Avondale Art-B-Que

Atlanta’s weather in June can be a real gamble. Sometimes it’s just pleasantly warm, other years things turn brutal early. 2010 is an example of the latter, which meant there was only one word to describe the Avondale Estates 2010 Art-B-Que on June 12-13: HOT.

Let me repeat that. HOT!!!

Copper Dancer Designs was assigned a spot on one of the side streets, about halfway down the row. We had some shade in the morning, but during the afternoon we got more sun than we really needed or wanted. Staying hydrated and not too overheated was our real challenge that weekend. Sadly, the heat was so extreme that attendance was way down — not that many people wanted to come out to eat really good bar-b-que, listen to a wide variety of music ranging from pretty darn good to positively awful, and shop for funky arts and crafts.  We got a little relief from the heat on Sunday, as we were able to move into a much shadier vacated spot right next to the Smoothie Cart, hee hee. Even so, the theme remained broil, baby, broil.

Sales were disappointing for pretty much everybody, except possibly the King of Pops — a very popular man, especially when he came around in the afternoons with his little pushcart. Sunday’s Mimosa pop (contains Real Champagne!!) was superb, but Saturday’s Grapefruit Mint pop with REAL mint leaves was the most exquisite thing I had tasted since I don’t know when.

The weekend was certainly not a total loss, though. We met some wonderful artists, particularly Cindy Sheffield Michaels, a Decatur photographer who does marvelous abstract work. Schadia and Nazeem came by our tent, bought a bracelet, and pronounced our work a perfect fit for their upcoming Haflanta event in August. The bar-b-que we ate for lunch both days was utterly tasty, even though to Andrea’s disappointment only pulled pork was available. The people who did venture out into the heat were quite complimentary of our work. We enjoyed our smoothies and pops immensely!! And we finally, finally were able to get photos of our booth setup so that we can apply to some of the upcoming fall shows!

ArtBQue 2010 booth

Really, the only horrible negative was the weather, and that’s something no one can control. Rumor has it that Bart Webb, who puts on the event, is considering an earlier weekend for Art-B-Que next year, and if so we will certainly give it another shot.

ARTlantis 2010

Yesterday was a warm, sticky kind of typical June day in Atlanta as Copper Dancer Designs set up at its first ever show (and our first ever outdoor show) at ARTlantis, put on by Beep Beep Gallery and billed as “Atlanta’s Subterranean Music and Arts Festival.” We both felt like this show was something of a gamble, since it was only the second year of the show and we had no idea what the show or the sponsoring gallery were actually like. We weren’t certain that the demographic was “our” demographic, so to speak, but we were able to get into the Crafters’ Market from the waiting list and the entry fee was quite reasonable, so we figured “what the heck, let’s give it a shot.”

Things didn’t get off to a good start when Andrea found that she’d left a critical box at home — the one containing the four roof corner pieces for the tent frame, not to mention the tent instructions! As she dashed home to get it, Gary & I tried to figure out what went where from our memory of the dry run assembly the week before. That was the only real glitch of the day, though. Once all the parts were there everything went up and into place smoothly, hurrah! Our new screen displays worked fabulously; we figured out the booth layout on the fly without difficulty; the improvised tent weight system (ankle weights & a weight vest, LOL) handled the job just fine.

There was a nice steady flow of traffic through the market area throughout the day. As the afternoon wore on, we started seeing a lull every time a new band started playing. Things would pick up between sets, then another lull. Sales-wise it was kind of so-so much of the day. I don’t really think that many people had come planning to buy art or craft, but many seemed intrigued by what they saw. I do think that we did better than many of the craft vendors, though. There didn’t seem to be many buyers at the booths on either side of us, and at least one craft vendor packed up and left several hours before the show ended (very unprofessional!).

Even though it was pretty steamy out there, we lucked out in that our booth was perfectly situated to catch what breezes came by, and Andrea had made up for forgetting the tent parts by bringing an ice chest and a LARGE water container. Sharing those with our vendor neighbors was a good way to break the ice, so to speak. Plus we sensibly came prepared with sunscreen and bug spray (note: it’s wise to make SURE you hit all the exposed spots with the sunscreen spray), and an indoor restroom and water fountain were close by inside Druid Hills Baptist Church.

Two of my all-time favorite pieces sold yesterday:

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brightleaf4

Plus we were fortunate enough to be right across from Brenda Marsh, an Atlanta area jewelry designer who uses a lot of lampwork beads in her pieces. Fortunately, we had brought beads even though we didn’t put them out, so she was able to look through some of our supply and pick out a nice assortment for her future pieces. Brenda, we thank you and hope to work with you in the future!

Our thanks also go to Mark Basehore and the ARTlantis volunteers for an excellent event, and our vendor neighbors for being good company!

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