Thursday, May 6, 2010


Mayday! Underground Crafts and Art was this past Saturday in Rochester, NY. I had been preparing for weeks, making wallets, necklaces and bottle openers. I'm lucky enough to have an incredible girlfriend, who not only helped me with some finishing touches in the nights before the show, and put up with my stressed-out, control freakishness that emanates before deadlines, but then woke up well before sunrise on Saturday morning.

A little over three hours, and far too many radio-scan stops on western New York country music radio stations, we arrived in downtown Rochester, and found the venue with ease thanks to the craft fair signs guiding our way. As we carried the gear and goods down the stairs to the lower floor of the building, I was met by one of the Mayday! organizers, Amanda. I shook her hand to introduce myself by first name only, and she recited my full name, business name, and quickly found my booth number. Impressive.

From the perspective of an artist who is accustomed to working in a warehouse, the space was seductive. Bare beamed ceilings and raw wood floors, with brick walls exposed by the flaking off of years of paint jobs. The construction style string lights added to the industrial ambiance, but the lack of natural light was unbearable by the end of the day. Maybe the cobwebs, creeks and cracks would have held their charm through the hours, if it hadn't been the most gorgeous day so far this spring.

Beautiful weather can be a difficult adversary, but our organizers had their gloves on. Amanda and Casey kept the vendors involved and informed with emails leading up to Mayday, designed a killer logo, and printed flyers and bags for the event. They stitched up 30 swag bags, which many of the artists contributed towards, drawing an eager crowd to kick off the day. Being from Albany, I did not personally experience it, but I heard that there was good advertising and attention from the local press. Unfortunately, however, Mother Nature prevailed and kept most people out to soak up the rays.

She left a diverse and talented group of artists to meet and admire each others work. I was impressed by many of the vendors, but a few of my favorites were excessary, dock2letterpress and pidge pidge.

I look forward to the next Mayday! Underground. With two diligent organizers and an ensemble representing a broad range of art and creativity, there is promise for this event in years to come.