Monday, June 15, 2009

That was my kind of summer arts festival!

I loved Chicago in the summer. Although the temperature often soared to 100+ degrees with humidity that could drown a rat, the summer festivals there were great. Somewhere in the Chicagoland area, there would be a neighborhood festival every weekend. Of course there was also the festival on steroids, the Taste of Chicago (the worlds largest food festival) with its millions of people.

When we moved to Rhode Island 5 years ago, I looked for such a festival. I heard there had been a big street fair years back on Thayer Street, but it hadn't been held for a number of years. The Providence Arts Festival this past weekend fit the bill. Same organizers of the Thayer Street festival, different location. It had all the right ingredients: closed streets, urban environment, street performers, fantastic art vendors, food, a beer garden, music, a parade, crazy puppet people, great weather, and lots of people. Finally, my summertime arts festival crave was satiated.

Above and below - Big Nazo, an international performance group

There was a great Arts in Rhode Island group showing as 6 of us were able to set up next to each other (and two who couldn't do the show came out for support). Cross promoting is easy with such a talented group of artists.

Gocco and screenprints from Heather Jeany

Paintings by Julie Beck

From a vendor prospective, the festival was wonderful as well. Many of my friends came out (thank you!) and business was great. I love meeting new customers and chatting with returning ones. It gives me a special thrill to hear people say they had hoped to see me there.

Surprisingly, the item that garnered the most attention was my recycled magazine flower bouquet. Many asked to buy it and I gave several impromptu diy demonstrations. As promised, I will have a how-to video up this week.

I now feel that summer has officially begun. Let the relaxing begin....yeah, right!

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