Saturday Morning: Behind the Scenes
Friday of the Arts and Crafts Conference is an intense encapsulation of the entire Arts and Crafts week here at the Grove Park Inn.
The morning began with getting the final exhibitors unloaded, unpacked and into their booths in the Vanderbilt Wing, then checking for any problems. At the same time, in several different meeting rooms, we had five workshops going on, followed immediately by ten Small Group Discussions — and all this before noon.
And by noon the line for the opening of the Antiques Show and the Contemporary Craftsfirms Show had stretched down several hallways and wound back around, nearly lapping itself. As the minutes ticked down to the opening at 1:00pm yesterday, exhibitors were racing to put the finishing touches on their displays, vacuuming their booths and changing clothes, while the eager collectors were fidgeting in line.
And when the doors opened and the crowd began to spread out across the ballroom, hallways and meeting rooms where the 125 exhibitors were waiting, over in the Sammons Wing, six seminar speakers were rehearsing their presentations with the audio-visual team in front of an empty ballroom.
Last evening, after the close of the shows at 6:00pm, those same weary collectors seemed ready for an evening of sitting in comfortable chairs, listening to our first two seminar speakers. By ten o’clock, when Judith Budwig wrapped up her stirring exploration of the Arts and Crafts Revival, you would have expected everyone would be ready for bed, but instead they congregated in the Great Hall. Fires were roaring in the massive twin fireplaces, the three displays cases were brightly lit, music was playing and people were sharing stories of their afternoon adventures, conquests and discoveries.
It was the end of a nearly-perfect opening Friday at the Grove Park Inn.
This morning the focus will again be in the Heritage Ballroom where we will have our next two seminar presentations. By noon people will again be itching to get back into the shows, anxious to see if the piece they didn’t buy yesterday is still there, or if some other collector had snatched it up.
And before you know it, Saturday will be gone.
Check back tomorrow morning, and I’ll fill you in on how it went.
Have a great Saturday, wherever you are.