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  • Writer's pictureJ Susan Aitken

Charleston Saga Finale

In a city far far away (yes, I just saw Solo last night), there arrived a woman and her tent, prepared to do battle at the Charleston-Mt. Pleasant Art Festival. Battle against what you ask? It appears as if the number one challenge for a successful art fair is not the art... it's the weather! Our forecast was bleak - rain every day prior, during, and after! The morning of the fair we woke up to pouring rain, causing me pause... or was that panic? Not to worry. Apparently it was just a cloudburst hovering over my daughter's apartment, because it was not raining five minutes away at the art fair location. How strange - but yay! We did not suffer another downpour until three o'clock on Sunday, at which time they closed down the show early.

We had to be at the sight at 5am to set up! Scratching our heads over our system of poles and tent flaps in the dark, trying to go quickly since the fair official was quite concerned about moving our cars, the tent nevertheless arose victoriously. By that time I was a puddly mess and had to duck into the nearby Lowe's to change clothes and scrape my hair up- Charleston is definitely hot and humid!

Fast forward - there really is no drama to this saga. We met some terrific artists, all with great advice for the newbie, learned a ton about how to "do a fair," and had some great conversations with art lovers who visited my booth. Oh... and I made a couple of sales - yay (should I have led with that?)!

My husband and I had time to poke around the Charleston area the week before the show, and found ourselves checking out art galleries, the Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon and the beautiful Tiffany stained glass at St. Michael's Episcopal Church. One of the days we grabbed the suntan lotion and joined a boat ride out to Morris Island to search for shells and shark teeth.

We also took a road trip to Savannah, meandering about the beautiful city on a trolley tour. We stopped at various landmarks including Cathedral of St. John and the Juliette Gordon Low birthplace, which I had always wanted to visit (having been both a Girl Scout and a leader!). We did all the normal vacation things too, like eating at good restaurants, getting ice cream and playing Yahtzee. I even got to see the cute kids in my daughter's fifth grade class when I went to their school on Sullivan's Island to help them with an art project.

And lastly, there are a couple of photos from our stop off at the Tamarack Art Center in West Virginia on the way down, which is known for its local handmade crafts and fine art; definitely worth it. Combining all of this with visiting our beautiful daughters and son-in-law and a fruitful first attempt at hawking my artwork, I think we can safely claim this trip a victory!

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