Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is It Really A Fair?

I was still in high school when the Woodland Art Fair started 35 years ago in a parking lot and needless to say I wasn’t that impressed. Hey, I was in high school and I had more important things to do besides walking around looking at “art”.
Flash forward. AFB Art Fair. I have been almost every year and have enjoyed watching the changes and growth of the fair over the summers. The “Fair” has taken focus in the last few years proven by the quality of artists brought into the park. And I think they have listened and acted with their public in meeting certain needs. Kudos to all the sponsors, volunteers and the Lexington Art League.
To get to the fair you have to get in the thick of the atmosphere and side streets that surround the park. Kentucky, Lafayette, Park, Oldham, and Woodland to name a few. Locals sitting on their porches drinking coffee, neighbors talking over fences and yards sharing daily updates from the night before and cats taking morning naps. High Street and Kentucky Avenue prepare you for entrance into the fair. Yard Sale? Maybe. Art Sale? Yes. Antique Sale? Hmm, let me double check on this. But mostly this is their neighborhood, their park and their fair.
Enter the fair.  First thing, food and fruity beverages needed for the upcoming tour of artist's tents. The smells call out "Eat Me" this must be a fair. And we follow. One of everything, please. Do we have enough cash? Can Gypsy have that fried pork tenderloin that Louie Hillenmeyer just offered? Gypsy, on loan while Paul visits San Diego and our first adventure taking a dog to the fair. Aah she's cute.  How old is she? Oops, I almost stepped on her. Comments that got old over the day and a good reason for leaving her at home next time.
So we make the loop to look at all the juried artists in this year's fair. What an incredible range. You have to see it to experience it.  But I like the filler. The people. Mostly strangers that want to talk about the art and wares in a particular tent, the colors, the skill, the talent and time and the artist and artistry. The only thing missing was more artists and tents. Problem? Take over more space in the park? Move the venue? No!!! It is the Woodland Art Fair and artist, neighbor and patron need this space. And yes, I stopped by the "Shakespeare" tree and said a little prayer.
The hit of the fair? It had to be the penny floating in bags of water to keep the flies away from some vendor's areas. Does it work?  You will have to Google and decide. But I did not see any flies. With the cooler temps and the doors and windows open these days I might have to give this a try.  And yes you can buy this contraption or just make your own.
2010 was a good year for the AFB. Will I go again next year? Yes. I hope I'm around for the 70th anniversary.  ô¿ô


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