For the love of Halloween
An interview with Halloween Art Show promoter
and seasonal vendor Stephanie Sherratt
The All Hallow's Art Fest is an annual event in Petaluma, drawing fans from across the country for what many consider to be the kick-off of the Halloween season.
Held in Historic Hermann Sons Hall, the All Hallow's Art Fest gathers some of the best Halloween artists in the United States. Coming together each year, these artists take particular care to create and present a magical Halloween wonderland.
Q. This show must be a huge commitment each year, where does your love of Halloween come from?
Stephanie: I would say my "love" of Halloween may be more of an obsession at this point. Of course, I have fond childhood memories of Halloween and that nostalgia has spilled over into my business - Paper Fabric Glitter. I begin working on my wholesale orders and show creations in January. My Halloween paper kits and assemblages are amongst my best sellers.
|Bill & Stephanie Sherratt|
Q: How do you select artists for this annual show?
Stephanie: I work with a committee from the
Halloween Folk Art Society to jury in the best Halloween artists for the show. Many artists are crowd favorites and return year after year. Each year we also try to have new up-and-coming artists. Part of my job is to make sure we have Halloween Art and Collectibles in a a variety of mediums to keep the show exciting for our fans and collectors.
|Artist David Everett of Chicken Lips|
Q. Obviously this annual show is a huge draw for fans of Halloween, can you explain why the fans of this show seem to be so dedicated?
Stephanie: The tradition of a Halloween show in Petaluma is long-standing. I often hear from fans that they wait all year to attend the show, many times attending with family members or friends and often in elaborate costumes. The atmosphere in Hermann Sons Hall on show day is electric, it's truly exciting and I think that is part of why people really look forward to this show each year. Many fans have a particular theme or item they collect. One avid fan has over 200 pieces of owl-themed art that she has collected from the show in Petaluma over the years.
|Artist Sharon Bloom of Sharon Bloom Designs|
StephanieArtists start setting up their displays on the Friday before the show. All of the artists take a very professional approach, and most have detailed displays and decorations to accent their art pieces. By 5 o'clock that night, the entire hall is decorated, ready for Saturday, and it is truly a wonderful sight.
Q: Why do people collect Halloween Art?
Stephanie: Store-bought Halloween decorations just don't measure up to the one-of-a-kind art pieces that are offered at the show.
First-time attendees of the show often comment on the originality of the work and the breathtaking displays. Halloween Collecting has been around for a long time, but the supply of true vintage Halloween is limited and the demand is high. The nostalgia and charm of vintage Halloween is often captured by the artists in new work at the show which makes it so popular and collectible. I think the popularity of Halloween art is one-part love of all things Halloween, and one-part nostalgia for Halloweens past.
|Jorge de Rojas of HoHo Halloween|
Stephanie: This question comes up a lot, as other shows do. The show in Petaluma has traditionally been a one-day-only event and many collectors and fans travel considerable distances to attend. I feel that a pre-buy, in this case, would leave some fans disappointed, and may even dilute the excitement of opening the doors to the show on Saturday morning. We do give away a limited number of "private viewing" passes, however. The Friday night private viewing allows fans to see the artists booths before the shopping commences on Saturday. It's a fun way to mix and mingle with the artists, even though there is no buying or selling allowed at this Friday night event. We also post heavily on Social Media the night before the show, to give fans and collectors sneak peeks of what to expect once the doors open the next day. Ultimately, this show really is a tradition on Saturday and the fans would like it to stay this way.
Q: Petaluma seems like a fun town, does the show tie into any other events on the weekend of September 23rd?
Stephanie: Petaluma is my home town, and I love that its convenient location lends itself to so many opportunities for good dining, visiting nearby wineries, or event taking a trip to the coast. The Sunday following the All Hallows Art Fest is the Fall Petaluma Antique Faire - always a big draw, this antique fair takes place in the heart of Petaluma and there are always fantastic antiques and treasures to be found. Many of the artists from the show can be seen browsing the booths at the antique fair the next morning.
Q. Do you have any advice for people attending the show for the first time this year?
Stephanie: We have tons of show tips and suggestions on our blog including tips for shopping and attending the show. I always tell first-timers to follow their heart when it comes to selecting an art piece or decoration. If a particular art piece calls to you...BUY IT! because it won't be there when you go back. That's the thrill of the hunt, and one of the reasons for the shows popularity! I also recommend that anyone planning to attend the show join the Halloween Folk Art Society Facebook group. Joining the Halloween Folk Art Society is a great way to learn more about Halloween collecting and Halloween artists, and to network with other show attendees.
|Stephanie at the Petaluma Antique Faire the day after the show. |
"You can never take yourself or life too seriously, and that is why I love Halloween."
Visit Stephanie and see more of her work at: www.paperfabricglitter.com
Click Here to join the Halloween Folk Art Society Facebook Group