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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dogwood Arts Festival | April is for art. And wind. And rain.

This year marks my seventh year participating in the Dogwood Arts Festival Market Square Art Fair. The event runs over the weekend of April 25 through 27 and takes place in Downtown Knoxville. There is a wide variety of art as well great food, think funnels cakes and corndogs, as well as lots of entertainment. Preceding the Art Fair is the Dogwood Art DeTour which is a self-guided tour of Knoxville area artist studios open to the public on April 12 and 13. This is a great opportunity for you to come and watch me work. Or just chat. I usually do a lot more talking than working during the DeTour. Don't miss either event!

April is for art. And wind. And rain.
What's most interesting about this being my seventh year is that my first year was almost my last. The weather was crazy and my tent exploded in a downdraft. I refer to the explosion as the 'tent incident' and share the tale with other artists setting up for the Dogwood Arts Festival Art Fair for the first time. I don't do it to scare, just to educate on the dangers of wind. An article appropriately titled, 'Festival faces twists and turns', appeared in the Knoxville News Sentinel on Saturday, April 12 2008 in which I said "Yeah, the weather's bad, but we've been able to work with it." and as if in spite of this comment my tent incident occurred late Saturday afternoon. The tent incident prompted my husband, Allan, to go into research mode to find out what sort of tent would withstand the crazy weather in East Tennessee. This research resulted in us obtaining what I now refer to as the "mondo artist tent" shown below. We asked the guys picking up the trash if they would take the busted up tent away and they did! We did; however, keep the broom sticks we used to hold the busted tent together.

It's certainly a sturdy tent. And it is pretty too. And it is very good at keeping the rain out. Like in 2011 when it rained really hard and everyone left early, except for me and Allan. Because we were the only ones who stuck around, we got on the WATE news that night. You wouldn't believe how many friends saw the report and texted me that evening. And the next day people searched me out just to say they saw me on the news. The moral here is to never leave early. Unless there is a hurricane warning and then it is probably a good idea to vacate.

Back to the wind. There was another year when the wind was a problem for Sassy Glass Studio. Take a peek at this fantastic post from Moxley-Carmichael's 'The Blue Streak' back in 2010 about how the Dogwood Arts Festival has improved and has real art. {A side note: it really was bad for a few years. Shew!} Anyway, shortly after Cynthia Moxley photographed the gorgeous blue art panel in the photo above, it blew over onto the ground and broke. Crazy wind strikes again!

This is the last wind story I promise. The first few years I exhibited at the Dogwood Festival Art Fair people would ask why I didn't have anything with dogwoods. So after years of being asked, I finally made some fused glass vases, plates and pendants. I should have known there was trouble brewing when I created these pieces. First of all it was difficult to figure out how to make a realistic looking dogwood from glass and second, I wondered if they would actually sell. Well, they didn't sell. But only because they never had a chance. I had a great display right at the front of my booth so everyone would see the pieces. This was also the perfect place for the wind to catch the table, lift it off the ground and slam it down. Yes, the glass broke. I lost most of the dogwood pieces. And that was the end of creating fused glass dogwood art for me.


So, as you can see, April is a month filled with art and wind and rain. But don't let the weather keep you from coming out to the Dogwood Art Festival events this year and checking out all of the fabulous art. We artists are a hardy bunch and we'll be there rain or shine. Or wind.

There are still a few more days to celebrate!
March is National Craft Month and there are three ways you can celebrate in Sassy Style! Find our more in this post. This is the only opportunity this year to save on fused glass classes!

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