Monday, April 28, 2014

The Melbourne Art Festival

This weekend our Messing took us to the Melbourne Art Festival in Downtown Melbourne. The event lasted all weekend and had score upon score of artists sharing their work with potential buyers. There was everything from the traditional art work to fancy photography, jewelry, painted dishes, fishes with giant lips, and even some pretty cool digital artwork with no photos being used. Sculptures and statues, metal work, and floral arrangements, all lined the streets and perched under giant white canopies. Some I understood and enjoyed and others I stared at and wondered why? Especially after I saw the price tag. I mean I can understand some of the amounts, but others I had to look at and wonder if these people realized they were in Melbourne.

If you remember from a post I made a few months ago, Eye of the Beholder, you’ll already know that some art just confuses me. I am a simple man in my tastes of what I like in my art and the abstract and I do not get along inside of my head. I like the more traditional paintings and sculptures. I want something I can understand without having to sit and meditate on what it means. However, the art festival had it all and something for every taste.

The day was hot, but still comfortable. The crowd was thick as gawkers browsed each booth taking their time to savor every piece. We even had another run in with someone pushing a stroller, so the idiots are not just resigned to Disney. I worried about this man behind the wheel of a vehicle because he paid more attention to what was beside him than what he was pushing through in front of him. He did apologize, but “I’m sorry” does not make my heels feel better. The place was crowded enough without having to dodge carriers for munchkins. If you cannot watch where you are going and show some common courtesy, then please carry the child and leave the stroller at home. The rest of us should be able to pass out stroller violation tickets or make a citizen’s arrests. It is simply ridiculous.

The people who ran the festival had also organized entertainment on one of the side streets and we arrived in time to see some friends of the 9-year-old perform songs and a skit about an elephant followed by a puppet show. I left during the puppet show, however. Talking felt makes me nervous.

They also had booths set up for the kids to make different crafts. Items were set up to glue onto the hat along with glitter to sprinkle over it all and the 9-year-old made a hat that littered loose glitter as we walked the rest of the festival. There were also food booths with kettle corn, popcorn, and lemonade and a live band played near some covered picnic tables.

It was a fun day as our family walked among the booths and took it all in. We enjoyed seeing the work of artists from all over Florida, not just our small neck of the planet. There hundreds of talented people out there and it is always great to be able to see what other people are creating. It is also nice to be able to support them. And you should. Get out and visit the small business, craft fairs, farmer markets and art festivals. Support and encourage the people who are not part of the larger retailers, who create one piece at a time and sell it the same way. They need our support and we need their artistry. It is true that it may cost more, but things worth having, things that last, are worth that extra cost. Be generous and spend some of your time and money to help those who work in studios and garages. The world needs more of that kind of beauty.

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