Powers Crossroads Slipping...

Monday we trekked down to Powers Crossroads (PC) for the arts and craft festival. It was disappointing to say the least.

For years it’s been a must on my schedule.

I never leave the event without seeing some great talent, pottery I can’t walk away from and jewelry that I have to wear home. My wonderful husband, Greg, always buys me some sort of one-of-a-kind jewelry, usually earrings because that’s what I pick out and we usually find at least one piece of pottery or other work of art to carry home. This year I took home a pair of earrings, and while I like them a lot, I usually have a hard time choosing which ones I want and often get two or three different pair. This year, one pair, no competition.

So much of the art seemed to be… well, typical, run-of-the-mill. The same items that you’d see at any non-juried craft fair (as opposed to an ART festival that’s judged and juried). I’ve always gone to PC to see something a cut above. Not saying there weren’t some great talents at the show --- there just weren’t anywhere near as many. The overall quality is down. Way down.

I had an idea things might not be going well a few weeks back. A fellow potter friend of mine had missed the deadline for getting into the show, so she thought she’d try to get into the Moss Oak Plantation Craft Fair that piggybacks on PC traffic and fame. It’s not a juried show like PC. She saw the office for PC while down there trying to find out how to get into the other show, and on a whim stopped in and asked if she could by chance get into PC. She showed the lone lady in the office a photo of her work (or a piece of it, don’t remember which), and the lady said sure, there’s space and you’re in. So much for being a juried show. And this was almost two months after the entry deadline, and just a few short weeks before the show.

I remember when artists complained because they couldn’t get into the show as their work didn’t qualify. It was a little never-wracking hoping you’d make the cut. There was strong competition to get one of the booths. Could be my faulty memory, but it appeared that one whole section was empty this year.

I talked to a lot of the artists at the show as I wanted to make PC my fall pottery show. It’s close to where I live, which put it high on my list to target. Only one artist said they were happy with the show.

I saw many of the vendors who are usually in the Moss Oak Plantation area had booths at PC this year. Many of the regulars I usually visit weren’t there this year. It had more of a flea-market flavor.

I’m not sure what’s going on, whether gas prices are keeping artists at home or whether there’s something happening at PC. I know there are new people running the show this year. There were some glitches with that, long time booth spaces given to someone new, putting the same type artists next to each other, etc. But you have to give the new guy on the block a bit of a break, learning curve, etc., etc. and I doubt that affected artists wanting to come this year. It might affect them for the following year if ruffled feathers weren’t smoothed over.

PC did a lot of TV advertising. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great until Monday so walk-in traffic wasn’t as good as it could have been. Most of the artists I talked with took that into consideration knowing you can’t judge a show by one year.

I decided not to show down there next year. The artists I talked with said they were mostly selling things in the $15, $25 and $35 range. Most said they had to make $2,000 to break even (gas, hotel, booth costs, material costs, etc.). That’s tough to do when you’re selling small dollar items.

Just another quick side-note: I dragged Greg over to Moss Oak on the way out just to get some veggies (there's usually a fresh-product stand with great fresh fruit and products). Hardly anyone displaying at all over there. Maybe ten booths? As said, a lot of them were over at PC this year... However, my produce vendor wasn't anywhere to be found.

OK, I’ve moaned and whined enough! Hate to be so negative about the show, but I really find it sad that what was once a quality show is so obviously on the downward spiral.

I’m going on-line to see if I can get on some email lists for other local shows. I’ll be checking them out as I want to find a fall show for selling my pottery. I miss the Atlanta Arts Festival!


Art Program Funding Up to $2000 (per organization) in Clayton, Coweta, Fayette, Henry and Spalding Counties


8/15/07 What is the Grassroots Arts Program? The Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) is funded by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations from the Georgia General Assembly to make sure that all Georgians have access to the arts activities which enrich all of our lives. Arts Clayton has once again been named by the Georgia Council for the Arts as the FY 2008 re-granting agency for GAP in Clayton, Fayette, Henry and Spalding Counties, and is very pleased to announce that Coweta County has been added to our re-granting area for FY 2008.

The idea behind GAP funding is to help smaller, “emerging” groups get off the ground – to “fill in the gap” between start-up and when an organization is ready to apply directly for larger funding to agencies such as the Georgia Council for the Arts, OR become self-sustaining through admissions and/or other resources. Ideally, Grassroots Arts Projects will create new opportunities for citizens to experience the arts, while fostering greater awareness and developing local partnerships in the arts. Examples of projects eligible for funding include: visual arts exhibits, concerts, readings, theater and dance performances, film programs, folk art projects, storytelling, workshops, and art festivals. Projects combining arts and education are encouraged.

This statewide arts program is designed to encourage local collaborations between artists, arts organizations, and non-arts organizations, in order to serve a broad range of Georgia’s residents. Every Georgia County receives an equal per-capita allocation. Funding is open to any non-profit 50l(c)(3) tax exempt organization or unit of local government. Civic clubs, churches, theatre groups, arts festivals, Boys & Girls clubs, libraries, senior citizens’ centers, Parks & Recreation Departments also may be eligible to apply!

