I am so very honored to say that I won the Best of Show award for Art on the Square in Belleville, IL this year. Wow! I'm still speechless and it was a few days ago. With all of the congratulations, newspaper/television reporters, and the overall attention it was somewhat overwhelming but completely humbling when I thought about the other 104 masterful artists that were in attendance.
Many, many "thank you"s to every person who supported my efforts by purchasing my artwork. You are greatly appreciated and I am so blessed to know that you will have my art hanging in your homes. Wow, wow, wow...
The show was a huge success for me and for almost all of the other artists that I spoke with. The 90+ degree weather (it was really hot!) brought many people out to the fair and judging by all of the smiles that I saw they were having a great time.
I could hear live music playing and, when I had a moment, I could see people singing and dancing over by the band throughout the day and into the evening (the fair is open late on Friday and Saturday).
The many art fair volunteers kept both my husband, Thomas, and I from ever being hungry or thirsty by bringing wonderful, gorgeous, ice cold bottled water (I wasn't kidding when I said it was hot) and delicious treats all day long, every day of the fair. Your smiles and encouragement made the weekend a real joy for us. All of you deserve an award!
I noticed that there were many young people walking through the fair which is encouraging for me to see the younger generation interested in art and excited about it.
Here is a picture of my booth right after we set up on Friday afternoon. It's funny to look at for me because it looks so peaceful and calm.
Not long after I took that photo the crowds started to show up and as you can see below there were moments where it was difficult to step into my own booth! It was like this from the beginning on Friday (and a few minutes before) until the end on Sunday. Isn't that crazy?
On Sunday I was delighted to find out that one of the scratchboard artists in the High School Student Exhibition (which was another event you could go and see at the art fair) won one of the top ten awards out of the 240+ students that had submitted art for the competition. Below is a picture of the art, titled "Kitty Cat", and a picture of the artist, Jessica Kramer, with her art and ribbon. I was extremely thrilled when Jessica and her mom stopped by the booth so that I could meet her. What a joy it was to meet a fellow scratchboard artist and how rewarding for me to see her receive a university scholarship for her talent. Way to go Jessica!!!
The Best of Show award means that I will be able to go back to Art on the Square in 2013 and I cannot wait to be there. I wouldn't miss it for the world!