Flying Low 2012/I Wrap Up

Well, in short, I can report an expectedly modest success for the first Flying Low of the year. Yes, I was the watchdog and took very careful notes of the pros and cons.

Flying Low is an outdoor event that is highly dependant on having good weather conditions. This requires far more luck than it does planning. On the May 24, our area had a 30 per cent chance of rain. No, it’s not much but still a threat. Spring has so far been quite dry, and while local farmers desperately need moisture we needed beautiful weather to pull this event off without the May 27 rain date.

Friday was sunny but hot and muggy, which is also potentially detrimental to the event, but a high pressure system blew in overnight, cooled off the atmosphere and scrubbed away a lot of smog. Saturday turned out to be a bright, clear, sunny day with moderate temperature of 25°C (77°F) and relative humidity of only 30 per cent. On the Humidex, the climate felt a little less than 25°C at the peak of the event; perfectly comfortable.

The wind even stayed low between 7 and 15km/h (4-9mph), so there was little worry about things getting blown away.

Right from 8:00AM, the atmosphere was somewhat festive with a constant parade of visitors. I stopped counting them after 72. The die-off of traffic didn’t come until 11:45AM, and we still had customers right up until the official end of the event.

The highlights of my day were the collector from Port Dover who bought the most of my art in a single sale, and the four or five different conversations I had with visitors about the visual and performance arts, aesthetics and the commercial arts industry.

I talked art with a high school math teacher with an interest in photography. Another man told me that he had only recently started to take an interest in art. He said that for years he never really cared about it until all of a sudden it became important to him. I told him that that’s music to my ears. He said, “You’ve got good hobby going on here . . .” and then corrected himself by saying, “Well not a hobby, a business.” There, he gets it!

I also saw a repeat customer who bought a 12×18” print of “George Street” from me in 2011. He said, “It’s good to see someone doing something in Hamilton.”

The low point of the day was our charity efforts. We organized a food drive with Sara Collyer, Operations Manager of the Neighbour 2 Neighbour Centre. N2N is a local food bank at 28 Athens Street, Hamilton, ON, L9C 3K9. Their work goes beyond food drives and includes helping the unemployed find jobs, providing clothing and household items and many more services for those in need. You can find N2N online at http://www.n2ncentre.com.

The first customer of the day was disappointed that he couldn’t donate any food. He gave a dollar. We were and still are grateful for whatever we received for N2N but there were no more donations from any other visitor for the rest of the day and truthfully, we wish we had done much better. The bulk of what we accrued from this event actually came from those of us who participated in it.

Another low point was the having to direct several visitors from parking their vehicles on the properties of our neighbours; even though some of our advertising specified the addresses that people were not to occupy; because traffic to our venue got pretty high.

We knew there would be growing pains. I’m glad to say that thanks to all of the prior eight months of careful planning, we’ve kept the setbacks to a minimum in comparison to how bad we know things could have been had we not planned as much as we did. Thanks also to all participants; Marilyn, Mary, Tracy, Stacy and Trish, for steadfastly hanging in there and doing such a great job. Considering that a full scale event of this kind has never before been held in our neck of the woods, we did okay. Now, we want to do better than just okay. All aspects of this event will be improved upon for the second sales event of the year.

We are holding the next Flying Low on Saturday June 30; 8:00am – 2:00pm.

Again, if you’re looking to find great art deals or meet Hamilton artists, find your way to 16 Hester Street, Hamilton, ON.

If you’re a visual artist within or around the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and you would like to join us, and promote yourself in it, Kim and I, Allan “TheMOFMan”, would love to hear from you. We have the space for you. Please call us at (905) 523-1839.

You can also contact me at allan@modesofflight.com for more information about this non-juried exhibit. All profits that you make from your sales are 100% yours! Ensure that you put the words “Flying Low Participation – June” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Keep watching this space and the MOF Community Page on Facebook for more news about Flying Low.

We hope to see you here!

12 thoughts on “Flying Low 2012/I Wrap Up

  1. Congrats on your sales to the ‘collector’. I know it has got to be a wonderful feeling when someone buys the bulk of your display… quite the compliment, I’d dare say. Too bad about the charity end of the event. Evidently, people are having a tough time themselves lately. Maybe next time around, things will be better.

  2. Congratulations on the sale. I am sure it must be a great feeling to know that people like your work. I guess, that somebody willing to pay money for it is a great attestation to that they really appreciate the work. Good luck.

    • So much appreciated!

      It’s hard work breaking new ground but it has to be done. The only alternative is to do nothing, and I think that not much of an alternative. I believe in art and artists far too much.

      Art is not a 9-to-5 job. We have to become visionary, adventurous, professional, forward thinking, risk taking, push ourselves into uncomfortable situations and tough them out for the long run in order to make headway. It may only get easier if we unite but that too; mustering the confidence of strength in numbers, is a challenge to rise to.

      I thank you so much.

  3. What a wonderful idea. We don’t have such happenings around my city and if they are then it’s mostly closed off kind. Would love to be part of something like this.

    • I created Flying Low to incorporate the formats of the neighbourhood yard sale, clothesline art sale and The Artists Open House. The latter are completely new ideas to my part of Canada as opposed to parts of the US and UK where they originated. So, not many participated. It’s going to take a lot of work to convince people in my region that it’s a viable way of showing work.

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