The Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery
How one artist gets creative with marketing and takes her art on the road.
Take one vintage 1966 DeCamp travel trailer in near-mint condition, combine it with a dose of creative enthusiasm and elbow grease, mix in the contemporary paintings of one artist, and you get the Happy Camper Mobile Art Gallery.
Kristina Wentzell, a fine art oil painter from Keene, N.H., converted this trailer from camping tagalong to a retro gallery space to showcase her vibrant works. Wentzell takes her mobile gallery on the road filled with oil paintings large and small, of landscapes, chickens, birch trees, poppies and songbirds to street festivals, art fairs, retirement homes, and gallery walks.
Wentzell found the robin’s egg blue trailer for sale while vacationing in Maine this past summer. After a successful crowd sourcing campaign with Kickstarter, she purchased and renovated the camper with the aid of her husband. The renovation process -- in which the couple removed closets and appliances and saved the original birch paneling to create gallery walls illuminated by 1960s light fixtures -- has preserved the mid-century modern charm of the camper, Wentzell says.
Wentzell’s idea for creating a mobile art gallery emerged from the recent and growing trend of gourmet food trucks and other mobile businesses.
“I’m always on the lookout for new and creative ways to get my art out into the world and this just seemed like the perfect avenue,” says Wentzell who also exhibits her work in fine art fairs throughout New England.
”My hope is to create an art gallery that is fun and approachable -- and it seems to be working so far. When I pull up to events with my little trailer it makes people smile … and they can’t help but come inside to view my paintings,” says Wentzell.
When not on the road, you can find the Happy Camper parked at Wentzell’s home studio in Keene, New Hampshire. You can also see her vibrant paintings online at www.kristinawentzell.com
About the artist:
Kristina Wentzell has studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, in France with Parsons School of Design and she received her BFA at the Massachusetts College of Art. Wentzell has always been a do-it-yourselfer when it comes to marketing her work and is always looking for new ways to get her art out in the public eye. She hosts her own garden and art shows at her home, an annual 100 painting sale during the holidays, and has created “CSArt: A Year of Flowers” where she offers an art share of floral paintings in the same vein as the popular CSA farm shares.