Saturday at the
Doll and Teddy
Bear Artist and Collector Convention
Creating Interest Among Today's Generation
Since the ballroom where dinner was served was also the space for Saturday's sale, set-up had to take place very early Saturday morning. Knowing this, Mom and I went to bed early and got up at 5:00 so we could have a "petit dejeuner" before setting up our show table. We were down by 6:00 and the elevators were in hot demand, let me tell you!! With two of us, though, Mom set up the display while I went up and down to bring all the critters. By 7:00 we were just about done... and free to get a seat at the buffet breakfast and back at our table for the 8:30 "Collector Early Access" to the show!
We were Table #13, here's the floor plan and list of artists.
(Please click on the above images for larger views.)
Now, how to say this kindly? Although we were one of the early registrants for this event, as were all the lower numbers, we were placed in the BACK of the ballroom! As you can see in the floor plan, the 80s and 90s were the first row in the door, what I would consider the best spots. I made it a point to speak to almost everyone that went by our table, handing out our Scratching at the Window postcard, BCI sticker and Hallowe'en tour bookmark, and, at the end, Mom and I had only handed out 67! That means perhaps 134 people went by our table (assuming most were couples). I very much would like to compare this number with how many people entered the ballroom.
Happily the doll artists and bear artists were mixed on the floor, which was a lovely thing to see. And a boxed lunch was supplied (you had two choices), a wonderful idea, with a meal ticket for your hubby or assistant to go to the lunch buffet. Very thoughtful! (Was there an issue with not enough space for non-conventioneers wanting lunch?)
Although I knew this at the outset, each bear artist had to have a minimum of 75% bears on their table, as did I. This left me, as a collector, somewhat disappointed... Not that it mattered very much, though, because the show was only open until 2:00. I never found the time to see everyone I wanted to see (Sandi McAslan, you had rats?!) and never even got into Room 1776 to see tables #131-#144!!! (We met Gregg Ortiz in the Hotel's shuttle the next day and never saw his dolls!) BOY, was I upset that I missed out on seeing all those artists and their work! ARRGGHH! I didn't even get to see Martha's offerings in detail, or Lori's or Mary Kolar's or ... have time to make decisions!
(Pam Pontious did have some very interesting poultry... and a really sweet green bear.)
On the positive side, I did get to introduce myself to Adriana Esqueda whose table was covered with Day of the Dead characters!
Also I oogled Mark Dennis' AMAZING sculptures... one day he'll create "my" perfect piece.
Stevi T's needle-felted works were lovely, especially her squirrels.
And I did get to discover and adopt the best piece at the show: "Root" by Sprite Hansen of The Broken Planet was, in my opinion, the most magical creation at the show and I felt a connection to this very Earthy being.
Here's a picture of Sprite handing her Root to me.
Also on the positive side, it was a good show for the Online Hallowe'en Artists' Studio Trick or Treat and for bats! I even met a Bat Conservation International member, and she admired my bat-head brooches! In all, I estimate that about 250 bookmarks were distributed and the poster on the main table probably also attracted people's attention. A number of artists expressed interest in the event, so hopefully our trick or treaters this year will be seeing some incredible new artists!
And for collectors, there was a generous offering of 5 free magazines to pick up, free refreshments, various presentations, an "Under $100 Table" and more Teddy and doll art than you can hope to remember!
And then there was the auction! If you hung around for the auction, there were some steals to be had! It seems most of the general public were not in the room and, after the amazing selection of pieces at the show, the conventioneers were mainly interested in a few key pieces of the 66 offered. Pieces by lesser-known artists (like myself) could be had for as little as 1/2 price... ah well. That's the nature of an auction, I suppose.
Martha Burch and John Paul Port did a wonderful job at the end of what must have been a long day encouraging the crowd to bid, bid, bid! Thank you again, Martha, for "talking up" my piece and trying adamantly to get a bid!
(If you'd like to meet Giselle, click here.)
(So, who attended the auction? Would it be better to have it Thursday night or Friday afternoon? Then, to see all 144 tables, the Saturday show could be from 10:00-5:00. Alternatively, what about an "open house" concept on Thursday or Friday afternoon? Or perhaps a bigger hotel is needed with separate ballrooms for dining and for events?)
The Convention closed with a final dinner, which was wonderful and Susan even invited the kitchen crew to come out to accept a very much deserved standing ovation! Terry and Susan were presented with a bouquet of flowers and everyone stood again and cheered... Yes, it was a wonderful event with, as mentioned at the beginning, some aspects that need to be ironed out. I am very impressed with all the work, effort and time Susan and Terry put into creating this first ever Doll and Teddy Bear Artist and Collector Convention and I hope they are encouraged and inspired to do it again!
We went to bed exhausted that night, Mom and I, but excited too. And then we spent 4 days exploring Philadelphia, which was a pleasure (using the Hotel's free shuttle and the R1 train ($11 roundtrip) to get downtown)! If you ever go to Philly, don't miss the Mütter Museum, the Eastern State Penitentiary and don't be afraid to take a Ghost Tour in this friendly city! And don't miss out on a true Philly Cheese Steak or the Philadelphia Pretzel Factory's pretzels!
Thank you again to our absolutely super neighbours Sylvie, John and Bogey for taking care of our Willow while we were away.
And thank you to all of you for taking the time to share this "review" with me. If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask! And if you want a larger version of any of the photos, please just ask. If you want to use one in a publication, please ask.
And, again, thank you to Terry and Susan, the amazing artists and the dedicated collectors for making it all possible!
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Photos by me, Karen Waschinski, unless otherwise noted, with the Convention header from http://www.quinlanmuseum.com/convention/