Art on the Rocks: Part 1

Art on the Rocks, Marquette, Michigan

I was a child the first time I went to Art on the Rocks in Marquette, MI. I remember all the vendors lined up underneath the dappled light of a verdant Presque Isle. The breezes off of Lake Superior created lapping patterns of cobalt crests. The soft foliage susurration broken by chittering birds and children’s laughter.

I explored everything from pottery booths to tie dyed fabrics. I was a snake charmed by music.

It’s moved to Mattson Lower Harbor since then. I was disappointed with the move, missing the song and shade of the trees during a late July weekend.

One small task, that takes too many choices: the business card. This business tool just doesn’t go away.

Art on the Rocks is an annual juried art fair. The first Art on the Rocks was held with 35 artists in 1959. Anita Meyland named it for the rocks in Father Marquette Park, where it was first held. As the art fair grew, it relocated to Presque Isle Park and again more recently to Mattson Lower Harbor Park.

This year, the 63rd annual Art on the Rocks, I will be among the tent village. With the exception of the Covid disruptions, Art on the Rocks is held annually on the last weekend of July.

In 2022, after over a year of searching, I found a used Trimline tent. I chose this style over a pop-up after seeing some devastating losses for artists at an Ann Arbor art fair.

I started gravitating towards this goal point at least five years ago. I gathered kernels of knowledge. Pecking around for information.

I scoured for second-hand tents and walls. Agonizing over decisions; buy new, work with what I have. Are mesh walls worth the cost? could they hold my heavier pieces.

I painted.

For three months I’ve been doing one task after another. Sewing slip covers for display walls (I’d never used a sewing machine). Tagging. Pricing. Printing. Signing editions. Cutting. Bagging. Framing. Organizing. Inventorying. Wiring. Spreadsheets.

Set up. Not a polished look at this point.

Until my head was/is in knots.

I’m done. I can do no more until I have first hand experience▪️

Printed Gliclee cards and reproductions. Details. Details. Details.

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Oops! That’s mine. All images on this site belong to Taryn Okesson©️