Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Leaving Ann Arbor behind

What you can't tell by this picture is that it was my most perfect Ann Arbor Summer Art Fair booth, and it may well be my last one. This was taken last year when Jon Hecker was my roadie for the show and he "tricked out" my booth so wonderfully. What you don't see is the fan situated up in the rafters so it was like having air-conditioning in the booth. Or the carpet runners in front covering the holes in the pavement. It was quite the booth!

I knew it was time to take a break from doing the show. For almost 30 summers my entire year was measured by "before Ann Arbor" or "after Ann Arbor" and it was a huge part of my life. The money I made at the show used to be what got me through winter but times have changed and the show has changed as well. It felt like it was time to move on.

 There were high points like the fun I had with all the people who helped me over the years, especially Nancy Martin and Shoaleh Mansour and the awards I won. All the years when we had custom tee shirts made with new job titles on the front and sayings on the backs. The one year Michael Kifer was the poster child for the show and we had tee shirts made that said Michael was next door with arrows pointing to his booth. Three of us crammed into a 10' x 6' booth with the jewelry cases and a couple of chairs but no time to sit down. But I can't forget the year that I fell in the street while helping to lay out the show and broke my leg. During the show Nancy plopped me on a chair outside my booth with my leg up, a fan blowing on me and took over while I was highly medicated and having fun with all the friends who came to visit. Yes, lots of good memories were made at the show.

This years show starts in about 9 hours and for the first time in almost 30 years, I won't be there. I wish all my friends cool, dry weather and great sales. I'll miss seeing them but this was the right decision for me this year. We'll see what next year brings...


Richard Aerni said...

Yes, there is life after Ann Arbor! I went "Ann Arbor Lite" in about 2005, doing it just every few years. After doing it in 2010, I decided that I could do better, financially and physically, by doing less demanding local/regional shows. I was right. Did a small show none of you probably heard of last week, 1/4 the booth fee...two days shorter, and did about 45% more than I did last time I did the Ann Arbor Show (always did the Original Fair).

Anonymous said...

Don't cave next year.
It's too hot a show and the 'glory days' there have long since gone!