Friday, February 15, 2008

100 Square Feet

On any given weekend across this country, my artist friends and I are
setting up shop in our portable gallery of a 10x10 white tent and showing our work
I wrote the following poem and presented it at the NAIA Directors Conference
held in Lancaster,PA last fall. I share it with you here:

by Patricia Hecker

We criss cross the country
in our vans of white-
to sell what we've made
at an art fair site.

This is the life
we've chosen by trade-
to sell to the public
things we've hand made.

The booths we fill
with displays 10 feet wide
are secured in our vans
for a long distance ride.

Created by day
and driven by night
to arrive in town
at your art fair site.

This gallery we build
in our 100 square feet
can withstand mild wind
but not snow or sleet!

The sun and fair weather
are art fair friends
as we hope for blue skies
and upward sales trends.

The consumer is fickle
when stock markets dive.
Collector confidence
keeps art fairs alive.

With jewelry and pottery
and paintings so bright-
we offer our best
for the publics delight.

To future young artists
we meet in our booth-
imagination and crayons
are part of their youth.

We might light a spark
by something we say-
and meet them again
as artists some day!

To share and inspire
are what we do best.
'Making a living'
is put to the test.

We want to feel safe
in our 100 square feet.
It gives peace of mind
to all that we meet.

Booth fees oh my-
And jury fees too...
We pick and choose
by what shows we'll do.

We too are consumers
of this thing called a 'fair'
to decide to apply
with the art we will share.

These shows stay alive
by the art we all do
not just white tents
but advertising it too!

This dual commitment
for artists and shows-
To give it our best
as everyone knows.

This isn't a hobby
or part time thing.
This is what fuels us
and thus what we bring.

We've supported ourselves
and put food on the table.
Sent kids to college
and donated when able.

We've seen each other
at our worst and our best-
and keep making art
with an undying zest.

We're in this together.
We've accomplished great things.
Artists and directors-
the art that it brings.

This tight knit group
is why we're all here
to hold securely
a lifestyle so dear.

Proxy exhibitors
hurt what we do-
by faking all out
on just who's who.

With imports off shore
and buy/sell so cheap-
it's the honor of our trade
we fight hard to keep.

This is our life
its critical to see
that I respect you
and you respect me!

1 comment:

Songstress said...

Awesome poem! Your work is pretty damn cool, too. Holly introduced me to Tattoo Dreams - I think your stuff is amazing.