After our ‘In Between Time’ we headed to the Ann Arbor Street Fair in Ann Arbor, MI. Michael really doesn’t like to do big art shows. By that I mean shows that have more than 200-ish artists set up. He loves to use the phrase, “Do the math!”. He figures that if you are at a show that has some where around a 1000 artists set up than how can anyone really spend any quality time in your booth. He’s got a point. Our customers usually need to spend time reading everything before they choose exactly what piece of ‘Mud Poetry’ they want to adopt.
Folks make good money at the Ann Arbor show and I’ve been bugging him for years to give it a try. Well in the last couple of years as Michael’s artwork gets more and more successful, I have taken on more and more business responsibilities. We spend less time these years having major discussions about what shows we should try. By now I’ve got a good handle on what Michael likes and where his work sells the best.
I booked Ann Arbor (and St. James Court in Louisville) and told him we were going. He’s a good sport and thankfully he trusts my gut intuition about a lot of things.
Ann Arbor is a grueling show. It’s 5 separate fairs all taking place at the same time in close proximity to each other. It’s 4 days long and you are open from 10am to 9pm everyday. Those are long hours to stay in a 10×10 space smiling and selling stuff. Michael and I are very fortunate that we do this together and we get to give each other breaks. The show started on a Wednesday and went to Saturday. That is unusual in a show. I spent a couple hours on Wednesday and Thursday just sitting in a cafe doing our banking and paying bills online (because that is what I do during the week folks).
We were really fortunate to have great neighbors. We got to see lots of our artist friends who we know from the Northeast because EVERYBODY does Ann Arbor. It was fun to go for a walk to see the show and happen upon so many of our old art shows buddies. We went out for Ethiopian food with some good clay friends of Damaan Jewelry, Jeff and Judy. The picture didn’t come out well but you can see that we’re having fun….
We got a neighbor to take a picture of Michael and I in our booth. It’s our new picture on the opening page of our website now. Thanks Lou!
It turns out that Ann Arbor was a very good show for us. We’ll definitely try to do it again. We didn’t do a lot of socializing like usual. The days were too long and by the time 9pm rolled around we were toast.
Here is something really fun that did happen to us. We stayed with some folks in Memphis last October, Brooks and Laurie Moneypenny. A show that we do there set it up because Michael was teaching in a school before the show…all set up by the show promoters. On Sunday we were so pleasantly surprised by Brooks and Laurie. Brooks is working on setting up an art show in the Spring in Memphis and he & Laurie flew up to Ann Arbor to check it out. We decided to meet for dinner at 8:30pm after Michael and I had taken down our booth. Oh my what fun we had!! We were at the restaurant until almost midnight. Here’s a picture that we took with MIchael’s iPhone. I think that we ate at somewhere called ‘The Chop House’ and what you see on the table is our desert. It was good!
Glad we finally made it up to Ann Arbor and I look forward to another successful show next year.