There is plenty of time to apply for the GRASSROOTS ART PROGRAM (GAP) grants. Forms and granting guidelines are available on line at www.artsclayton.org, by email request to artline@artsclayton.org or by calling Arts Clayton at 770-473-5775. The deadline for submitting completed applications is October 1, 2007 at 4 p.m.

Four GAP application workshops will be offered by reservation/appointment, at the Arts Clayton Gallery located at 136 S. Main Street in Downtown Jonesboro. Available times and dates are: Saturday, September 8 at 10am; Monday, September 10 at 10 am and 6 pm; and Wednesday, September 12 at 2pm. Please call Sara Cookson at 770-473-5775 to reserve a date and time to attend one of these sessions. Applicants should obtain application forms and funding guidelines prior to attending, and should bring their rough draft applications with them. The purpose of the workshops is to demystify the grant-writing process for potential applicants. All applicants (especially new) are encouraged to attend.

Funded projects must be accessible to the general public, must provide 50% of the total project cost as a cash match for the grant, and projects must be completed by June 30, 2008. For more information about the Grassroots Arts Program, to discuss a potential project, or to request assistance with an application, visit the Arts Clayton website at www.artsclayton.org where you may download the application and granting guidelines; email Arts Clayton at artline@artsclayton.org to request information; or call Sara Cookson at Arts Clayton 770-473-5775.


Hummingbirds & the Cold

I've been worried a bit about the cold weather & what it might do to my little hummingbirds. I had three up at the house tonight... it's getting dark and one is at the feeder right now. Usually they're long gone by 8:30 at night.

About half an hour ago I noticed one laying on the deck. There were two others dive bombing him (or her, I couldn't tell). I had the idea they were trying to get it to move, to revive it, but who knows maybe they were in attack mode.

I wasn't quite sure what to do, thought maybe I'd give it a rag to move into? Doesn't matter, I opened the door and it flew off. I suppose if it's on its last leg then tonight's cold weather will finish the job.

Here's a site if you want to find out more about the affects of cold weather on hummingbirds: http://www.hummingbirds.net/coldsnap.html These guys survived the freezing temps, hope they hang in there through this latest cold weather.

I was in the studio most of today, didn't see any of the ones that hang out down there. Could be I just missed them, I was concentrating on getting some work finished. I have another kiln load ready to go just as soon as today's creations dry sufficiently for me to fire. I'll be concentrating on glazing for the next couple of weeks. New colors to try! Can't wait.

Hummingbirds are back!

I was late putting out the hummingbird feeders... they were fussing at me. I put a couple of feeders on the porch, then put up all the feeders around the studio. They depleted the feeders around the studio in no time. It took them a few days to stop pouting and come to the feeders on the porch.

Now I have two hummingbirds coming regularly to the porch feeders, and two or three coming to the ones around the studio.

My favorite is the little feeder I hang inside the window bird-feeder I have. I know I've mentioned the bird feeder before? My son & daughter-in-law gave it to me for Christmas a few years ago (bought it at Wild Birds Unlimited in Peachtree City). It protrudes into the room and has a mirrored film so I can watch the birds eat up-close.

I've been able to be two inches away from the little hummingbirds as they feed. There are two hooks inside the feeder to hang the smaller feeders (97 cents at Wal-Mart).

The world just gets a little perkier & is a bit brighter when the hummingbirds are back. I'm watching the feeders on the porch as I write this. A bird just came up & perched on the feeder. My mom has birds that drink from her hummingbird feeders. Thus far the birds around here haven't figured out how to do get their beaks into the tiny holes. I'll try to take some photos when the sun comes out in a few days (rainy week ahead of us).



Experimentation is just a matter of course when you're working with clay (or any artistic media). Clay in particular lends itself to trying something new.

I have two full kiln loads of fired pots ready and waiting to be glazed. I have been playing with a new clay (Billy's clay, he teaches at the Fayette Art Center & Gallery). It's completely different from the normal clean, stiff clays I usually like to use. His has a bit of rough matter in it which really ads character. It's looser and more "wobbly" than what I usually use, so I've had to experiment a bit.

I also switched from the majolica red clay I've been using, which is low fire, to a red clay that fires from low to mid-range. I switched because I'll be teaching some slab classes at the Gallery and wanted a clay that allowed participants to choose their own range. I prefer low-fire for a variety of reasons. Others like to work in the mid or high fire ranges. If I ever get bored with discovering all there is to learn and do in the low-fire range I'll go back to working in mid and high... hopefully my life will be long enough to get there!

Sometime soon I'll be popping photos of my new works out on the site (www.Hummingbird-Hollow.com). I have some new glazes I'm playing with also. I just read an article on experimenting with bought glazes... ha, a whole new avenue to explore! Not that I haven't been mixing & playing around already, but the article did give me a few new ideas.