This weekend had its challenges: a 5:00 a.m. set-up following the hour lost to “springing-forward” plus another hour lost due to travel eastward, location challenges including a restaurant encroaching into our space, and temperatures and humidity that seriously challenged the wardrobe in the luggage I packed almost a month prior. Combine these temporal challenges with some unwittingly insulting comments, and sometimes I question why I have chosen to share my artwork in this way. Easily forgotten are the importance of accessibility and the democratization that the art fairs provide, the richness of watching people interact with my work, and all the lessons I can learn when I am paying attention.
- Mile Marker 268, 16x22
Then with one brief encounter I remembered without a shadow of a doubt why I was standing in the street, tired and sweaty, allowing any passerby to interact and experience my artwork. It made up for each frown that exited my booth, the Wizard of Oz jokes that are endured, each “these are just photographs” that is heard. As I stood in the back corner of my booth trying to escape the blazing hot sun a elderly woman and her daughter stopped in front of my booth. I couldn’t hear all of the words said when the mother placed her chin close to the daughters shoulder to speak very low, with an ease between them that made it clear that this exchange had been happening in just this way for a long time. But I did hear her tell her daughter that my images felt like summertime, it was warm outside and probably the end of the day, that she thought maybe you could walk forever without encountering anyone or getting where you were going. And as the sweat rolled down my back and she described my artwork to her blind daughter, I knew why I was there.