This morning, I had the honor of being a judge for the show prizes for the Royal Oak Clay and Glass Show. I headed out early and parked, and found the coordinator. He gave me a clipboard with the booth names and a pen, and some simple instructions. I started at one end of the show and spent the next three hours popping into every booth, looking carefully at each artist's work. I diligently scored each artist, keeping in mind my favorites for best of show and medium and other categories. It was a new experience going to a fair and carefully looking at each and every booth, I am usually there just to socialize and shop, more like a butterfly, fluttering around.
I used to do a lot of art fairs and shows years ago(this one in particular was one of my favorites to do), before my website business took off. It is not an easy life, that is for certain. But there is an amazing community of creative people that help each other out, and encourage each other in business and art, all the while competing for the same customer money. In some ways I miss it, the community at least (certainly not the hot sun and rain and all the other hardships that come with the art fair circuit) And it was great to see some of the same friends that I used to set up and display with in years past.
At the end of my scoring, I met up with the other juror, and we compared notes. We agreed on most points and compromised on a few, but pretty quickly came to a consensus. There was a lot of great work present but there are usually a few things that really stand out, and we spotted them independently, so the process was pretty easy once we shared notes.
I lingered a while after we finished, having lunch with friends, chatting with others, catching up. The sky started to darken, so I called it a day, tired from the sun. It was a beautiful morning and afternoon for an art fair, and I hope there was much prosperity and creativity shared with all the amazing artists present.