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First Festival, with an Eclipse!

I just returned from a long weekend in Hot Springs, AR, for a festival celebrating the solar eclipse! My assistant, Talia, and I went to the Valley of the Vapors music festival, now in its 20th year, in the Hot Springs National Park for 3 days, and another 2 for travel. It was my first time traveling to a festival or event to sell my work, and we learned a lot!

Overall, the trip was a mixed bag of joy and disappointment, and a lot of learning experiences. I only broke even financially, and that's a bummer because it was a lot of work, and I had high hopes! While the organizers expected at least 4,000-6,000 people, the maximum attendance was probably no more than 1,000 on any day - we were all a little disappointed. In retrospect, perhaps the festival was too expensive between tickets and camping, for people to spend on a free celestial event. The second day, we had terrible wind all day long, making a disappointing situation into a frustrating one, but we didn't loose art or the tent to the wind, thank god! But I was lucky in that I had never signed up to be a vendor, yet we were welcomed with a lot of kindness when we asked for a spot and showed the admin my art!

I expected to have the Prowler camper in shape to travel by this event, and it wasn't, so I had to rent an RV in Arkansas, increasing the costs of this trial run. I valued the ability to test out another camper in action, before making planning decisions with my own, though.

The total eclipse was incredible and so worth the 8 hour drive. We were close to the center of the zone of totality so we had more than 4 minutes of totality. I wanted to make some eclipse-related art to feature, and so I used a new glow-in-the-dark glaze on my ever-popular oyster pipes, hoping that they would glow in totality. They DID!!! It was so cool. I took a time lapse video of the oysters, ourselves, and the horizon during peak totality - check it out below!

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