International Art and Music Festival, Peace Arch Park

International Art and Music Festival, Peace Arch Park

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The International Art and Music Festival is being held in Peace Arch Park in Blaine, Washington right along the Canadian border Friday, today, and Sunday.  If you’ve never been to Peace Arch Park, it’s a nice little park with some beautiful landscaping.  It’s right on the ocean and has a beautiful view of Semiahmoo Point and White Rock, British Columbia.

There were only a dozen booths this year and they were way overpriced and desperate for sales.  That made the vendors pretty rude.  One in particular, Carla Seaton of Carla’s Funky Art, was chasing anyone with a cell phone out of her tent, accusing them of taking photos of her artwork.  A few others were arguing with customers over the details of their work and politics.  Politics?  Really?

Don’t bother.  Unless you’re visiting someone in Blaine, there’s no point in wasting time here.  We drove up from Bellingham and it was a waste of the one hour trip back and forth.  If not for our stop at the Van Wingerden Nursery on the way back, it would’ve been quite infuriating.

Here’s a rundown of the disappointing festival.  First, let me say the music was terrible.  A bunch of old white guys were singing songs from the 1950s and singing them badly.  It sounded like cattle dying.  Food vendors were plentiful but were also expensive.  Artwork ranged from $25 to $3500, most of it over $100.  Although there was some original artwork there were several vendors who printed photos from Google on canvas and sold them as “replica”s.  With a price tag of over $100, that’s silly.  I could do the same thing for $20.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

Peace Arch Park is a strip of land from Canada to the United States.  Canadians can park in the parking lot on the Canadian side and walk through this strip to the U.S. side of the park where all the vendors are located.  But really, it’s only 12 tents, so why bother?

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

One of the first booths is a wood carver with some beautiful dolphins carved in wood along with other creatures.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

This gentleman had some original artwork on canvases and they were affordably priced.  He was one of the few vendors who was actually nice to passersby and allowed photos.  There were half a dozen buyers talking to him when we walked by.  Being nice does pay off.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

This woman’s booth had two types of crafts.  These “leaf sprites” were fragile and overpriced.  They are made of clay and what you see is what you get, colorless.  Some blues, browns, greens, and oranges would’ve been nice.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

These were much cuter, but again they are colorless and overpriced.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

This was one of the handful of booths with nice artwork.  Unfortunately these were also “replicas” printed on canvas from someone else’s originals and decoupaged on wood blocks.  The small ones, very small, were $35.  The large ones were around $150.  You can make these  yourself with a printing service for around $15 to $30.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

Cute, but not worth $150 and the seller was pretty rude.  Vendors, if you want people to buy things from you, don’t follow them around your stall stalking them and then make rude noises every time they stop to look at a piece of art.  It’s the best way to make everyone leave in a hurry and never come back.

International Art and Music Festival | Bellingham Blog

And let’s not forget Carla’s crappy art.  I think I’ll call myself an artist and put up a booth.  Because I’m pretty sure I can paint better than this.  I know my son can.  If I was an artist and I had a booth next to this woman’s “art” I’d feel insulted.  When she started chasing away all the customers with cell phones, I’d ask for my booth fee back.  🙂

So, the International Art and Music Festival was a total bust.  Twelve booths does not a festival make.  But check out my next post on the nursery south of Blaine along Highway 5.  That place rocks.

 

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