2014 Stillwater Arts Festival (review) – “92db, but quiet”

It’s a simple little show, doesn’t demand much — it runs Saturday & Sunday, 10-6 and 11-5.

It’s my first show of the season, so I use it to work out the kinks: get back in the mindset of doing shows (after taking a break all winter), and figure out if there are any odds-and-ends that I need to re-order.

Setup

Setup is easy. It’s the usual fare — check in, get your packet and free drinking bottle (professionally emblazoned with the Stillwater logo), go to your assigned area, dump all your stuff in the street, and sort through it until a booth materializes.

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TADA!

The layout is a fine thing to behold — We’re in clusters of four, so everybody gets a corner booth!

Saturday

They put me in front of the stage.

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WHAT?! “I SAID!.. THEY PUT ME… IN FRONT.. OF THE STAGE!”

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The result, in decibels.

Thankfully, the Doobie Brothers cover band only played side 1 of their best-of album.

Despite the temporary deafness, sales were pretty strong on Saturday — at least in my booth. Some of my friends didn’t do so well, and we’re still trying to figure out what went wrong. Then again, the three canvases that I sold were of locations shot within three miles of where my booth was standing.

Second day. Easter Sunday.

Saint Cadbury blessed the children with hours of entertainment, frolicking in fields, seeking multicolored eggs — somewhere else, far far away from this show.

Sales dwindled down to a print and a half. Overall, I did not sell a single photo which was taken from outside of a 50 mile radius.

About an hour into the second day, the volunteers dismantled the music stage and replaced it with something not quite as loud. It consisted of a tent, a table, and a guy sitting in a folding chair playing jazz on his phone connected to a speaker.

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The guy got up and left.

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Don’t let the crowd get in your way.

Two more hours of that, and they let us pull our cars in and pack up.

Conclusion

I live here, so I can’t help but do this show. Since 2008, I’ve seen it evolve from a pokey little arrangement of tables out in a park, to a somewhat respectable-looking downtown show.

Back in 2011, the OKC Festival of the Arts moved from its usual weekend because it didn’t want to occur on Easter weekend. It’s such a massive show that the shows next to it on the calendar (Edmond, Lawton, and Tulsa) all decided to move accordingly. Most Sundays are slower than their corresponding Saturdays, but it isn’t usually this slow. This is what OKC was trying to avoid.

…Speaking of which, I’m off to OKC to see if I can sneak in!

This entry was posted in Art Festival Reviews.