2019 Stillwater Arts Festival Review - "Firm Foundation Found in Front of Finnegan's"

I missed last year’s show because I was in Italy at the time.

The show organizers placed my booth here on purpose. I like it!

The show organizers placed my booth here on purpose. I like it!

It’s good to be back!

The Stillwater Art Festival is great for me. It's my 'hometown' show and it's the first show of my season. It’s great for networking with longtime local customers, share my “other job” with my friends from work, and it’s equally great for working out the kinks for the rest of the season: Did I forget my price signs? That’s okay! I'll take care of that in the evening and drive a couple miles to get home and print more.

Behind the Scenes

The management of the show changed hands a couple years ago. Since time immemorial, the show was managed by The City of Stillwater (Parks and Rec.) I left for Italy last year, and came back to find that now the show is managed by the Arts and Humanities Council. I wasn’t familiar with the council, so I didn’t have any clue on how it was going to be managed. All I knew was, “The show must go on!”

The show is traditionally a two-day event that takes place on the third weekend in April. It’s a good time for a show! There’s energy in the air: April 19 is a day of Oklahoma Remembrance, April 22 is the date of the land run, and the following week is the start of the OKC Festival of the Arts.

Novemberish: I receive the invitation to the show, but it doesn’t have hours in it. This makes sense. We don’t need all the fine details at this time. We only need assurance that the overall show will exist as a thing.

Februaryish: They post the hours of the show, and they’re kinda weird. This year’s schedule put the council in a tight spot. We have the OKC Festival starting April 23, but Easter Sunday is April 21. How do we have a two-day show on a weekend when one of the days of the weekend will involve most of the population of the city going home to spend Easter festivities with friends and family?

Compromise: Move the show up to Friday! But we can’t move it too far because most of the city is still at work until 5.

The actual final schedule:

  • (Set up the booth Friday morning)

  • Friday, 5 to 7 p.m.

  • Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • (Sunday, go enjoy Easter!)

Being at the show

Friday was speed dating, “You got two hours to step right up and get yourself some fantastic artwork! You can hem and haw about your decision after you buy it!” The two hours didn’t seem to matter much. The crowd came out, and we stayed open until nearly 8 that night!

Bottle the air, and sell it at other shows!

Saturday was the main event, and that was why we were there! The stage was close by, it wasnot pointing directly at us, but it was filling the air with good live music. The beer and wine tents were there to help smooth out the vibe. Everything was comfortable!

Quotes from the show

  • A kid pointed out my booth to his parents, “It’s painting, but it’s not!”