Thursday, February 9, 2017

Anatomy of a Show

You've seen pieces I have painted in the last several months and I thought I would give you a "behind the scenes" look at my latest show.

Once the paintings are completed, varnished, and framed, the packing begins. My husband and I put together a floor plan of my booth area. The island booth is 20 feet by 20 feet and both the inside and outside walls are filled with my original oil paintings save a small interior corner for giclee canvas prints. I have a total of 135 linear feet of wall space. With this kind of space, a lot of time is saved with a floor plan which ensures I bring enough to fill the space and not too much.

Packing involves lots of lists: booth parts, lights, electrical cords, light bulbs, desks, panels, shelves, step stool, dolly, and the black box. The black box is my catch-all box: utility knife, electrical tape, scissors, description cards, pens, flyers, tape, drapery hooks, velcro, and lots of other stuff. Then there are the paintings and prints. It generally takes 5- 6 hours to pack, all carefully accounted for in layers.

The next day, Friday, we are off on a two-day drive to Las Vegas, Nevada. We have two mountain passes and fortunately the driving was good both ways. Sunday morning we are up at 5 am so we can get to the staging area with the trailer by 5:45 am to stand in line and get a number to drive into the building. (we were #8 but were the 3rd in the building at 7:30 am.) Unload approximately 1800 pounds and it is time to start.

First we lay the carpet and then erect the walls. By 3pm, we quit for the day after finishing all the electrical.

Second day.  We start around 8am and by 3 pm, all the paintings are hung with description cards. Errands include picking up more light bulbs, extra extension cords, new guest book, and another table cloth. On Tuesday, I have a lunch meeting and spend the afternoon with finishing touches.

 Final touches, husband Jim vacuuming

The show (Safari Club International) opens on Wednesday morning.

When the show finishes at 5 pm Saturday, our crew of 7 dismantles the booth and carefully packs all the paintings (including all the sold ones for shipping) in 90 minutes. Many thanks to Jim V., Jeremy, Cody, Sariah, and Kevin, and of course my husband Jim, who all made the packing a fun experience.

Sunday morning we bring our truck and trailer into the building at 6:15 am, use our carefully constructed packing list and my husband and I load the truck and trailer. We are on the road home before 8 am.

Of course once home, we unpack and I begin ordering custom boxes for all the shipments.
It was a great show and I broke all my previous records for sales.

In the next few posts, I'll show a few of the paintings I finished just before the show.

NatureWorks in Tulsa, Oklahoma is my next show. February 24th and 25th at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.

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