A favorite Art Fair Memory
We have been participating in art fairs and art shows since 2010 and over the years we have seen it all I think. Trying to choose one favorite memory is very challenging so instead I chose to very favorite stories.
It was late May and college graduation season that year we did our first Hessler Street fair. Hessler is a Street on the campus of Case Western reserve University, a private college on the east side of Cleveland. Hessler Street fair began in the 1960s when the college itself was trying to bulldoze down old Row houses for they are building expansion program. The inexpensive student housing which was on Hessler Street was some thing the students didn’t want to lose so they started an art and music festival and basically sat in refusing to move. Eventually the college gave up and let the street remain. But the festival continued annually as an art and music festival featuring 50 artists and a live music stageWith 20 to 25 bands over the two day period. Many of the old hippies come back and were organizers of the event. The atmosphere was fun, the crowd was very diverse and eclectic. Those two days went so quickly and we had so much fun. But the one the siding that took the cake was a guy who dressed in a Superman costume that was far too small for him. He played guitar and was a wealth of old country music knowledge although I don’t think his current ability to think was strong. It was just humorous and unique.
The other event that really sticks out in my mind was several years ago we were in York Pennsylvania for the Yorkfest. That was the year I did wrap my replica of Gustav Klimt’s The woman in gold, the portrait of a wealthy Viennese woman. At the time it was very popular to talk about a movie that was done telling the story of how the niece of the owner of the artwork fight the Viennese government for the rights to her family‘s artwork that was seized by the Nazis during World War II. Against all odds, a Samsung and goliath type story this proved to be when this niece won her case and the painting was now hers to own. A woman stopped at the booth and stared at that painted silk, my version of the painting and just was fixated. Her lady friends talked her out of standing there and pulled her on down the path but she came back and again stood there staring at the painting and fingering it. I don’t always talk to people when they’re looking at things because sometimes people will just run away like scare deer so I just let her go but after a time she was still there so I walked up and asked if she had questions. She asked me to tell the story again of the painting. You could tell she was thinking deeply. And her accent was European of some sort. Well the day went on and we were getting ready to pack up to go home.I don’t always talk to people when they’re looking at things because sometimes people will just run away like scare deer so I just let her go but after a time she was still there so I walked up and asked if she had questions. She asked me to tell the story again of the painting. You could tell she was thinking deeply. And her accent was European of some sort. Well the day went on and we were getting ready to pack up to go home.I had stepped away for a moment and when I came back that woman was standing in the booth and Steve was holding scarf in his hands trying to start wrapping it. I asked the woman again if she was really aware of the price and she said I must have this. The story of that painting impacted me deeply. A little tear fell from her eye and I connected with her for a moment and away I never anticipated. To this day I don’t know the details of what was going on in her thoughts but I can only suggest that she had some connection to Nazi Germany or living through the holocaust. She thanked me as I handed her the package of that scarf wrapped up and I realized what connected with my soul just connected with hers too. It was moving. I sat down in the booth and got a bit teary realizing that Art can move someone in a deep way. That was the first time some thing I created, although it was a replica of unknown artists work, got such an amazing reaction.