We have a tradition in our family when it comes to the fair. If I've entered a painting or something in the creative arts competition we head straight for those buildings after arriving at the fair. Kent and Annie, if she's with us, will go ahead of me to see whether I've won a ribbon or not. I'm always a bit hesitant to just rush in and look, so he does it for me....lol. Well, I can tell by the look on his face when he rounds the corner whether I've won a ribbon. So he comes up to me and says. "Oh, you'll like this one!" and I have to guess whether it's a blue, red or other color. Yesterday it happened to be red. Last year I hadn't won anything in fine arts so this was a nice surprise. I have a hard time sharing sometimes, because I don't want to appear boastful. There are so many talented artists out there, and winning a ribbon is most often subject to the judge's taste. This year, my piece happened to appeal to the judge. The blue ribbon piece was an incredibly detailed colored pencil drawing of desert mesas and the red sands of southern Utah.
So far I've not been able to get a blue ribbon at the fine arts competition so as we meandered over to the creative arts building Kent asked me what I thought I would have to do to get one or even better, a best of show. Well, as we entered the building he ran ahead again, and came back with a huge grin on his face. He says, "You're not going to believe this one!" Much to my surprise and delight I had both a blue and a best of show on my Jingle Bells Santa. Whoohoo! Why do I do this? Compete for ribbons? It's fun for one, and of course it's nice to get recognized for the progress I've made in my art. It also keeps me on my toes, and I look at it as a way of getting exposure. My husband asks me months in advance what I'm doing for the fair each year, so it's a family thing as well. How lucky I am to have such a loving and supportive husband.
To show you what a trooper he is, Kent stayed with me for 6 hours while I demonstrated my sculpting techniques to passing fair goers.
He made sure I was fed, had plenty of cool water to drink, and sat there and chatted with me when there was a lull in the crowds. I loved the look on the children's faces as they watched, and what was fascinating was that the 10 year old boys seemed to be the most interested. I had a lot of inquiries about classes so I will be looking into teaching some. Logistics will be interesting as I will have to travel to teach, but I know it will be fun as I've done it before and it's so rewarding to see the look of joy on a new sculptor's face when they finish a piece. I'm also going to be working with someone online to teach online classes so I will keep you posted.
If you are looking for a way to get good exposure, and meet new people, buyers and collectors, or perhaps students, look into your state or county fair.