila, age 8, had the decency to stick around and allow it. My two favorite artists were the bird ladies, sisters who make paper mache creatures who balance on wire stilts and bob in the wind, and the surreal doll maker.
My worry, as often is the case, was that none of these three dames would get a single sale if I didn’t buy something. I’m not sure why I make this promise to myself every time I like a festival seller, it’s just that having watched the thankless masses swarm in and out of booths, with their “Look, Hank, it’s like the potholder yer cousin’s kid made outta that ole’ tire!” I fear the worst. Those ladies have sweat and slaved, inhaled enough paint fumes and glue to asphyxiate an ox, someone needs to buy their damn sad dolly! But Leila won’t stay in one place for more than thirteen seconds. I can’t even get my wallet out. So, instead of making the purchases I wanted to, I’m going to put those women’s work up here and now. So pay attention, or, better, buy!
Bills and Gills, Sue Lazerwitz and Terry Ray http://www.bills-gills.com/index.html
Surrealist Doll-maker and Painter, Alissa Renzetti http://www.alissarenzetti.com/