My Garden Art Sale purchases…

Purchase one of three.

I purchased three things at the second annual National Garden Festival‘s Buffalo-style Garden Art Sale on this past Sunday. I’ve been a busy boy of late and I helped organize the sale, so I figure I could treat myself to a few garden goodies.

Above is the rough-hewn steel sculpture I bought from a sculptress from Webster, near Rochester, by the name of Kathleen Kosel. Here’s her website. I intend to add a light behind it somehow, as the green glass is a cut-out to let light through. I watch a similar piece all day long that had blue glass in it, and this was left at the end of the day, so it was intended by the garden gods that it should be mine. It was just under $100. Don’t tell my wife.

Two of three

I also bought, for the amazingly low price of $40, this large wire leaf. I found the perfect place for it in the garden, but wish I had two more to alternate with three redbud trees. I will get two more next year. I may have to spray paint them with a little color, as where I want them is both in the shade and against a dull gray/brown wooden fence and they don’t “pop” enough for me (sort of like it doesn’t “pop” well against my garage door in this photo. Maybe a little gold will brighten them up a bit. I’ll wait until I have all three in place to do that though.

My last purchase was this iron hanging humming bird ($15). It’s for hanging a potted basket. I may just let it hang on its own. Both the humming bird and large leaf were made by wire sculptor Mark Witol.

Three of three.

There were lots of tempting items. There was everything from large-scale contemporary sculpture to small concrete mushrooms. I went knowing how much I was willing to spend, and as I got close, I just stopped. Having help vendors set up, and walking around helping out all day, I was able to do a lot of window shopping throughout the seven hours of the sale.

We had 40 vendors and according to our “clickers” at the front gate, we had just under 1,500 shoppers (1,500 if you count babies and dogs). Most vendors did very well, many that had decent sales even said their larger items were selling well.
Of those that didn’t do well, it may have been the wrong crowd for them. A couple more established places didn’t do so well and had very fancy displays that looked more like their store displays, with a variety of products (too many maybe?).
We got VERY good feedback from the vendors – first off we have a low entry fee – $50 for a booth and a one-time application fee of $10. We also ask for 10% of your sales for the day. This helps the smaller vendors get in there. It also helps if you don’t sell much (some other shows can cost hundreds of dollars for a table!).

Some went not expecting sales, but a total of $60 gets them in front of a lot of garden fans, and that was worth doing for that alone.

We also have a team of volunteers to help vendors set up. Vendors can also set up the day before – the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy was kind enough to hire a guard overnight for us! They also let us use the space at no charge.

In addition, we had coffee and donuts for vendors and volunteers, and bottles of water throughout the day. We also gave vendors two free lunch vouchers for the restaurant there on the site. The vouchers were only for $4, but we had the restaurant create a $4 meal for the vendors (two hot dogs, bag o’ chips and a cookie!). Or, it could be used as $4 toward anything they sold. Most other art shows do not do this.

Many vendors said it was the best organized and best show they do all year. Word travels fast through the “circuit” – good or bad. So as long as we can keep up the good work, we’ll be able to grow and curate the show better.
Below are other items at the sale I wish I had the budget for. There’s always next year!
For a full list of vendors, visit here.
Loved the colors on this. It was gone by the first time I walked by this booth on the day of the sale.
I was attracted to this, but ultimately thought it looked too much like a baseball!
I’m not into Fairy Gardening, but if I was, I would want my fairies to have a nice cottage like this.
Cool stuff. Higher price points. He may have sold one piece though, which would make it worth the day for him.
Back for a second year, Heather’s stuff is great eye candy.
Made to show for the sale, but not yet finished is this solid maple “throne” anyone could sit in.
Buffalo Tree House only does custom work – tree houses, pergolas, arbors and more.
A lot of these walked out of the sale…
Back for a second year Copper Doodads. Last year they had to make more
items for their other shows because they sold so much here!
There were two or three of these guys that were sold.
By the sculptor I purchased my totem from. Kathy Shadrack bought that table.
Don’t tell Mike, I don’t think he knows.
There were three rows of vendors and one side of one row was all area plant societies selling plants and dispensing information.
Concrete Peach supplied three hours of cover tunes by Clapton, Beatles, and more
that had people bopping and singing along. And the Delaware Park hydrangeas were a show-stopper too.
Three different dogs all barked at and had to sniff out this concrete pig. They all thought he was real.

0 comments on “My Garden Art Sale purchases…

  1. We came out from Akron for the art sale and garden walks on Sunday. Had such a great time! The art sale was awesome…so many things I wanted to buy!


  2. Glad you enjoyed it! It's really only six of us that organize the whole thing – meeting roughly every few weeks from January through June. If anyone's interested in helping out, please let me know.


  3. I stumbled across your website while surfing the net and thought “That looks like Kathy Kosel's leaf.” What a nice surprise! Kathy does the metalwork part and my husband, Tom Zachman, does the fused glass part of the sculpture. I'm glad your friend was able to get one of the tables. I'm lucky to have some of their garden art stored in my garden to enjoy while they're gearing up for a show. Unfortunately I get attached to it and then have to see it go. They had nothing but good things to say about the show. Wonderful location, beautiful venue, good organization, perfect spot to set their tent up in, quality vendors, great people attending. They hope to do it again next year. Maybe they'll bring some of their bird baths then (Kathy's steel stands with Tom's fused glass bowls). Hope you're enjoying all you got this year. I'm sorry I wasn't able to attend this year. Looks like I missed a lot of good stuff.


  4. Oh, it says that Kathy Kosel is from Spencerport, NY, she's actually from Webster, NY.


  5. Hey Jim, mount a solar light to your fence behind the leaf you want to illuminate. Big Lots has solar spot lights you can adjust on sale for six bucks — we've probably got the mounting material left over from our projects. Just suggesting….


  6. Glad you found me! I did meet Tom very briefly. And super glad they had a good experience. The Chair for the event has 20-plus years of working on the Allentown Art Festival, so she knows how to do art festivals right. The single biggest gripe is parking. It's not easy to get to if you're not sure where you're going. Other than that it was a great success. Hope to See Tom & Kathy next year!


  7. Fixed! Thanks. I had Spencerport on the brain because I'd also talked to a woman that works at the Frank Lloyd-wright designed Martin House Complex that has a flower farm in Spencerport.


  8. I may have to stop by this weekend and pick a few up. I was thinking of something like that. The artist gave me a couple ideas too, but yours would be easiest.


  9. About that black wire leaf you want to “pop”…check out Gilder's Paste. It sort of looks like a small tin of shoe polish…it's a waxy base with metalic powder in various hues mixed in…African Bronze, Aztec Gold, for example…you apply with a brush, let dry, buff with a soft cloth…you can apply as much or as little as you want..layer different colors, etc…its' fun to work with. Easiest place to buy it is on EBAY, I find. German Silver is my personal favorite. BTW…I cast the green glass in your garden sculpture by Kathy Kosel. We loved the show. You all did a great job of organizing.


  10. Sure did love the show. Buffalo gardeners are way more insane about their gardens than they are in Rochester…love everything about this show…hope to be invited next year for sure!


  11. I will check out “Gilder's Paste” thanks. Colors – I like color! Thanks for the kind words about the show. Glad you were able to participate!


  12. Insane is a word you could use. It does go beyond “avid” a little bit! You'll be invited back for sure next year – and spread the word. I love my sculpture/totem and it looks great in the garden. Next up is deciding on how best to light it.


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