Hello, Fobot Fans. Sorry for the long absence–I’ve been meaning to write about our trip to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver over the July 4 weekend, but it’s been work work work ever since we got back. You know, I actually started writing this post a month ago, when I finally had the opportunity–nay, the requirement–to sit still for a whole evening. I’ll tell you why at the end of this post. If I tell you now, you may stop reading, or at the very least, have your reading experience tainted by unsavory mental images. But I’ll give you a hint–I recently turned fifty…
After leaving Des Moines, swimming away in a sea of mastiff slobber, we headed for our old stomping grounds–Colorado Springs, CO. After 17 years in Raleigh, I cannot fully explain the ecstasy induced by spending time outdoors in the summer without being covered in sweat and mosquitos. Not to mention six good hair days where I didn’t resemble Roseanne Rosannadanna without the bangs. This whole portion of the trip was so wonderful that I have vowed, once Phil retires, to find a way of living in Colorado for the summer and basing operations there from July to September. And I’m not even going to go into the joy of seeing all our old friends. On our final night, Eve and Sol hosted a party at their gorgeous home, overlooking the mountains, that remains the best party I have ever attended in my life. And not just because I didn’t have to cook or clean up after.
We spent the day before Cherry Creek in Boulder, visiting a friend from my art licensing days (man, does THAT seem like a century ago). We were asked to do a Friday morning TV spot for some Denver TV stations, so decided to spend Thursday night in Denver to avoid having to get through rush hour traffic in the morning. Here’s a picture from the shoot:That’s Denver media personality Dan Daru sticking a Fobot’s groin into the camera lens and asking the anchors if they knew how he could tell it was a boy (by the bow tie, of course). Yup, Dan is quite the comedian. A very nice man, very funny, but on the whole an unnerving experience, as you just never knew what the hell he was going to say next.
Setup for the show proceeded smoothly, and although it didn’t officially start until Saturday, we participated in a preview event Friday night. Which meant that Phil got to man the booth by himself, while I attended the gala. Imagine, if you will, about 20 sweaty artists hobnobbing with a few hundred well-dressed, wealthy art patrons at a formal event with much food and wine and an open bar. Sweet… There were individual menus at each place setting telling us what wines would be served with what course. I kept waiting for a waiter to ask if I would be having the filet mignon or the sea bass. Silly me, they brought us each both. DO NOT TELL PHIL–he was stuck in the booth and believes we were given cold baloney sandwiches and juice boxes.
Saturday was hot, by Denver standards–93 degrees, but so bone dry the the bottles of ice water the volunteers brought us every hour didn’t sweat. It was pretty funny–the volunteers, knowing that most of us weren’t local, kept INSISTING that we drink the water, citing the area’s altitude and low humidity. I think they need to change the state motto to “Welcome to Colorado. Here’s your water”. But although the locals apologized for the heat (and after surviving the Great Sauna of Des Moines, we just laughed) they were there to BUY. By the end of the day, we’d racked up our biggest single day of sales ever. What can I say–Denver loves robots.
Sunday started out the same, but cooler and with the threat of rain later in the day. Great sales until about noon, and then…nothing. Still crowded, still nice weather, but that elusive thing art show people call “buying energy” just evaporated without explanation. At first I thought it was just us, but everyone’s sales plummeted. It was the weirdest thing–I thought we’d lost our mojo for good.
Fortunately, Mojo came back on Monday. Starting with some of the most interesting, discriminating buyers we’ve yet encountered; middle and high school students with a checkbook, part of the Janus art buying program. Janus, a large investment company with a mission to get art into the schools, gives selected schools a big chunk of money to buy art at Cherry Creek for their school. But rather than just giving it to the teachers or school administrators, they give it to committees of students who, after asking many thoughtful questions, bought three of my best Fobots. Afterwards, they had to present their choices in an open forum and explain their decisions. I’m sorry I missed that, but as I mentioned earlier, Mojo was back, and sales were brisk again. By the end of the day, we’d wrapped up our best show ever, which made the two day drive home a joyous thing.
Which brings us back to Raleigh, a severely depleted inventory, and three–count’em THREE–shows coming up in September. Long’s Park Art and Craft Festival in Lancaster PA, September 3-6, our triumphant return to the St. Louis Art Fair September 10-12, and the Plaza Art Fair in Kansas City September 24-26. So I’ve been a robot-making fool for the last several weeks, sitting still only long enough to prepare for “Baby’s First Colonoscopy” last month. If you’ve been through this, then you know where I was sitting. And that “salt” and “citrus” are two tastes that should NEVER be combined.