Running from December 27th through the 31st is the Florida Keys Art Guild Festival, a free art festival held at Bayview Park. It was billed to have dozens of artists from around the country joining local artisans to display their work, ranging from fine jewelry, sculpture, paintings and photography as well as fine crafts. However, I would be surprised if there were a dozen total vendors peddling their wares.
We stopped by yesterday thinking it would be a fun afternoon. It took us maybe a half hour to peruse the few tents. There were some great products there; some beautiful paintings and photographs along with some slightly disturbing works of art. There were really nice jewelry pieces there as well with reversible stones set in silver. My favorite display was of the rock oil candles. The artist takes natural stones, attaches part of a recycled bottle to the bottom as a reservoir for oil, and drills a hole in the top and attaches a fiberglass wick that never needs replacing. Ingenious!
Besides my little crew visiting the festival there were maybe ten other folks there. It was really kind of depressing that more people did not show up to support this event and there artists. I would say that this was due in part to the fact that the word was was obviously not spread very wide and in part to the fact that there was nothing there besides the art tents. When you have an event like this having some kind of refreshments would be nice not only for the visitors but for the vendors as well. There was not one soda or lemonade stand or one place set up distributing water or snacks of any kind.
Because this event has the potential to be really great I hope that the organizers learn from the experience this year and advertise this event more for next year and maybe get some food and drink vendors in there as well to make things interesting and make people to want to stick around. Maybe a musician or two would be nice; they are artists too.