06
Oct
09

Oglebayfest

     On October 2, 3, and 4, I was exhibiting my art work at the Artist Market at Oglebayfest in Wheeling, WV. Rick Morgan, a former student of mine at West Liberty University and a kick butt clay artist, is the director of the Artist Market. Rick took it over last year and has been working toward improving the diversity and the quality of the arts and crafts exhibited at the event. My friend Kyle Hallam, Green County’s clay ninja, and I did the Artist Market last year when we found out Rick was the then new director.

    In addition to Kyle and myself, West Liberty colleagues Nancy Tirone and James Haizlett also exhibitied in this years market. Nancy exhibited her mixed collages, while Jim and his son, Will, presented their wood furniture, sculpture, and musical instruments. Jim was also selling his home made maple syrup, which according to Jim is “made with love”. Chris and I purchased a couple bottle before it was all gone!

Will Haizlett, Jim Haizlett, Nancy Tirone, Kyle Hallam, Chris & Robert Villamgna. In front is Jessica "Superstar" Leach, who helps make sure the Artist Market runs smoothly.

Will Haizlett, Jim Haizlett, Nancy Tirone, Kyle Hallam, Chris & Robert Villamgna. In front is Jessica "Superstar" Leach, who helps make sure the Artist Market runs smoothly.

     Kyle had the booth next to mine and decided not to bring any of his fabulous clay pieces with him this year. Instead, he took somewhat of a risk and created three large mixed-media wall works for the show. Kyle’s work was a big hit with market visitors, but there were several people who just did not know what to make of the mixed-media works.

Market visitors checking out Kyle's work.

Market visitors checking out Kyle's work.

The man, the myth, the legend.... artist Kyle Hallam with one of his works.

The man, the myth, the legend.... artist Kyle Hallam with one of his works.

 

One of Kyle Hallam's large wall pieces made of a variety of recycled materials.

Another one of Kyle Hallam's large wall pieces made of a variety of recycled materials.

    This was Nancy Tirone’s first time exhibiting her work at an art fair! Her work looked great and she was excited to get her feet wet as a festival artist. Nancy’s work is primarily collage with a variety of other media, especially Oil Bar. Nancy uses phrases and quotes in most of her work, and she weaves these words through her pieces. The statements become ingrained in the work both visually and in content.

Nancy Tirone's mixed-media collages.

Nancy Tirone's mixed-media collages.

 

My wife, Chris, purchases rolling pin from Will Haizlett as a gentleman tries out one of Will's mandolins.

My wife, Chris, purchases rolling pin from Will Haizlett as a gentleman tries out one of Will's mandolins.

 

Jim Haizlett working on a wood bowl in front of his booth.

Jim Haizlett working on a wood bowl in front of his booth.

Part of the Saturday crowd at the Oglebayfest Artist Market.

Part of the Saturday crowd at the Oglebayfest Artist Market. Obviously "kettle corn" is a big hit!

 

Suze excited to go home with a Villamagna piece!

Suz Pisano excited to go home with a Villamagna piece!

    I tried something this year at Oglebestfest that I have never done before at any art fair. I devoted one half of my booth to a “studio clean-up sale”. I was recently attempting to clean my studio and realized that in addition to all the assemblage items and tin cans, I also had a lot of old art work stacking up. This was work that was left over from previous theme shows, group shows, experimental pieces, and a few pieces that for some reason just did not find a home. I drastically reduced the prices of these pieces and, well….. the response was great! I moved a lot of older work out of my studio and made a lot of people happy in the process. In addition, I also sold several new works. 

    I was surprised to discover that it was not just Wheeling area people buying my work. My stuff went to homes in Cleveland, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Lancaster, PA! How great that Oglebayfest is attracting people from far outside our community.

    I did some trading with fiber artist Suz Pisano. Suz got my “Heart With Dagger” (see above) and my wife Chris was excited with two funky purses. Trading with artists is an added benefit to doing an art fair.

Will Haizlett working on one of his stools.

Will Haizlett working on one of his stools.

    Friday had a little activity in the early afternoon, but once the rains moved in only the artists were on the festival grounds. Saturday was warm and sunny, and the people came out in big numbers. Sunday was dry, but a bit cooler and cloudy. All in all it was a good weekend.

The smell of fried potatoes reaches all parts of the market area.

The smell of fried potatoes reaches all parts of the market area.

 

Bring on the onions!

Bring on the onions!

 

This is Kim, one of the new clay artists in the market, holding the Count Dracula I purchased from her.

This is Kim, one of the new clay artists in the market, holding the Count Dracula I purchased from her.

 

Nancy packing up her new panels on Sunday evening after finishing her very first art fair.

Nancy packing up her new panels on Sunday evening after finishing her very first art fair.

    Over the weekend Chris and I kept track of some quotes we heard from people passing by. Here are a few of them:

“Three of my crafter friends are not here…. and the show is smaller. What does THAT tell you!”

Guy on cell phone: “I’m at Oglebayfest. It’s a bunch of tents full of stuff that women like, and I’m just waiting around.”

“This must be the arty section.”             “There’s some different stuff here!”            “I don’t believe it! NO SLATE!”

Two women walking in front of Kyle’s booth: “What is THAT?” says the first woman. “JUNK…” says the second woman, who then sees Kyle and I, “….err,…PAINTINGS.”

    I think I can speak for all the artists in our “neighborhood” and say we had a great time! Next year we hope to get more of our art friends to come to Oglebayfest and join our “fine arts row”. Hey Kimster and Susan, are you reading this?

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5 Responses to “Oglebayfest”


  1. 1 susan
    October 6, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    I am reading it!!! You make the show sound like a lot of fun…I thought your whole goal in doing it was to drink wine and NOT sell art.

  2. October 6, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    Loved seeing the photos and had a good chuckle over comments overheard. Brings back great memories from all the past art fairs I have done over the years. Fun times, which helps all the hard work that goes with it!
    Thanks for sharing. MHP

  3. October 7, 2009 at 3:57 am

    Looks like a great time. The post of what people were saying is a riot. I love that. Wish I coulds been there.

  4. 4 Jeremy
    October 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Seeing the pictures of oglebayfest made me a little sad. It looked like fun. I wish we could have been there.

  5. August 18, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Really enjoyed seeing the photos and reading the random comments at the end. I just did my first craft fair in Cambridge, OH over the weekend and was approached by someone from the Oglebayfest to see if I’d attend. I’m still sort of on the fence, but your post from 2009 has me just about convinced! Going to go surf around your blog now to see more of your work! -Shelly


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