Art Fair Reflections

A By Gone Reflection
A By Gone Reflection


Of or pertaining to art that is reflective of Andy Warhol’s style.

“Unknown booth critic”


Crazy, Cool, Insane

“Numerous young booth visitor comments”

Val and I just finished the 2015 Three Rivers Arts Festival here in Pittsburgh and I thought I would share some insights into our world of arts festivals.

Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is 10 days of just about every facet of art imaginable. Performance, emerging and seasoned artists converge into this juried event. During these 10 days the juried artists in attendance evolve as several turn overs at specific times constantly bring in new talent for the festival goers review.

This year we were pleased to accept a two day showing on the Liberty Avenue Extension. This thoroughfare may only be accessible during the week-end due to traffic requirements through the week.

This then entails a Friday evening display booth setup and we finished the major segments of construction a bit after midnight and returned Saturday morning at 8 AM to finish the details required to fashion an art gallery and position the art work and signage necessary. Val takes over on this part and is quite the professional at evolving this into an art gallery.

Show starts at noon each day until 8 PM but often early morning goers begin to frequent booths that have a semblance of organization.

The DustyBlues Gallery was ready to go.

As is typical, a constant procession of arts festival attendees begin their steady march past the rows of artist’s booths. Most have plans to try and take a look at the entirety of all artists presentations and this years hot and humid weather can take it’s toll on these plans but these folks are troopers and not easily dissuaded.

Val and I find ourselves tired from the rigors of setup but quickly become engaged and fascinated by the visitors to our little shop. The diversity of shoppers and the myriad of tales of how and why they visit and from where is expansive.

Many have specific art that they focus on, jewelry and fabrics, pottery, wood workings and more. But at DustyBlues we try to focus our numerous portfolios to Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh for this show to allow our audience a refined look at our art.

Given that we are just one of a number of Pittsburgh photographic artists at the festival, we find we really need to focus on our particular style of delivery and that we can attract an audience looking for our special insights into the wonders of Pittsburgh.

Intimate Landscape of Pittsburgh
Intimate Landscape of Pittsburgh

Our DustyBlues art of Pittsburgh delivers more than just scenic views of the city but we spend the innumerable hours working to catch that moment in time when the ever evolving architecture of the city in wonderful combination with Mother Nature’s fine touch coincide wondrously.

We were very pleased that so many patrons of ours viewed the many options available to them and returned to our booth to enhance their collection of our art to display in their homes and businesses and also as very special gifts for loved ones.

During our two days the weather remained quite hot and very humid with only an occasion shower, mainly on Sunday. This gave us a chance to engage with our many visitors to understand their particular requirements and discuss art in general and particular.

Val and I also have become adept at listening to comments from the passer-bys as they review our flip bin of matted prints at the entrance to our booth but behind a mesh wall. Often these are insightful comments of their insights of our art works.

Given the numerous demographics of these people we hear some interesting comments. “Sick” is often a phrase by the more youthful segment. Many are unsure if our art is paintings or photography and this regularly starts our conversation with them regrading our vision, methods, and techniques developed over the years to bring to fruition our offerings. Many are fascinated and really enjoy as we show the often minute but intricate details captured in many of our pieces. Our conversations are quite rewarding to us and a great source of feed back that our visions are appreciated.

All too soon the two days adventure comes to a conclusion and we begin the preparation for preparing the art work for safe, damage free handling as well as a logical deconstruction of the booths into the myriad pieces it is structured from. Each artists needs to have this done prior to getting a pass to bring their vehicle into designated parking areas allowing them to “load-out”.

This year’s load-out became a considerable event as just at the conclusion of the festival the major thunderstorms that had been dodging us for two days decided it was time to unleash their fury on us. Torrential down pours and near constant lighting strikes started to devastate many artists in the midst of partial booth tear down and a number of these became partially air borne or were being held down by frantic artists. Luckily no one was injured to my knowledge.

Val and I were soaked but maintained the roof segment of our booth and the heavy weights in place that secured us from the havoc.

I was given the green light to get our vehicle. This required getting our truck parked close by but travelling a number of blocks to a parking lot where are friends at Alco Parking had permitted us safe parking for the trailer all week-end.

I quickly locked and loaded the trailer and proceeded back to our location. All of our neighboring artists were in a similar process yet everyone quickly and efficiently worked together under these tenuous conditions to load up and head out.

Val and I had our entire booth and artwork loaded in 15-20 minutes and moved out to clear parking space for the others. A slight lull in the torrential weather lasted only briefly and the near constant weather surges continued strafing the town. Much of our drive home entailed flashers and very slow speeds in our need for safety and visibility due to the lashing storms and waves of water from the down pours.

As we pulled into home and found the warmth and dryness within we collapsed exhausted. Outside the storms continued near unabated until well past 2 AM.

Unique Sunrise
Unique Sunrise

So now for much reflection on the show, things we need to follow up on, issues we should do better or more of, and finding time to unload the trailer in it’s entirety and dry everything before organizing and assure all parts are ready for the next show. We also have to review each art work to ensure it remains up to our critical standard for presentation again or to rework or replace any damaged ones.

Sincere THANKS to all our visitors and the event staff and volunteers!

The life of an Artist….

Dusty and Val Scott

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