2010 Stillwater Art Festival (review)

For as long as I can remember, rain has been a permanent attendee of this show. But this time it was relentless.

Things got a little wet (there’s nothing in this world that can compare to the uselessness of wet cardboard), but instead of wallowing in a mud pit trying to recreate the full Woodstock 94 experience, this time it was on pavement — downtown Stillwater!

It was organized well, and the management did everything they could to make the place pleasant. They brought us water bottles (you can still get dehydrated in the rain), and they even convinced Chipotle to offer free burritos to every artist! The only bad things that happened were out of their control.

The relocation to downtown not only helped us cope with the weather, but it brought in some serious artists. Apparently some of the artists who attend the huge Oklahoma City Festival have discovered that Stillwater makes for a great springboard before they head to OKC. This brought a lot of gravity to the show, and the days of the Stillwater show being a higgledy piggledy little thing are over! (If I were a wee bit more pessimistic, I could also see it as a bad thing — I don’t have the most professional-looking booth in the show anymore. I better step up my game!)

The weather though.. ugh. Now, the local newspaper said: “the wet weather had minimal impact on art sales”, but this quote came from a much more established artist. They also claimed there was a steady stream of visitors. Let’s just see about that:

Hey! I can see my house from-- oh wait, I really can.

"The night was moist."

I’ll admit that yes, there were crowds, and I was too busy to take pictures of them when they filled my booth, but those shots above were taken around 1:30pm on Sunday, when most churches let out. I had a few people come by the booth and say, “I felt so sorry knowing that you guys were out here in the rain that I just had to come out here and endure it with you!” That’s mighty kind, but it’s too bad the rest of the city didn’t feel the same.

One last thing.. I’m not big on conspiracy theories, but the rain couldn’t have been timed better. The show went from 9-5 Saturday, and 11-5 Sunday. The hour-by-hour weather report for Saturday was 40% all morning until 9am, shooting to 70%, and dropping back to 40% at 5pm. Sunday was just as strange — it hovered around 30% until 11am, spiked to 70%, then started tapering off after 5pm. Sure enough, it rained constantly for both days, but it wasn’t five minutes before the show ended that it stopped raining and the sun came out. (For those of you playing the home game, that’s the same weather as the movie Blade Runner.)

After all was said and done, I sold one 18″ print for $85. (At least I got to use those iPhone apps I reviewed! They work great!)

..oh well, off to Edmond!

This entry was posted in Art Festival Reviews.