Toledo Talk

Sign of the Economic Times?

We were out at TBG for the Crosby Festival of the Arts today from 10 am to 4'ish. The attendance was abysmal. We've never seen such a poor turn out. Hopefully, they will do better tomorrow.

There is truly something for everyone there. If you've never attended, don't think it is just paintings and pottery. There is everything from fine art to jewelry to lawn art. You name it, it can be had. Get on out there tomorrow and enjoy it. It is truly one of Toledo's finest events.

created by Foodie on Jun 28, 2014 at 07:12:32 pm     Comments: 34

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Thanks for the reminder. Everyone I speak to seems to revere the event, but I have to say, I don't much care for it. Bumbling around a crowded park while peering into zillions of little tents at a reliably hot time of year gets old after about 15 minutes.

Another thing to consider is demographics: we oldsters who are settled in our homes already have artwork in all the appropriate places. If I buy anything new at all, I have to remove a beloved sculpture or painting or whimsical whatsis from its spot, and sub in the new one, and then put the old one in storage somewhere. I like the artwork we have ... so I don't need to be shopping for new stuff every single year.

Sorry to be a buzzkill here ... like I said, everyone seems very positive about the festival and I hope they get a good turnout.

posted by viola on Jun 28, 2014 at 08:12:31 pm     #  

I can appreciate that viola but, as I stated previously, there is far more to be had than art that hangs on the wall. Our walls are also full of years worth of acquisitions. So, for the last 10 years or so, when we visit the various Art Fairs, we purchase functional art.

Today, we bought a couple more stained glass pieces to hang on the inside of our windows; a couple of unique wine bottle stoppers; a few more wooden kitchen tools from "The Spoonman"; a unique spoon rest (since I never seem to have enough when all 6 burners are blazing); some hand carved, wooden Christmas ornaments........you get the idea. There is truly something for everyone besides wall art.

And, you couldn't ask for a walk in a more lovely setting than TBG.

posted by Foodie on Jun 28, 2014 at 08:39:45 pm     #  

Foodie- Thanks for the reminder. This slipped our radar this year but now we blocked out a couple of hours tomorrow.

posted by OneMoreBourbon on Jun 28, 2014 at 09:44:09 pm     #  

I was one of the judges for the art this year. I hope you liked what you saw foodie!

As for a sign of the economic times... could be that everyone is so starved for warm weather & good times after the nightmare winter we just experienced, that perhaps... people are just distracted by their back yards this summer?

posted by upso on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:06:14 am     #   2 people liked this

Is there a parking or entrance fee?

posted by shamrock44 on Jun 29, 2014 at 01:05:40 am     #  

It is $8 to get in, but the event is free to TBG members, shamrock44. Parking is free if you use the lot with access off Bancroft. We paid $5 to park in a resident's front lawn on Elmer Drive (yeah, we are big shots like that).

We were there from 1 to 3 yesterday; it seemed fairly busy. It seemed a little lower than last year, but I would not choose the word "abysmal." Perhaps the muggy heat kept some folks away - I was sweating like a red shirted Enterprise crew member on an unknown planet.

posted by historymike on Jun 29, 2014 at 06:26:57 am     #   1 person liked this

historymike posted at 06:26:57 AM on Jun 29, 2014:

It is $8 to get in, but the event is free to TBG members, shamrock44. Parking is free if you use the lot with access off Bancroft. We paid $5 to park in a resident's front lawn on Elmer Drive (yeah, we are big shots like that).

We were there from 1 to 3 yesterday; it seemed fairly busy. It seemed a little lower than last year, but I would not choose the word "abysmal." Perhaps the muggy heat kept some folks away - I was sweating like a red shirted Enterprise crew member on an unknown planet.

Did you speak with any of the artists? Many of them were using even more harsh terms.

That event is normally elbow to elbow with a steady stream of items being carted out to the vehicles. That was not happening yesterday.

posted by Foodie on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:38:04 am     #  

"I was sweating like a red shirted Enterprise crew member on an unknown planet."

This is why photoshop was invented.

posted by justread on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:42:24 am     #  

upso posted at 12:06:14 AM on Jun 29, 2014:

I was one of the judges for the art this year. I hope you liked what you saw foodie!

As for a sign of the economic times... could be that everyone is so starved for warm weather & good times after the nightmare winter we just experienced, that perhaps... people are just distracted by their back yards this summer?

upso:

We ALWAYS enjoy this event. It is a quality show that, IMHO, rivals the best of them. This is why we like to see it crowded and bustling.

While we also enjoy the A2 Art Fairs, the size they have become makes them overwhelming - and not an event that one can cover in a single day.

When you say you were a judge, does that mean you judged who and what was allowed to participate or you judged the art once it was here and the booths set up? Just curious.

We began noticing last year that some of the artists we would see only in A2 are now coming to the CGFA. Good to see.

posted by Foodie on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:46:17 am     #  

I know have been on that same planet, and named it, but it's unprintable.

posted by Mariner on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:47:00 am     #   1 person liked this

I'm at the opposite end of the spectrum. I do not enjoy these events. But my wife is dragging me out there this morning. I know I'm uncouth and shallow, but this event seems just like the Sylvania fair, A2 fair, UT art fair, etc.

