In the summer of 1995, Greg & Patrice decided to take Greg’s hobby and love of metal working to a new level. He started creating new designs to take to local art festivals, calling his new company “The Test of Time” to symbolize the longevity of hand crafted metal art.
In the beginning, the designs were pretty simple, and driven primarily by customer requests. Designs ranged from yard stakes and garden ornaments to heavy-duty indoor wall art.
In the early days, traveling conditions for art festivals were cozy, to say the least. Greg & Patrice would travel to a show, set up the display booth, then escape into their modified cargo trailer for the night. Although they had a bed to sleep in, conditions weren’t ideal. They didn’t have any kind of running water, heat, or air conditioning, so the cargo trailer could get a little cramped on the weekends that were overly hot, unusually cold, or during the inevitable overnight rain storms.
Many things changed and improved in the years that followed. That cargo trailer was soon replaced by a much more comfortable horse trailer with living quarters. Designs changed and evolved. Each season, they would introduce several new pieces – often adding to existing collections, and other times creating all new lines, unrelated to anything prior. Show schedules evolved and changed, and even clientele changed as the business continued to grow. Soon, it was time for a new business name to better reflect the evolved business.
Since Greg & Patrice are both left-handed, and most of the designs were evolving into animal and wildlife related pieces, they eventually settled on a name-change to Southpaws.
In 2009, Greg & Patrice (by now dba Meyerdirk Art)decided it was time to extend the art festival season again and decided to try out some winter art festivals in Arizona and New Mexico with some of the new contemporary designs they’d been experimenting with. So, they loaded up the horse trailer and headed south.
They spent most of October and November in the Southwest region. Having enjoyed it, they decided to try a few more shows after the new year, and headed south again. After 2 years of this split-season of winter art festivals, they decided to upgrade to a comfortable RV and spend the entire winter doing art festivals throughout Arizona the following year.
Greg and Patrice continue to do art festivals in the summer, based from Iowa, and in the winter, based from Arizona. You can catch them at one of the shows listed here.