I spent last weekend with some girlfriends of mine in Norfolk, Virginia. Now this is a cool town. We watched the Admirals win a hockey game (tickets only $20!), ate fantastic tapas at Bodega on Granby Street ("Little Plates, Big Drinks!") and seafood at AW Shucks, and went to an art "show" in the Ghent district near the Virginia Zoo. This "show" is one of the Best Ideas Ever.
For you, my fellow artists and crafters out there, think about this scenario: you don't have to pay an entrance fee, pack up, drive, set up your booth, display your wares, and hope to your favorite deity that someone buys something. You are selling on your front porch. The entire neighborhood - at least ten blocks - is selling art and crafts on their front porches. Now, I'm not so naive as to believe that this would work everywhere. My front porch might as well be on Europa. But this show was just so...nice.
There were people walking around with their dogs and their kids and their friends, looking at (and buying!) art, and the artists appeared, overall, to be relaxed and happy with their front porch experiences. Most were having a glass or two and offering one to whomever happened by. My good friend Kelly gifted me with this print by artist Jennifer C Hilliard:
I'll close by paraphrasing a recent Facebook post by my friend Jennifer Thielen: If you really want to occupy Wall Street, buy from your local merchants, artists, artisans, and farmers. As romantic as the idea of the starving artist is, well, ya know, tapas at Bodega are really nice, too. : )