As one that is just passing by, it might be unimaginable to think about the work that was involved to fill up a tent with artwork at a festival market.
When you enter my market tent and are bombarded with colourful coffee cups and art prints, framed paintings and postcards, it is a visual delight.
To get to this point, there have been many setbacks. Some times it’s small things like the spray nozzle on the aerosol varnish not having pressure. That would be okay if it didn’t mean I had to wait a week for more of the special varnish I use for my artwork to come in as a custom order.
Sometimes it is a broken drill bit that is stuck in the drill press and not having the right chuck to get it opened up, delaying a step in one of many creative endeavors. It’s cut ting out small pieces of felt to go on the back of necklaces to ensure customers are satisfied with the feeling of the jewelry on their skin.
Sometimes it is formatting posters to display and running out of printer ink, and then involving my son who has to run to the store (perhaps twice) to grab some more for me while I frantically continue to prepare for the market. Sometimes it is ensuring there is double of what was sold last year only to find that none is necessary this year.
There is the carrying of large metal frames to display my artwork on, and not having a cart to do so with. It’s worrying about rain destroying months and months of hard work in the studio. And then the market comes and the clouds part ways and the sun pours down and the people come out to play together as a community.
That is when the fun begins and all of the stressors that come with preparations completely wash away (and I do not mean that literally). I revel in the spirit of connection and all of the activity and conversation that occurs right before my eyes. Children whiz by on the Norseman Express, with faces delightfully painted by a gaggle of perpetually happy clowns.
High fives are given out so many times that the children expect it every time they speed past the tent. Children lazily play a game of hopscotch and enjoying the sidewalk chalk while sucking on a massive freezies that will be sure to give them hours of sugar energy in the bouncy castle.
I get to hear stories such as Mrs. Beck’s travels to England back in the day, with her children as she took up a teaching position there and her kids explored the country. Mrs. Fahlgren shared with me that my art would be travelling with her to Germany to relatives that adore our country so much. Mrs. Andersen asked each of her daughters to pick out an art piece for themselves; a beautiful gesture of giving to what will always be her baby girls. People walked by with gobs of gravy and cheese slathered french fries, artisan pizzas and sauerkraut laden sausages.
I got to see the faces of many former students and share huge bear hugs. I meet their beautiful, chubby wide eyed babies that are being introduced to the simple pleasures of a good ol’ Norseman Festival.
People wore their new bohemian attire, or walked around in their dirty, sweat laden base ball outfits after winning or losing a very close game. I got to step out of my tent and dance to great country music and I don’t even like country music, but I sure liked them. My husband stood gob stopped as he even saw me mouthing the words to a song or two.
There is still a lot to learn about me, sugar pops. The winds threatened to knock every art piece I created from here to Starratt Olsen. With almost every art piece that sold, I was told it was a gift for someone that once lived here or to re mind someone of their friends here in Red Lake.
The generosity of others is wonderful. I am thankful for not only those that supported my business this weekend at the festival, but also thankful for those that may have had no idea of how delightful it was to just see them enjoying all that the festival had to offer.
Thank you to all of those hard working volunteers that put so much into making this a fantastic weekend for all. I will see you all again next year!