Well, I don’t know about you, the savvy reader, but I hope that I’m finished with art shows for a while. No, I’m not an artist at the shows, but I have been a spectator at three of them in the space of one week’s time…and I have, once before, stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (which is a place where artists go to starve to death).
Let’s see. On Sunday, April 20, I attended the Fort Worth Main Street Arts Festival, which dramatically stretches all the way from the Fort Worth courthouse to the convention center while, surprisingly, offering no room for humans to walk. That’s right, at this festival, people basically spend three days standing in line, wanting to walk down the street, but unable to move. Eventually, after the end of day three, the artists pack up and scurry off to the next festival, leaving a throng of people standing in line, which is finally able to disperse after another two days.
The artists at this festival aren’t of your standard Holiday Inn “starving” variety, although many of them are quite skinny.
A Random Dave Idea™: Wouldn’t it be cool if someone published A Field Guide to Artists and Their Native Habitats? An excerpt: “Here we have your standard treeus-huggeris “starving” variety, indigenous to the dense forests of Eugene, Oregon…notice how it feeds on granola, fiercely protects its habitat, creates its clothing from hemp and protests globalization.”
Anyway, the artists at the Main Street Arts Festival all charge an outlandish amount of money for their work. Some of the work probably warrants such high prices because it is actually quite good; other work, however, is so “modern” that I can comprehend it to be nothing more than junk. I guess the theory is that if you put a high enough price on something, it evokes an aura of exclusivity, which some folks just love.
The festival ended on April 20 and our line finally dispersed somewhere around Thursday after the police started firing tear gas to get people moving. This gave us enough time to run up to Denton on Friday, April 25, to attend the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival, which was much more “local” in flavor than the Fort Worth show. The Denton festival not only had many more local artists, but these artists charged about half what the “big boys” (note: most artists really aren’t “big boys” – they average about 120 pounds wet) were charging in Fort Worth.
We primarily went to the festival to hear the Neville brothers, who were the main act for the evening. Unfortunately, like the rookie art festival goers that we are, we only arrived about three hours before the concert, which meant that if we wished to actually see the concert, we would have to do so from another county. The grounds were littered with people, such that it was impossible to sit down and enjoy the music. We ended up standing directly over (almost on top of) a couple who were eating a bag of obligatory festival kettle korn®, while, to our backs, we were being hit by purses and elbows, as people walked by, forming new lines, leading to other lines, leading to who knows what.
We finally made it home in time to turn around and head out to Southlake on Saturday, April 26, to attend the Arts in the Square festival. We primarily went to this festival because a good friend of ours, Andrea, was playing saxophone with the Southlake Community Band. We sat in the sun and our heads cooked as we took in the vibrant sounds of the Community Band. When the music was over, Amber woke me up and we ate some food before walking around and looking at the overpriced art (note: Southlake folks are rich, so the art is priced accordingly).
As we were leaving the Arts in the square, one kindly seller of homemade jewelry announced to us that she would be in Richardson next weekend and that we should make it a point to be there (note: it is extremely difficult to slit your wrists with homemade jewelry). We quickly left the festival and I uttered a silent prayer that we would not have to attend any more art festivals this year.
So far, so good…but it’s only Monday.