A lot of people have asked me if I would stop doing shows given enough galleries carrying my work. On a rainy cold day in a tent with no potential customers in sight the answer might be yes, but overall I don't think so. One of the best perks, in my mind, of doing shows is the amazing people you meet.
Some of the coolest people I know are other show artists who I would never have come into contact with if not for the art fair life. I have spent countless hours next to these like minded souls, and often end up making connections that last. These artists run the gamut from limestone carving to metal work to jewelry to painting to photography to ceramics to mixed media... the list goes on. I own pieces by many of them and will continue to collect as I can afford to.
Some of my favorite meals have been the Saturday nights, mid-show. At one show last year the artist next to me invited me to go with a group and I ended up with a bunch of new friends - and a roommate for one of my shows this year!
Believe it or not the internet has made making show friends even easier. I participate in multiple artist forums and you yourself interacting with the same people frequently. You feel like you know them but you have never met them fact to face. It's a beautiful thing when you will be at the same show as that person and can finally make that connection.
This weekend I start my social shows at 57th Street Art Fair in Chicago. I have a list of people that I'm looking forward to seeing, some old friends and some new friends that I have been in touch with but have not met. I can't wait!