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As Seen In The Faux Finisher - Winter 2005
A Faux Painter’s Paradise Until...”
Though an uninvited guest cut the Second annual Faux Event short, it was still a valuable experience
by Diane Cupuano, Executive Editor
Article - Page 53

The Faux Finisher - Winter 2005

A Faux Painter’s Paradise Until...

So, say you’re at an event surrounded by some of the top decorative painters in the country. You’re networking and learning and sharing and trying all sorts of great products. You’re surrounded by beautiful palm trees with a lovely view of the beach. At night, you’re sipping those fruity drinks with little umbrellas in them while a band makes its way through Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits. You’re in faux painter’s paradise. There’s just one problem: A Category 3 hurricane is bearing down on you.

That was the very dilemma facing attendees at the Second Annual Faux Event, sponsored by ProFaux and Perfetto Inc. The event, originally scheduled to run Sept. 22-26, was proceeding beautifully. But off-shore, an uninvited guest by the name of Jeanne was making her way toward Deerfield Beach- the fourth of four hurricanes that had wreaked havoc in Florida during a devastating hurricane season. Pretty soon, everyone was switching from Jimmy Buffet to Clash: “Should I stay or should I go now?”

By the end of the day Sept. 24, the question became moot. Jeanne stubbornly clung to a due-west course instead of shifting northward as hurricane prognosticators had originally predicted. The Embassy Suites, site of the event, was under an evacuation order scheduled to take effect the next morning. So, there was no more choice in the matter: Everyone had to make an early exit.
Most of the event’s 200-plus attendees preferred to think of the glass as half full rather than half empty. A large group took advantage of the PDRA-sponsored Certified Faux Consultant Course, which ran on Sept. 22. And the event swung into high gear on Sept. 23 and 24, with two full days of exhibits, seminars and hands-on demonstrations.

The last day of the exhibit hall and the last two days o seminars had to be scuttled due to the evacuation order, but not before a rousing finale that took place the evening of Sept. 24, when teams of faux survivalists created their own canoes and raced across the hotel pool.

While it lasted, the Faux Event made a decidedly positive impression. The artists who gathered in Deerfield Beach were truly among the best to ever wield a stippling brush. Seeing Leonard Pardon- the same Leonard Pardon who has pointed for royalty and celebrities-effortlessly prepare a marble sample board was a thrill to behold. Having the chance to talk wood graining with Mike MacNeil or stenciling with Melanie Royals or muraling with Michael Cooper, or having the opportunity to ask Mark Golden of Golden Artist Colors questions about his esteemed line of products-any of those experiences, alone or combined, made braving an approaching hurricane seem like a small price to pay.

Attendees also gained considerable knowledge from Kathy Carroll, who encouraged faux finishers to reach out and try new things. “If you do not continue to grow and try new things and new products, you will never have great breakthroughs,” Carroll said. Also providing value in their seminars were Ed Hettig, who spoke on the topic of creative marketing; Jennifer Ferguson, who gave tips on turning trash into treasure; and Keith Cornelius from Wooster Brush, who described applicator tools that can make the faux artist’s job just a little easier. Seminars even had a bilingual flavor, when the gentlemen from Safra Colors spoke
Nick Cichielo, PDRA’s CEO and publisher of The Faux Finisher, kicked off the seminar program with an address that proved inspiring to the faux finishers and decorative artists in attendance. His statistics showing the potential market for faux finishes led one pair of business partners to consider adjusting their marketing strategy. Based on these statistics, Deb Moyer and Laura Burns (the mother-daughter team profiled in this issue) will likely put greater emphasis on faux finishes rather than being so focused on murals. “The statistical information was important,” Moyer said, and Burns agreed: “It made us realize that we shouldn’t push faux finishes to the back burner. There’s a lot of potential.”
Ted Heath of Perfetto was like a whirling dynamo during the Faux Event, seemingly showing up in multiple locations at once. He was a ubiquitous presence in the demo area but also made appearance in the seminar room and the exhibit hall. And of course, John Catalanotto and Greg Frohnapfel of ProFaux presided over the proceedings with deadpan humor and steady leadership that kept everyone as calm as could be expected in the face of an impending hurricane.

What turned out to be the final evening of the Faux Event was a wacky faux reality show, which was a little bit like “Survivor” thrown into a blender with “The Amazing Race.” Teams of contestants built canoes from a few simple supplies, such as cardboard, plastic, fiberglass tubes and flotation devices. Each team picked a designated pilot, and two at a time, they raced across the pool. One team really got into the spirit of the event, with pirate garb- complete with eye patches, blacked-out teeth and even a stuffed parrot.

It was a great farewell to an event that ended much sooner than anyone wanted it to.

And when Catalanotto asked tentatively, “See you next year?’ –in reference to a third annual Faux Event-there were plenty of affirmations, giving rise to the sentiment that the networking and sharing and learning hadn’t really ended but would resume again—and this tie, without the interruption of an uninvited guest named Jeanne.

Side bar: Those providing support to the Faux Event included: Barth’s Faux Studio, Blue Pearl Paint, The Faux Finisher, Jennifer Rebecca Designs, Modern Masters, PDRA, Perfetto, ProFaux, School of Italian Plasters and The Stencilled Garden. Door prizes provided by: A Stroke of Magic, XIM, The Faux Finisher, Golden Artist Colors, Artistic Living Studio, Loparex, Perfetto, Blue Pearl Paint, Chicago Institute of Fine Finishes, Lasting Impressions, Jennifer Rebecca Designs, School of Italian Plasters, Embassy Suites, Definitive, The Stencilled Garden, Barth’s Faux Studio, Murals & More, Nature’s Vignettes, ProFaux, Royal Design Studio, Modello Designs, Wooster Brush, United Parcel Service, Piedmont Plastics, Modern Masters, Love Designs and Roos International Ltd. Inc.

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