Show Report: 2014 Columbia Festival of the Arts

Excellent show management, beautiful site, easy load-in/load-out, helpful volunteers, returning collectors, and friends to share it with = a great time had by all!  The Columbia Festival staff is one of the best I've encountered, and the show runs smoothly because of it.  And, when something happens to upset that, they take care of it.  Case in point:  on Saturday evening, everyone's lights were intermittent; something to do with the main line to the booths.  This was distressing, since we really needed our lights inside the tent once the sun set.  When management couldn't fix it immediately, they came around and apologized, and said our electricity fee would be refunded.  We appreciated that gesture; not every show would have handled it that way.

I also very much appreciated that my email postcard campaign worked its magic.  Three collectors from prior year's shows came to visit and purchase (and of course, they received their 20% discount as a result).  It was great to see them, and in one case, I got to see how three wall hangings from the early Talisman Series are hung on the wall of a law office!  My collector says they're the first things everyone sees as they enter or exit the main conference room, and they've gotten many positive comments.  I may also be doing a large, commissioned piece for his home (!)...details on that as they become available.  Another collector returned after last seeing me 5 years ago; the last time was at  Artscape, Baltimore 2009!  She received her email, and because she fondly remembers me and my work, she now is a "true collector," becoming the proud owner of a total of three Kindred Spirit Studios wall pieces. 

And, I have two new collectors, who immediately gravitated to the pieces they ultimately purchased.  I'm always fascinated by how that occurs.  Usually, the person is drawn in by one piece, moves closer to examine it, reads the title, then slowly looks around at the other work in the booth.  Sometimes, they don't even get around to everything else; the first piece which resonated with them calls them back.  I observe this, and when they look up (I try not to disturb this process as it's happening), I ask if I can tell them a bit about the piece they like.  This interaction is what works for me; it may not be the best "sales tactic," (I always envision someone saying "Okay, so what do I have to do to get you into this wall hanging today?!) but it's effective.  I'll be the first to admit I'm not a salesperson, but I can certainly speak about my inspiration, my techniques, my research, etc., which I think is what "sells" the work to those who are already interested in it. 

Here are the pieces which have new homes, and I will show you them in their new environments if their owners send me photos as promised. 

Bese Saka, Talisman of Abundance
Inspiration:  Adinkra 1

Faraja, Talisman of Joy

Huru, Talisman of Independence

Neema, Talisman of Grace

Inspiration:  Adinkra 2


Penny A said…
WOO HOO! I am so glad that your season opened with such a wonderful show!
Michelle said…
Thanks, Penny! We're hopeful Eno will continue the trend.
Michelle said…
Thanks, Penny! We're hopeful Eno will continue the trend.