September 20, 2021

Show Report

         It’s been a long time since I’ve had a show report here in the blog.  On December 14, 2019 I was at the Winter Arts Festival in Needham Town Hall, and that was the last proper in-person show where I sat with my display of all my various goods and met with visitors, until this Saturday.  There have been a few other things in between that came close -- in-person art shows at conventions in January and February 2020, and the in-person sale on June 12, 2021 where I had a table -- but this was the first “normal” show in 1.75 years.  Of course, there were still a few things that were different.  For one thing, it was outdoors.  I hate outdoor shows.  If it rains it’s a disaster, if it’s windy it’s a disaster, if it’s too hot or too cold it’s not a disaster but still unpleasant… The stress of uncertain weather is just not worth it when there are other options.  But for a year and a half there have been no other options, so I borrowed a tent (Thank you, Dottie Laughlin!) and joined a dozen other Needham Open Studios artists in showing our work in front of Town Hall.  And it turned out to be a wonderful day!
        The weather cooperated, there was plenty of foot traffic, and everyone was delighted to be out and sharing in a cultural community event.  Sales were great, and it underscores once again the importance of seeing art in person and talking with people face to face.  Honestly, I do love on-line shopping -- the comfort and convenience of not leaving home, of being able to look for something whenever I want, the low stress of not having to deal with other humans -- for some things those conveniences can’t be beat.  But for other things that human connection makes all the difference.  (Thank you, Everyone who came by, who said hello, who shared stories, who bought things, and who made up part of the community!)
        Part of my bookkeeping after an event is to update my web site.  I make sure the “Upcoming Events” are current and I remove any sold-out pieces.  But my 15-year-old web building system, which has been glitching out worse and worse for some time now, baulked utterly at this most recent set of changes.  And this necessitated an emergency web site transplant.  Luckily I had been working at building the new web site for a couple of months and it was already just about ready to go.  A few final tweaks, and I hit “Publish”… and nothing happened.  But after about 16 hours, help from my in-house IT (Thank you, D!), some tech support tickets, and some more tweaking, I have a shiny new web site.  Honestly, it’s not much different.  I pretty much just tried to reproduce the old one with the new one, rather than doing any radical redesign, and the address remains the same.  Still, now is as good a time as any to remind everyone that my web site is up-to-the-minute and includes all my currently-available original block prints, information about all of my books, notecards, necklaces and other fun stuff with my designs, and a comprehensive listing of upcoming events including both on-line and in-person events for both art and writing.  Plus there’s information about how I make prints, what workshops and lectures I can present, the Alphabet of Mythical Creatures, and other stuff of possible interest.  Be sure to leave me a comment if you have any ideas of stuff I should include or how it could be improved.
        So, what about the future?  I am currently signed up for two more upcoming in-person holiday sales, but only time will tell what the state of the pandemic will be come December.  I’m not taking anything for granted — except that people will always need art and stories to hold us together and keep us focussed on the important things.  I will be teaching in-person block printmaking classes for both kids and adults in October, and I’ve also got an upcoming on-line author event that you can attend from anywhere in the world.  That’s on October 1, a Strong Women-Strange Worlds First Friday Quick Reads event in which 6 authors each read for no more than 8 minutes, giving the audience a delightfully diverse tasting menu of speculative fiction of all kinds in one convenient hour-long flight of fancy.  I’d tell you which of my books I’ll be sharing, but that would spoil the surprise, which is half the fun of these events!  It’s free, and you can preregister here.  I’d love to see you there!
        I am hopeful that last Saturday’s in-person show was not an island of connection in the ocean of isolation, but was rather a turning of the corner toward knitting our social threads back together.  (I think I may have mixed about three different metaphors there, but put it down to my being overcome with delight at the prospect of a return to in-person shows.)  And if art and story can’t help with that re-knitting of connection, then nothing can.

[Pictures: Needham Open Studios Inside-Out - my tent, me carving a block, my tent along with my neighbors, photos by AEGN and MJPG;

Strong Women-Strange Worlds October 1 Quick Reads.]

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