A Hard Lesson to Learn

I think I can officially say I have the worst craft show story… EVER. I thought my experience at Lake of the Ozarks was bad, but this so-called ‘OLTA craft fair’ really takes the cake. At least at the Lake of the Ozarks, there were people attending the show!

First off, the conditions were horrible. We past the location FOUR times because we never saw a hint of a sign, arrows pointing to a show, nothing. The building was half filled with trash. No assigned spots, it was a ‘set up anywhere’ attitude. People who paid for an outside booth had to walk down an alley of broken bottles and look at a dumpster filled with smelly trash. Musicans played to an empty parking lot. A local microbrewery served only four beers.

A crowd between 4,000 and 6,000 people? Try just the friends and family of the vendors. I felt horrible for the people who drove from KC and Chicago for this event. I felt horrible for little girls cheerleading team who came all excited to perform and found there was no one to watch them.

I normally don’t mouth-off, but the entire situation is wrong, fraudulent and it rests on Don Erickson of Art Co-op, the one who ‘organized’ this event. *sigh* So that was my eventful weekend. Needless to say, I didn’t go back today. Instead, I went our local bead meeting and found comfort with my friends. Gotta take those lows in strides and be confident in what I do. 🙂

So I hope y’alls weekend was way better than mine. Take care!

I have to thank whoever the vendor is for taking these photos so you can see how bad it was!


11 thoughts on “A Hard Lesson to Learn

  1. Hi, I’m on “the email list,” as it were. I’m a glass fuser and I was out back amongst the trash. My husband helped shovel – and I mean that literally – the moldy drywall out of the parking lot.Anyway, I actually came across your blog from a post to criticalmass that has since been removed! I wonder what’s up with that? In that same post was a link to Beqi’s blog and to the forum on Myolta.org. Hmmm. Wonder if Don has some friends.

  2. Hi!!! I am the pencil artist from OLTA….wow…have you been reading all the negative blogs?!?!? I must admit, that was aweful!!! Lesson learned, I wont be doing anymore shows he sponsors! The worse part is people who came from afar, will judge the whole area, that is a shame. Hope they keep an open mind!

  3. I had intended to add my two cents to the forum that was deleted. I wanted to check with my partner before posting as I want to leave my band name. When I went back to post, it was gone. Hmmmm. Anyway, I guess I will simply blog too. Good to hear your perspectives.I only blog through myspace. If you are interested, myspace.com/deannal1967.Do you mind if I link to you blog?

  4. What a horrid experience and I am so glad you took the time to blog and to warn others. Very very sad. I’m not sure where you’re located (?) -but, in the future, just let me know if you have any questions about STL questions and I’ll try to help you out, ok? It really sucks for artists to be treated this way. Take care. Your work is great btw…..

  5. Hi MB! Actually, I am from around here… in West County. 🙂 I know I’m not the only that feels this way… there are at least 20 other vendors I’ve been in communication with who feels they’ve been wronged. Thanks for your support MB. You have gorgeous work too! I’m going to have to check out your work in person at the local shows.

  6. After your post on Critical Mass last night, I chimed in with a simple note saying that I heard about this fiasco and that thankfully St. Louis is so much better than what OLTA showed.My message never went through. I’ve never had a CriticalMass message censored before. Hmm.

  7. Hi Michael – I read Ecology of Absence every single day! I’m sorry your post to criticalmass didn’t go through. Fortunately, Don Crozier’s did (he’s with The Best of Missouri Hands, a legitimate and great artist organization,) as did two of mine – one asking people to email me, the other this morning directing people to the real scoop on the Mo Secretary of State’s site.I’m not sure what’s up with criticalmass. There was an anti-OLTA post right after the show that also got pulled.Frustrating, but I can’t help but think that this will all catch up to the perpetrator!

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