Gosh, whilst this was a lot fun – it also proved to be a huge learning curve!
I set my stand up with the help of some very dear friends, (I couldn’t have done it without them), and then (fast-forward 4 - 5 hours), took off to wander around the halls and have a sneaky look at my fellow exhibitors’ stands, before the gates opened for the private view event. There were 160 artists in total that also included print makers, ceramicists, sculptors and photographers.
Such variety! Plenty were clearly seasoned exhibitors, and were happy to share tips and advice. Others were first-timers like myself. What I hadn’t anticipated was the rush – not quite a stampede – that ascended to the first floor within minutes of the doors opening for the private view, and appeared to be heading – with determined purpose – in the direction of my stand . . . .
Ha haha, reality dawned just as quickly with the realisation that the stand that had generated such enthusiastic intent (with many of the exhibitors themselves), was The Prince’s Trust stand. Of course! The penny dropped, the Prince’s Trust, whose stand shared a side panel with mine, had asked all exhibitors to donate a small canvas for them to sell at a uniform price of £45.00 The resulting collection of course represented a wonderful opportunity to purchase the work of some of the better-known artists at a snip of the price they would normally command. I watched with amused interest as people jostled, felt the competition and made hasty purchases, though that was but a fraction of the pleasure I felt when I heard later that my own donation (an oil painting of an out of season, wintry Devon beach scene) had sold in the first 20 minutes! That made my day.
Follow the link to view the artists who exhibited: