I know my personal budget is doing okay when I can buy art, but I always carry the desire to buy something to add a spot of color or a design statement. One place that helps are the myriad of local arts and crafts fairs throughout the world.
Last night in our small town my husband and I participated in the first Huntington ArtWalk. Organized in two week, 24 local stores and restaurants offered space inside or outside their front doors as a venue for a local artist or artisan to showcase their work. Graham and I started a small business, CreationsByBG, at the end of 2011 and this was our first fair. We achieved a few sales and also made more people aware of our products as well as spending a delightful evening sitting outside yakking it up with people walking by.
Some shows are open, like this one. That means anyone who signs up (and pays a fee, if required) can show their wares. You can find starters like us there or long time hobbyists who decide it just might be time to lessen the collection at home.
Other shows are juried, which means the quality of the work has to be approved by a selection committee. These shows may have items that are a bit pricier but often of highly professional caliber.
If you like to add color and especially a local souvenir that is tons better than a tee shirt or mug made in China, it is worth some time to investigate if any art or artisan show is scheduled for the location of your travel.
Nashville is hosting the 42nd annual American Artisan Festival June 15-17 under the trees in Centennial Park. The fair will showcase 165 artists, offer food, as well as an interactive art project for kids. The organization will donate 10% of all profits to support local arts organizations and Gilda’s Club Nashville. I’ve been to this festival and the art work is diverse…something for every taste!
Palm Springs, California holds a number of wonderful art festivals. Several years ago when my daughter was attending the University of Southern California I treated her to an escape weekend. We spent a lot of time at Joshua Tree National Park but went to Palm Springs for a day as well where we spent some time wandering the Palm Springs Art Festival (held each year in January and February). Touting themselves as the birthplace of Western Chic, the Palm Springs Arts Festivals presents 175 of the finest traditional and contemporary artists from throughout the West, Southwest and the World to dazzle your eyes.
In an earlier chapter of my life when I lived in Connecticut, we would make an annual leaf peeping pilgrimage with everyone else on the Columbus Day weekend. We enjoyed the colors but also the multitude of roadside festivals, apple cider mills, and chainsaw wood art fairs that the residents so wisely held to capture the tourist dollar.
So, when travelling, work some local art into your life by attending a art, artisan and craft fair! Some websites to explore to find festivals are FestivalNet, Fairs and Festivals, ArtFestival, Festivals in Europe, Art Fair Calendar and many many more.