“Oi vehy” is my attempt at Yiddish (probably not spelled correctly) which sort of means “Madonne” in Sicilian Italian (also probably incorrectly spelled) which sort of means “Whew” in comic book English, all of which are G rated expletives for “Gosh, that was tough”! I’m referring to our first experience August 4th and 5th “Under the Banyan Tree” as part of the Lahaina Arts Society’s biweekly art faire. I have just recovered enough to put this blog out…several days late. Actually, only part of this past weekend’s experience deserves the expletives above. Much of the weekend’s experience was good, especially the camaraderie and helpfulness of the experienced Banyan Tree artists…that deserves a “Wow! Big Mahalo!”.

The “oi vehy” part was the prep, set-up, and tear-down effort involved. Sandy warned me that it would be a real “shlep” (Yiddish for mucho hard work)…and it was! The process started a couple of weeks before with securing tables, buying fabric for table covers and having them made, building display easels, getting an umbrella, getting weights to hold down the umbrella and the easels in case of wind, and on and on. Lots of things to get since we haven’t done this kind of venue before.

Then there was the set-up. To facilitate that, we planned out our table setup, selecting what glass to bring and show, and actually did a dry run which resulted in some tweaking of the “plan”. We boxed up all the glass in individual boxes by type…night lights together, platters together, …very organized. I used my management skills…(being a left brain person and all, AND “Six Sigma Green Belt certified” I’ll have you know)…to plan out our loading of the car so that we could efficiently execute setup. I was feeling real good Friday evening…yes sir…ready to rock and roll. Well, best laid plans of mice and men…the “master plan” quickly unraveled by the realities of the situation. What was supposed to be a lickity split setup took us over 2 hours of sweat and stress. Tear-down at the end of the day was also hectic, taking over an hour and a half, just about nothing going back into the car in the “organized fashion” I had envisioned. Oi vehy, it was definitely a shlep!!

On the bright side, there was tremendous moral support and encouragement from many of the other artists at the faire, particularly from the two that flanked us. Mika McCann was to our right. She has been a fiber artist for 30 years, creating exquisite baskets using natural local materials. Her work has been shown in many places, including museums in New York and Hamburg, Germany. Mika is among the top “performers” in terms of sales under the Banyan. She took us under her wing and provided many suggestions to improve our comfort as well as sales potential. Her husband Don (who is LAS President this year) was also helpful, providing suggestions on improvements to my easel design to expedite assembly. He must have noticed me struggling with them, particularly the first day.

To our left was Debbie, Scott Mead’s wife. Scott is a photographer who was one of our Banyan Tree mentors. (I mentioned Scott in an earlier blog.) It turns out that Scott had a sore back so Debbie was handling his Banyan Tree spot. She was also very helpful, reminding us of how to handle some of the administrative things relative to sales and shipping, as well as lending us use of some of her equipment that we forgot to bring. She told us not to fret…”it takes a while to work out the kinks and get in the grove”. (By the way, it turns out she is Six Sigma BLACK Belt certified…VERY organized!) In addition to Debbie and Mika, at least six other artists came over to say hello, welcoming us and wishing us luck. It gave us a very warm feeling and a sense of community.

Besides the support other Banyan Tree artists gave us, some of our dear friends came to Lahaina to say hello…Luanne, Lynette and Eric, Karen and Jim, and, Susan and Jerry. It was so nice to see you all. The support and encouragement received from our friends and the other artists deserve a heart-felt “Wow…Big Mahalo”.

The blog photo is of our table after completing set-up. You can see Sandy behind the table.

Oh, what about the “OMG” in our blog title? Well, that relates to my reaction when Margie Tyler, LAS jury lead, informed me that I was scheduled for appearing before the jury at 9:30 on Sunday August 12th. “I am SO not ready” I thought…”if she only knew”. My work for this week is definitely cut out…for sure!!