Two more craft fairs: Experiment Suspended

Becky here: While the last of our grand experiment of the Summer of 2016 ended in late July, I thought as we enter into indoor Holiday Craft Fair season we should cover the last two Joel and I were able to go to…

Our outings to craft fairs this summer took a small dive in quantity, not that I’m complaining. Going to catch up here with the last two we went to.

Eagan:

The Eagan Art Festival is a good festival if you don’t like crowds or way too many booths. One lemonade in hand and you can make it by each booth without much trouble. It was a hot day with hot wind. All in a park that is shaped like a Pokemon ball.

pokemonpark

Becky and I guzzled water and lemonade, walking past art and craft booths without much stoppage. We got a single sun catcher that’s blue glass and mirror squares hanging from a fishing line. We’ll need to get more to make the effect better – though there’s not much sun to be had in a north facing apartment.

AirFairNecessities
Look for the Fair necessities, the simple fair necessities…

Becky also got herself some henna on her arm, which was pretty cool.

hennainaction hennatattoo

Becky here: I think the below two pictures sum up the Eagan craft fair best. While Eagan described as an “art” festival, the majority of the tents were filled with ornaments like ones below. There was a focus on cultural crafts or folk crafting, an igniting of the “Wow, My Grandma used to make those” nostalgia. So, the majority of the attendees were seen with heads tipped to one side saying, “Ahhhh….” and allowing memories to flood back. The bottom picture expresses exactly how miserable Joel was at this one. It was HOT. REALLY, REALLY HOT. 

doilies JoelatEagan

Overall comments: Nice art fair that you can do in about an hour. But that it took us 40 minutes to drive there makes it not worth the drive.

 

Loring Park:

A month later, in July, we went to the Loring Park Art Festival, which is another large circle of a park, though this one has a lake in the middle. The Hennepin/Lyndale headache is even worse this summer with construction, which meant parking quite a ways away (not really far, but the construction made our walk three times as far). We met friends we hadn’t seen in a long time and slowly ambled around the park counter-clock style looking at booths.

MoreConstruction Construction lake tents nature

Saw these sprinklers, which reminded me a lot of  the save points in a video game.

Better save before the boss fight
Alway save before the boss fight 🙂

As the experiment continues, I find I’m having a difficult time remaining engaged with the art/crafts in front of me and not having them wash together with every other example of wooden chopping blocks, mixed media paintings and kitchy crafts that we’ve seen already this summer. Right now, the experiment is leading me toward not appreciating crafts or art. Instead, I’m losing an appreciation for what elevates something from a hobby to an art.

mixedmedia

I’ll keep trying to remain present at our outings, but still, it’s so easy to quickly dismiss a booth with a glance. Maybe like I said earlier though, that’s the point. A particular booth should make a connection and call you to it – grab you by the guts in a way that it doesn’t for others.

We did return to a previous favorite – redshoes26 – where we got three more pieces for our wall to add to our first. We love these lil’ guys with their hand-made frames. Loved talking to the people behind the booth as well.

minipictures

Loring Park was previously part of a trio of art festivals that included Uptown and Powderhorn Park. We were glad to have it separated, particularly with the road construction. Loring Park is easily doable without trying to do more – which we did one year using the free shuttle, and we still were only able to to make it to two of the three.

Becky Here: We had to suspend our experiment by quantity due to the development of an unexpected medical condition which forced us to spend most of the summer inside with air conditioning. As it worsened, we were forced to suspend our experiment for the Summer of 2016. We didn’t come to a conclusion or a philosophy about what is art and what is craft, if they intersect, exist separately, are different from that which is called “folk craft” and “folk art.” I think these questions as well as the many, many festivals and shows we were forced to miss, asks us to continue the experiment in the Summer of 2017. I truly thought we could attend enough to understand how something sold out of a tent is the same or different than the Vangogh we saw earlier in Chicago. So, this year is a learning year. This is the year my body failed us. But we have our feet wet; we understand our mission. And next year, we’ll try again. 

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