What does it take to put on an art show you ask? The Blind Bay Painters have hosted their annual art show every year for about 50 years now and while many groups struggle to find volunteers to put on events and activities, there is no shortage of artist volunteers to assist in the making of the Blind Bay Painters Art Show and Sale. The 30+ artists work throughout the year finessing their art getting paintings ready for the once a year event. But putting on an art show requires different skills; it requires leadership, organization, work ethic, and teamwork. We are thankful to the great leadership we have had over the years, for leading the group in sometimes difficult situations such as the prior year flooding in the hall. While this may have stopped some groups, we all strongly advocated that “the show must go on” and we were right! It was one of the best years for visitors and sales, we have had. While last year it was simplified to the upper level of the hall to workaround this problem, this year we have a renovated gallery and both levels to enjoy for our now 3 day show!
A month or two before the art show begins, all the planning occurs. Decisions are made at meetings with all members about show content, times, payment processes, advertising, group projects, themes, prizes to be awarded, etc. Instructions and procedures are fine tuned, posters are made and distributed, and on the day prior to the art show, there is excitement in the air as paintings are brought in and registered, art is hung, flowers are arranged, food is refrigerated, and the artists are all doing their pre-volunteered jobs to prepare!
During the show, artists take shifts greeting guests, and assisting visitors, managing sales, and helping in the kitchen offering beverages/snacks. Voting slips are handed out to determine which painting will become this year’s people’s choice award. Door prizes are shown and draws are made on the final day to determine winners.
At the end of the show, all the artists come together again, to collect their unsold artwork, help out with cleaning the hall and to give our final hugs of the summer, to our friends that we hope to see again in September. It’s a day of pride, for an event that we have all come to love, and we all know could not be done without everyones help and participation.
So what does it take to put on an art show, you ask? For us, it takes a willingness to step up and do what needs to be done, even if it’s outside our comfort zone. It’s knowing that an art show doesn’t just happen, it takes lots of work and cooperation. And it’s an appreciation to everyone for all their efforts, so that we all can benefit from a community event that brings people together!