GAGA Arts Festival 2009

I finally found some time to write about my first open studio this past weekend at the Garnerville Arts and Industrial Center. It was a big success thanks to the local community and despite the scattered showers and cooler milder temperatures.

Since I've yet to build up a collection of large paintings, I decided to show the original art from my published work, some of which have not seen the light of day in years. I finally had an excuse to pull them out and hang them, rather casually on clips and string, for all to appreciate, including myself. It was cool to see them all up in one space.

I had a table set with crayons and pencils, prepared an activity book called "The Best Day," where the kids could write about their best day and illustrate it. I also brought my button maker for kids and "big kids" to make buttons. It was a hit! I also created a display on "How a Book is Published: an artist's perspective."

I sold a few books, and while most of the art was also for sale, with the sluggish economy, the pieces were admired from afar.

I most enjoyed talking to the attendees and all the kids. I met many bright children, some who wanted to be illustrators, others who were fascinated by the process and still others who just liked taking the time to create a story. I met a young girl who suffered from Hodgkins Lymphoma and was nearing the end of her treament with a good prognosis. As a survivor of childhood leukemia, we bonded over our "war stories," and before she left she showed me the story of her "Best Day," which she dedicated to me...excuse me...having a moment.

For many it was a big learning process, an eye-opener for local teachers and the regular art appreciator. So indeed it was a success even if I sold not a one painting.