But I'll be there paying my admission fee and wrangling 2 demon children in 100% humidity!

posted by slowsol on Jun 29, 2014 at 09:55:25 am     #   1 person liked this

Am uncouth and shallow, was dragged to these events, named it, but it's unprintable.

posted by Mariner on Jun 29, 2014 at 10:25:32 am     #  

Mariner and slowsol:

On the upside, they have ice cold Fat Tire beer - as well as some other fru-fru adult beverages for your enjoyment.

See? I told you there is something for everyone at this event!

posted by Foodie on Jun 29, 2014 at 10:28:54 am     #  

2 reason not to go: 1. sweating like a red shirted Enterprise crew member. 2. a lot of crap some call "art" that will end up at a garage sale. Let's just be real folks.

posted by justareviewer on Jun 29, 2014 at 11:06:03 am     #   1 person liked this

Blade makes it sound like a success: http://www.toledoblade.com/Culture/2014/06/29/Crosby-Festival-is-hot-humid-and-beloved-by-devotees-of-art.html

@foodie I was part of the group that decided who got to show / sell their work. I think there is a desperate judging for things like "best in show" etc but that's post our review round.

posted by upso on Jun 29, 2014 at 11:11:36 am     #  

I always wonder why they have to have things like this during the hottest part of the year. Wouldn't October be better?

posted by dell_diva on Jun 29, 2014 at 11:23:58 am     #   1 person liked this

Foodie:

I did not specifically discuss attendance with individual artists; we chatted with a few about particular pieces of art that intrigued us, but never got around to the attendance question.

Now that you mention it, I did see more than a few dejected-looking artists with glum looks on their faces or laying down in the shade. Yesterday I joked to my wife that this might be a sign of the Tortured Artist Syndrome, but perhaps these folks were depressed due to lower attendance.

I think the food lines were also longer last year, now that I think about it a bit. I remember last year that the food vendors seemed to have 10 or more people in line at any one time, but this year the lines were short (we always seem to go at around the same time each year, middle of the day and hot as Hades).

posted by historymike on Jun 29, 2014 at 11:27:22 am     #  

dell_diva posted at 11:23:58 AM on Jun 29, 2014:

I always wonder why they have to have things like this during the hottest part of the year. Wouldn't October be better?

it's at a giant garden. i think they are highlighting the grounds when they are at their most beautiful / flowering etc.

posted by upso on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:09:46 pm     #   1 person liked this

Again, thanks for the reminders, Foodie. I could use a few nice wooden spoons myself. As for wall art, we have that plus sculptures on tables and on the floor, glassy window elements that I have to keep dusting :-( and vases and garden art and fabric art all over the house ... truly, I would have to pack something away to make room for the new.

Now that I have established my cred as an art lover, I have to say I would be all over this event if there were a place set aside for Star Trek roleplay or even a Renaissance festival element ... or a schedule of entertainment by the Society for Creative Anachronism with the costumes and the weapons. I would pay extra to see HistoryMike sweating in that red shirt. I would probably even buy a red Trekkie shirt as a souvenir.

Honestly, there are several festivals around town that would be reinvigorated if they could combine forces and have one large, bustling, diverse event. But those events seem to be place-bound, built around one neighborhood or one church.

posted by viola on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:25:57 pm     #  

Toledo must be ground zero for sissies. It's not hot. Yesterday was great. Today is great with a mostly cloudy sky, breezy wind, and Toledo temps at 2:00 pm ranged from 82 to 84 degrees.

Bunch of air-conditioned pansies.

A few months ago, people were whining about the snow and cold, which I considered to be fantastic too.

I enjoyed the Crosby art fest today for a few hours and proudly bought more art because it's impressive. I like talking to the artists. Always a great event. I admire the creatives, the makers.

posted by jr on Jun 29, 2014 at 02:29:54 pm     #   8 people liked this

Me too. I bought a poet. They are really cheap in the new economy. He's in the garage while I make room in the hallway. I should check on him.

posted by justread on Jun 29, 2014 at 03:43:30 pm     #   4 people liked this

LOL @ justread

posted by shamrock44 on Jun 29, 2014 at 05:11:18 pm     #   1 person liked this

So ABC just reported this year the attendance spiked and interviewed artists that said they had their best sales year ever.

posted by MrGlass419 on Jun 29, 2014 at 06:14:22 pm     #  

Foodie you got some 'splainin to do!

posted by upso on Jun 29, 2014 at 06:24:25 pm     #   2 people liked this

It was packed earlier. And I don't care what anyone else says, when the wind stopped, it was brutal.

posted by slowsol on Jun 29, 2014 at 06:55:05 pm     #   1 person liked this

upso posted at 06:24:25 PM on Jun 29, 2014:

Foodie you got some 'splainin to do!

Ricky,

I can't tell you how pleased I'd be to be wrong - flat out wrong.

