I arrived early, but Donna was ahead of me, with a table, complete with official Library covering which went to the floor, table easel with mounted flyer on it, flyers for handouts, chairs at the ready, great hospitality.
I added in framed work, reference books, my goldwork thread stash, work in progress, work next in line and on stretcher bars, and dyed linen ready to hoop. I did demo how to hoop the linen.
The big tablecloth was great, since I was able to stow all my crates, coverings, coats, and so on under there and look like less of a bag lady, always a consideration for events like this.
And the goldwork went over big! I had scarcely five minutes alone the whole afternoon, because of a steady stream of interested viewers with hundreds of questions, in fact I ran over half an hour, because I didn't want to send anyone away unheard. No pix, because I was busy showing and telling!
I've noticed that people show up in ones and twos, and tend to wait till they can talk more privately with me rather than being in a group. I think it's because art is so personal that many people prefer not to talk in front of strangers about their forays into this adventure. This happened when I worked on the AIR 2014, the Four Sisters tapestry, too.
Youngest visitor today, aged two, loved the goldwork picture book, oldest, well, might have been your humble blogwriter. Three people stopped by with children in tow to show them.
One person, a literacy tutor as a volunteer here, plans to stop by every week after her tutoring session, to see what's up. And several people were thinking they had to make a return trip, since it will be different every week. So far so good!
Favorite item, after they'd admired the finished work, was the box of goldwork threads -- people's eyes really light up when they see gold! But my favorite was the happiness of the people who stopped to look, and shared their own stories of trying their hands at arts and crafts and their varying degrees of success. This is really why I do this sort of community work, just to remind everyone that the arts are there for us all. Particularly at stressful times such as the immediate one we in the US are living through.
And there was sharing going on between observers, too, one planning on suggesting to a friend who's a mutual acquaintance, to come join the embroiderers' guild, another being encouraged to show her work for the first time at her community's art exhibit.
Another person is thinking about getting some drawing tutoring from me, and I suggested she put together a little group, to share the cost, if she is interested. One lady commented that she has no interest in stitching, but her mother is excellent at knitting. I wondered aloud if it skipped a generation, and her young daughter who was standing there during this convo, looked very interested in this idea! twig bending, I admit it.
Nice day. Must plan on next week's focus soon.