05 June 2009

Fair dealings

Today the immediate family + my mother + Shark went to the Columbus Arts Festival - what a beautiful day for it! Blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70's. The festival is now held on the shared campuses of Columbus State Community College (my wife's current school) and the Columbus College of Art & Design, a much better location than the old riverfront. The riverfront is picturesque, and the idea of a festival there is wonderful, but the old location was crowded, shadeless, and had poor parking. The new location improves in all these areas.

The exhibits are fantastic, world-class. Columbus deserves its reputation as a top city for the arts. All sorts of media were represented - sculpture from delicate handmade butterflies to 9-foot-tall ogres made of welded nails; metalwork from delicate jewelery to hand-forged damascus-steel folding knives; paintings from the surreal to the sentimental; etc. Met a jeweler who does his own lapidary with a variety of atypical and gorgeous semi-precious stones. Great show.

But this post is not about the art festival. As such. This post is about Paul, 10.

Paul has been making plushes (stuffed animals) for a few months now. They are typically 'creatures' of his own design. He keeps a lengthy set of journals where he designs the creatures, including their names, qualities, and characteristics. Then from these designs he makes one-of-a-kind 3-dimensional replicas of the creatures. He has done papiere-mache versions, but generally he does fabric. He selects materials, cuts, sews, and stuffs them; sometimes with a little help from Mom or Grandma, but really, they are all his.

Paul even inspired his 4th-grade classroom teacher and art teacher to expand this idea into an art project for the entire 4th-grade class. Cool stuff.

So today Paul was at the festival and struck up a conversation with an artist who had a booth of hand-dyed 2-d fabric art. As they were talking shop, Paul mentioned that he himself was a fabric artist. From his pocket he pulled "Twig", one of his creations (of the Lenko species), an 8-inch long stuffed creature of fabric and ribbon. Very cute, right?

The artist immediately asked, "Can we do a trade?"

So Paul and she negotiated an art barter. She gave Paul and Luke each a piece of her art, a total of $50. In return, she commissioned two pieces from Paul.

Paul took care of the whole transaction himself. They established values, exchanged contact information, set time frames, and discussed themes for the designs. Paul had already been talking about selling his art and even getting a booth at our church's crafts show this fall. So this could turn into something very interesting. Paul has a very creative mind, and is definitely of the "temperamental artist" mold; this could be a great outlet for him. So we'll see what happens!

Oh, yeah, I usually blog about my health here. It's, um, basically perfect. Over the past couple years outdoor festivals had become difficult for me due to the walking, the heat, and the fatigue. Today none of those were an issue. It was absolutely wonderful.