I had a tough choice to make this year, because in the past two years I have also been doing the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. These two shows are usually on consecutive weekends, and I know several artists who like to do both. This year, the two events ended up on the same weekend. If all things had been equal, I would have chosen to apply to Artscape without a second thought, because of my long track record there, and because of hometown loyalty. However, things were not equal. The CPFA gave me an award at last summer's show. The award comes with an automatic invitation to the next year's show. This is not something to be taken lightly. I know some very talented artists who cannot get juried into this show. It is very competitive and prestigious. At the same time, Artscape is also very competitive. There is no guarantee that I will be accepted every year. These things should not be assumed. So after much consideration, I decided that turning down an invitation to CPFA, only to be declined entry into Artscape, would make me a dope! There was a bird in my hand already.
Hopefully next year and beyond, these two events will go back to being on consecutive weekends.
This means I had to find another summer show to do this year, and I chose the Berkshires Arts Festival, on July 1-3 in western Massachusetts. This is the farthest I've ever travelled for a show. I admit I did not do my usual due diligence about visiting a show before applying, because it is so far away. And I don't think I have many existing fans in this area, so my expectations are wide open. I'm hoping I can tap into both a NYC and Boston audience there. I was also attracted to a trip to the mountains in the middle of summer, so if it doesn't work out sales-wise, I'll view it as one of those paid vacations that I sometimes take.