Lately I’ve felt the urge to share thoughts and reflections on art shows I’ve participated in. Not only to increase awareness of art and art shows in general, but to give prospective artists and customers a feel for what specific events are like from the artist’s perspective.

I’ve noticed there isn’t a whole lot of blogging and reviewing in the online art world, so hopefully these musings will be of interest.

Here are my thoughts on the Brookside Art Annual in a lovely suburb of Kansas City:

The Venue

The most unique characteristic of the show is probably the big long tent all along one side of the show. Artists set up their own tents inside the big tent. I had never seen this before. I assume the idea is to keep the show active no matter what the weather. Apparently two years ago it snowed during the show. Weather is always an issue for outdoor shows; more so these days than in the past, it seems. We had only some gusty winds and a smattering of rain, thank goodness.

Because the show is shaped kind of like a big “O” the flow is really good. There were no dead spots, which is gold for artists. Nobody wants their tent set up in an out of the way place!


There’s not really any street parking nearby for artists, but you can pay for super convenient parking in the school lot right next to the show. The fees are a tax deductible fundraiser for the school. Fundraising gets a big thumbs up from me.

The show’s in a great location, with lots of small shops around. Highly qualified buyers were able to walk in from surrounding neighborhoods. (Bonus: We had a really good dinner right across the street at the Avenues Bistro-Bookside after tear down.) Folks in my booth spent time reading my poster about the 12 steps of bronze production. This was a bit unusual, and indicated to me that the crowd was actually pretty interested in art.

There was always very good communication with the show director, staff, and volunteers. They go as far as to put their names and cell phone numbers on the back of the artist’s name tags. The director of the show stopped by during the weekend, checking in to see how things were going.

An artist hospitality room in a nearby building provided access to water, snacks, and real bathrooms! I tire of using Portajohns.

The Art

There was a great variety in what was offered for sale at the show. From bird houses/wood cutting boards to high-end fine art. Something for everybody. Functional pottery was a big hit; they sure do love their ceramics in that part of the country.

As far as my sculptures, my Limited-Edition Pause for Reflection always gets a lot of attention, as well as Ode to Joy and Bunny Bump. The Desk Buddy hot sellers were my bronze fox “Cover Girl” and the adorable donkey sculpture “Kick-Ass”

They also had a gal who might have been the best face painter I’ve ever seen at a show. Even I was tempted.

Here is a link to a video of this year’s show.