Booth life

When I last wrote, I was preparing for an Art Walk in my neighborhood.


About Half

Prepping for an Art Walk

I’m participating in the St. Johns Art Walk this year. I’ve been a little bit anxious if this is the “right” venue for my work, but friends and family have been encouraging. One friend remarked “better to let the venue determine that” and that was good advice…

Read more

2 years ago · Michael Barrett


I arrived earlier than most to get set up. I needed the extra time. I hadn’t done this before and I really didn’t have a great idea how I would set up my space.

As I bumbled around, hanging things this way then that, the real pros showed up and casually assembled their booths in about 15 minutes.

Ultimately I liked where I landed. I had my silks strung up like a backdrop (with no expectation of selling them), a small table with prints tagged and bagged, and then my latest series of “real” paintings hung on metal grid walls.

I enjoyed how the silks blew around in the breeze. That seems to be the best way to view them. When I sell one, I should include a fan.

If I were to do this again, I’d forgo the grid-walls and just set up folding tables. Tables have more than one use, and encourage people to step in closer and take a look. My booth’s arrangement felt a bit like a lair and I could sense some folks apprehension at crossing the threshold to talk to me.

I met a great Portland artist. He and his friend shared a booth directly behind me. Throughout the day we could lean back out of our booths and exchange a few words and lean back in to keep an eye on things.

Throughout the day I had a ton of great conversations. I shared painterly tips and tricks with some folks, simply talked about my art with others. A lot of friends and family stopped by to support me.

My amazing wife helped run the booth with me. She hyped me up to anyone who stopped by. As the 8 hour day ran on, we took turns running into the brew-pub across the courtyard to buy a beer in exchange for sitting in the air conditioning for a moment.

The day was exhausting but uplifting. I met people who connected with my art, I made a few sales, and I felt seen and supported by a slew of wonderful folks.

And an announcement…

One amazing result of “getting myself out there” was to make contact with Westward Gallery in Denver, CO. A local representative of the gallery happened to be at the art walk, and we got to talking.

After a quick Zoom meeting and a virtual tour of the gallery I signed a contract, packaged up my paintings and sent them off to Denver.

The gallery space is lovely, on a corner lot with lots of light and plenty of foot traffic. My work appeared in the gallery for the first Friday opening for August and I’m just thrilled.

Read in your inbox

Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox. uses Buttondown for its newsletter service.