I had five months to prepare for my first wholesale show in Philadelphia, taking place from August 2nd – 4th, 2008.

There was a lot to learn about pipe & drape, lighting, signage and all the rest involved in displaying ( and hopefully selling) my artwork…in a 10 x 10 foot space.

A lot of money was laid out for display racks, pedestals, lighting, signage, stands, order forms, transportation, and all the glass, paint, and time put in to creating enough artwork for the show. The booth fee alone was $1600.00.

Luckily, there was going to be a weekend indoor art show at The Coliseum   in Saint Petersburg just two weeks prior to Philadelphia. The perfect opportunity to practice setting up the booth…which is exactly what happened.

The only sale I recall making that weekend was a pity buy from my now ex-wife’s brother. Thank you, Kenny.

Two weeks later, we packed up the Jeep with everything, drove to Sanford and loaded on to the auto-train in Sanford, Florida . Took the train to Lorton, Virginia, then drove the rest of the way to Philadelphia, right to the Convention Center, unloaded and set up the booth.

We arrived early the next day, and when they announced the opening of the show over the PA…we patiently waited in anticipation.

I know we were set up on the show floor quite a distance from the front entrance, but gosh, it seemed to take forever for anyone to even get near my booth…several people walking right past.

My wife and I looked at each other…was this all some kind of a big, expensive mistake?

Finally, a couple of German ladies who owned a gallery in New Jersey wandered into the booth and wanted to place an order. My wife grabbed the order forms and began to take their order.

About that time, a very dignified gentleman entered the booth ( he reminded me of Anthony Hopkins) and looked around. He then motioned for me, “Are you the artist?” he asked, “Yes, sir, I am” then he pointed at the two women in the booth and said ” Whatever they don’t buy, I want the rest.”

He bought me out, and for the rest of the show, I just took orders.   Thank you, Richard. It was a wonderful way to start me on my path as a working artist.

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