So, today's attendance must have really kicked up? It has been a BEAUTIFUL day. Warm, breezy, some clouds, mostly sunny, a few sprinkles.

If you have your a$$ parked in the house today - I'd like a word with you!

posted by Foodie on Jun 29, 2014 at 07:43:55 pm     #  

It was the TT effect. Glad to hear that attendance was considered to be good.

posted by viola on Jun 29, 2014 at 08:37:53 pm     #  

We went yesterday, dropped the kids off in the kids area for a little bit while they made sun hats. Yes, the heat was brutal in the sun yesterday, especially with the humidity. I think I would have weathered the fair better if lemonade had not been a whopping $6.

It was the first time I'd gone in years, and was kind of surprised at the prices. I often wondered how I'd been able to afford it when I went in the 1990s, lack of kids notwithstanding.

posted by Anniecski on Jun 30, 2014 at 09:55:55 am     #  

So Foodie's perceived lack of attendance at the festival was a 'sign of the economic times' and it turned out to be a very strong year for the festivaI.

Guess things are looking up in the economy...

posted by SensorG on Jun 30, 2014 at 11:58:09 am     #   2 people liked this

I've always found the artistic vendor crowd to be somewhat whiners (my parents travel that circuit with my dad's artisan blacksmith products). A few years ago, a friend of theirs did this show for the first time and complained about the lack of sales, etc. but I noticed they were at the show this year.

Do they complain in the hopes of warding of would-be vendors so they don't have to be as competitive on prices? Just a thought.

posted by MrsArcher on Jun 30, 2014 at 02:04:59 pm     #  

Do they complain in the hopes of warding of would-be vendors so they don't have to be as competitive on prices?

There is only so much disposable income at any vending venue. The more impulse items or items similar to yours that are there, the less you will share the pot.

posted by Trilby on Jun 30, 2014 at 02:18:07 pm     #  

SensorG posted at 11:58:09 AM on Jun 30, 2014:

So Foodie's perceived lack of attendance at the festival was a 'sign of the economic times' and it turned out to be a very strong year for the festivaI.

Guess things are looking up in the economy...

All I know is what we saw for the 5 or 6 hours we were there on Saturday. Comparing the attendance to the previous umpteen years we've attended, it was extremely low. Many of the artists we've purchased from over the years were complaining of poor to non-existent sales. And as historymike noted, the food vendor lines - normally packed especially around the noon hour, had few people waiting.

If the numbers are accurate, things apparently picked up significantly after we left and yesterday. As I stated in response to upso, I'd be very happy to be wrong.

But, that doesn't fit your usual snarky style does it Sensor?

As for the economy, a decline of 2.9% in the GDP is hardly what I'd call "looking up".

Of course, this is likely the first you've heard of it.

posted by Foodie on Jun 30, 2014 at 03:48:07 pm     #   1 person liked this

I didn't go this year due to reasons beyond my control. I usually attend.

One thing I've noted is that all the fine artists in the show have a good idea what their work is worth and charge accordingly. Translation: You can't buy a 30×42 landscape, oil on canvas with frame for $50, which is what the average Toledo Joe thinks it's worth. Fine art is expensive, see... That said, I have bought a few items over the years (mainly paintings) that were reasonably priced and excellent quality. I still have them.

I think the economy plays a part here. Things are not as good as they used to be, and the hot weather doesn't help any. I also note that over the years the show is less about fine art and more about crafts, which I have no interest in.

So there we have it. My own two cents.

posted by madjack on Jun 30, 2014 at 04:41:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

Actually I'm pretty snark free these days, getting stalked by a couple of right wing nut jobs will do that.

But let's get this straight: you think poor attendance = bad economy, I'm pointing out that the attendance was good and sales where great, so by your logic then, the economy must be getting better.

http://www.13abc.com/story/25898985/artists-say-crosby-festival-sales-something-special-this-year
...........................................................................
Artists who set up shop at the Crosby Festival of the Arts at the Toledo Botanical Garden this year say sales were great.

In fact, according to glass artist Kelly Crosser-Alge, "This is the best in ten years...sales were great!" Not only were sales good, but she took home a first-place prize at the juried art show. "It makes you glad as an artist, because you work so hard and your whole income rests on a few days."

Kelly owns Modern Ancient Glass in Findlay. Her work ranges in price from $50 to $3,000 dollars, depending on the piece. "Sold a couple of big ones last night and a lot of smaller ones. So, home I went and my husband was very happy."

Pottery artist Jill Tortorella came in from Illinois to set up shop at the festival, just as she's been doing for the last eight years. She says her sales were up more than 30%. "I keep making new things, so when the collectors come up, they have something new to pick from."

Sales weren't the only thing on the rise, attendance spiked as well. Nearly 20,000 people came for the festival. Marketing and events director Matt Killam said, "The weather has certainly been a help to that. We have great artists this year, a great turnout. We are really pleased."

So are the artists, they say they will be back next year for more.
...............................................................................

posted by SensorG on Jun 30, 2014 at 05:09:34 pm     #