Just about every other weekend there is an art show in one of the many Florida towns. They close off several main streets, and artists set up their stands. Mom always gets so excited by these shows. “Oh, darling,” she says to me on the phone, “there’s going to be the Vista View Art Show in town when you come to visit.” I don’t know why she gets so wound up about these shows. She never buys anything. Besides, I went to the Bay Breezes show last year and to the Atlantic Sea Art Show the year before that, and I have concluded that they sell virtually the same merchandise at each one.
Each of the stands consists of dealers from all over Florida and neighboring states selling art. There are the typical stands that sell paintings of beach scenes and lighthouses, and those that market nature photographs of fish and birds. There are also the more unusual stands that sell vases with large, brightly-colored hand-blown glass flowers in them, or those that sell hand-decorated ceramic welcome signs that the purchaser can have personalized with his name to place outside his condo door.
Then there are the far-fetched stands selling outright unbelievable stuff, like life-sized stuffed figures of people that you can display on your couch or in your bed. The people can be the old variety, like a grandma; or the young kind, like a small child; or anyone in between. I cannot imagine who buys these stuffed people. I suppose it’s maybe widowed folks who buy them; perhaps so they won’t be lonely.
My favorite whimsical stand, however, is the one that sells these oversized sculptures of outlandish-looking people doing various activities. The sculptures are very realistic-looking, that I’m certain some of them have been stopped and asked the time of day by passersby. There’s a sculpture of a man bending over to pet his dog. And a little boy putting his head in a box of cookies. And an old lady sitting on a park bench with her girdle showing. The sculptor must go to every art show in Florida because I see these sculptures every time I go to one of these art shows. This stand is always the most crowded with people – real and sculpted.