So last Thursday am I left for my 7th trip to Arties Party. Just like the past few years, i headed up to Staten Island to stay with my home away from home with Rooster and the Inzerillos. Went out to a great little place fer dinner that night. Duffys......GREAT BURGER!
Up early the next am and on the road to Syracuse by 5am. After 5 hours we arrive at the fairgrounds. Already packed with thousands of cars. Oh yeah, the show is part of the Syracuse Nat's Goodguys carshow.
Arties Party is a gathering of SUPER talented artists of all ages, genders, nationalities and skills. For the most part, everyone is of the pin striping/sign painting world. Seasoned Veterans like Glen Weisgerber and Mr J. to new upcoming talents like my new buddy Riley Graham. Remember that name cause yer gonna start seein' it. He's so good and only been at it fer a short while. I mean, how long could he have possibly been workin' at it???? He's only 13 freakin' years old. Ok, so back to what Arties is. About 75 of us get together every year at the Syracuse State Fairgrounds. Everyone pays their way there along with hotel. There are guys that make the hike from Japan and Italy every year. We paint all kinds of artwork all weekend from morning to night. As we're painting, the art is getting auctioned off. Ive seen pieces go for thousands of dollars! All the proceeds go to Ronald McDonald House. At an average, we raise about $70,000 throughout the weekend.
Im pretty positive that not a single one of us think of it as work. Its like a big reunion! its always overwhelming when ya arrive there Friday am and start seeing everyone that ya haven't seen since the previous year. Last year, I painted a Jungle Pam can for the auction. It was a nice surprise to see her at this years show with my can. Had to get a pic of her with it. She's super nice! Gene Winfield is there every year. Sellin his wares. Signin autographs and support'n Arties Party. We all usually stay in the same hotel and get together in the evenings. We all stayed at a new hotel this year. No downstairs bar means that we all stood outside the hotel until all hours of the morning, drawing on the shuttle van with stabilo pencils. There was some interesting art on that van. Things got weird'r as the night went on.
After a lot of coffee and a good breakfast at the local diner we were off to paint again. Gary "the Local Brush" Kupfer did an amazing airbrushed portrait of Hot Rod Jen. She wanted that thing pretty bad but knew it was gonna go fer big bucks. She had just got married a week or two before and knew after spending money on a wedding, there was no way she could shell out the money fer that panel. Well, we fixed her! We all pitched in and bought the thing for her. It went for $1300. When she found out what was going on she turned into a blubbering idiot. Actually, there were quite a few tears in the crowd. It was really cool to see how touched she was that her paintin family did that for her. So, 3 days of huffin' 1-Shot! It goes by so quick every year. I think the final talley this year was $67,000. Already lookin forward to next years show.