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Wisconsin: Land of Happy Cows (and Smiling Artists)

This past weekend we participated in Art Fair on the Square in Madison, Wisconsin.

http://www.mmoca.org/art-fair

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There were 475 artist booths surrounding the Capitol Square and the weather was perfect! Madison was gorgeous with lakes on both sides of the square providing cool breezes. The quality of the art at this show was very high and we felt honored to be there. We also had never seen the likes of these crowds at an art fair! We had, fortunately, listened to the advice of a veteran artist and opened very early on Saturday. There was a farmer’s market nearby and many shoppers came by to make purchases of art, as well. I did a brisk business well before the show even started. By 11AM I had taken in more than I usually do in a whole show.

Dawn(Dawn 71″ x 34″ Third Place Quilt Fest of New Jersey X 2014, Third Place, 1st Time Entry in a Paducah Show, AQS Paducah, 2014, Second Place Landscape, AQS Albuquerque 2015)

One customer couldn’t have been more than 25 years old. She pointed to my “Dawn” quilt, the highest priced work in the booth at that time, and said, “I’d like that one”. I had to pause a bit but then took the quilt down and got ready to process her credit card. She asked to pay by check and handed me a check from “Epic Systems Corporation”, a national medical software company. After asking around about it I learned that they hire very young employees and they send them out to the art fair each year to purchase art for their buildings. My lucky day! She said it would be hung in an area where the theme is very whimsical and appropriate for children. I can see it fitting in well there. I’m so glad this quilt found a good home where many people will be able to enjoy it.
Things did not slow down at all on Saturday. The crowds kept coming and kept buying.  We found that the decision to include a wide price range of art was probably a very good thing.  The bags were a big hit and inventory was already low by the end of the day.  Sunday was a little slower but I had steady sales all day, including mid price ranges. We experienced the typical Midwestern extreme friendliness and were also fortunate enough to find lodging with a friend of a friend. They were away for the weekend so we had a cute little bungalow to ourselves. Thanks, Kathy and Matthew!
Sunday morning I got an invitational award, meaning I’m invited back without having to go through the jury process and without having to pay the jury fee next year. I may also pick my preferred booth location. I’m a very happy camper. Thanks, Madison!  I will most definitely be back.

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