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Our Journey To Columbus Art Festival

Columbus Art Festival

In my eight years of doing art shows, Columbus Art Festival was the show that beat them all. We had so many new experiences and met so many nice, art loving folks. Let me tell you all about our four day journey.

We left out of Knoxville early Thursday morning and made the 6 hour drive up to Columbus. When we arrived and figured out where our booth was (there were around 275 artists) we were a little concerned. The booth was located off the beaten path a bit, which, at some shows can mean terrible traffic and sales. Our booth ended up being closer to the corner cross street so we remained optimistic (later we would learn that we had a booth spot where a ton of people where coming in and leaving out). We set up in the heat and by the time we got to the hotel we both had to wash our feet!! My friend had gotten us a good deal on a hotel downtown (close to the show) and we settled in and figured where we’d go for dinner.

Working on our initial Thursday afternoon set up

My brother had told me about a place in the German Village that had peanut butter cream puffs so we went there. There was a band at the front of the restaurant dressed in Bavarian costumes that sang in German, one even had an accordian. After we ate, we walked around the German Village and marveled at the adorable houses and cobblestone streets. While we strolled we noticed another restaurant and figured that the following night, if sales had been decent on Friday (the first day of the show), we would go. We both made our predictions about how the first day would be (the show was Friday, Sat, and Sun). Normally Fridays can be kind of slow so I gave a very modest figure, also considering that my last three day show had me second guessing if I should get an office job (BOOO!). My husband gave a more adventurous prediction for possible sales and I said NO WAY.

We got to the show the next morning and people were coming right away. We were open a half hour early and were already selling! I sold several paintings that day, along with a ton of prints. There was one customer in particular that stood out to me. He was an older man, and please don’t take offense, but usually older folks can be pretty conservative with their money, and don’t really buy anything. He was tall and had a mild demeanor, and after I chatted with him for a minute, he told me he wanted a certain painting. I was a little shocked and when he left the booth, I realized he reminded me of my grandfather. He wore the same type of slacks and told me I had a real gift. What was also interesting is Columbus is where my grandparents are from. My mother and her siblings were born there as well, so it was nostalgic I guess. In a way I felt like my grandfather was buying a painting from me (the one who taught me about art). By the time the day was over, we were back in the German Village celebrating!

Some of the paintings that sold at Columbus Art Festival

Saturday started off slower, and I was a little worried, but by the end of the day, not only did we have a record day of sales but we also were already having a record show!! That night we drove a few miles outside of town and treated ourselves to a nice dinner. We were so grateful and excited to finally after all these years swimming upstream (an artists life can be pretty unpredictable) we did so excessively well. It was like living a dream!

Sunday we packed up, checked out of the hotel and headed to the show for it’s final day. We did well that day too, and sold a larger fox painting that I had almost forgot to pack!

Our final outcome was mind blowing, and we hope to return to Columbus next year. What excites me the most is that in the years I have been doing this, I’ve experienced so many different things, but I had never had a blowout show like this. I’ve done shows were I sold a card-yes, one two dollar note card. I’ve done a show where a tyrant promoter told me to leave because I didn’t know where check in was.

We loaded out and made the long drive home, excited for next year. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported us artists. You help us keep working hard at what we do.

Our next show is Tomato Art Festival in Nashville, TN! See more upcoming shows HERE. If you are interested in a painting, read below on what’s available.