Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

At a show in Charlotte, NC, a couple weekends ago, promoter Patty Narozny pointed out that there are very few young artists at the shows. And as I looked around that weekend and this past one, I began to see that she has a point. 

I'm 56. Most of the artists I see at shows are in their 50s or older. Is this the way it has always been? Is it a symptom of changing economic times - young artists putting art aside to earn a steady paycheck? Or is it something about Gen Whatever It Would Be - Gen Zsquared? 

When I do see a young artist at a show, he or she is often doing something really innovative, really cool, really interesting - and inspiring to me. So what's going on here? 

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I'm a forum moderator and vets everyone who signs up. I'll bet the average of AFI members is over 50 also.

But to contrast, ZAPP opened the door for a lot of younger artists because they were more familiar with using the application system technology.

And another possible scenario (yet to be proven) is that the average of the jurors is closer to the average age of the accepted exhibitors. I think shows that use younger jurors will probably let in younger and more cutting edge exhibitors.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

I'm about to turn 48, so nudging to the average!

Me too Annette, just hit 48 the 18th....

I will be 70 this September - YIKES. Don't feel much different than when I was 50. Banking on good genes and good luck to keep going for anther 20 years. Planning to bag a couple 14teeners (CO peaks) in June.

I'm 64, started doing shows when I was 40. Past the average I guess. This morning my back makes me feel 20 years older after doing the Wyoming Art Fair (Cincinnatti). Got up at 4:15AM on Sunday morning, drove 2 hours, started setting up at 7; finished by 11:00 and show started. Started tearing down at 5:00, out by 7:30, and got home by 10:30 last night. Maybe the young folks are smarter than we give them credit for.

I am 41 - I guess this helps the average?

I think there are several factors why there aren't many younger artists at these shows, at least for fine art. This may be different to jewelry and other ulitarian art/craft.

1.Experience! The older crowd usually has more experience thus getting into better shows over the younger artist.

2. A lot of people get into this business after having a successful career or retired.

3.Most of these outdoor festivals have more traditional & decorative art, you usually see the more edgy art at shows like Miami Basel or galleries in New York.

4. I don't know if someone new can make enough money these days doing this without another income. I know I can't make it on art alone yet, so it's a second income for me, which prevents me from traveling far. Hopefully with more experience comes more money and can eventually make it full time. I'm usually one of the youngest when I do these shows (I'm 37) and often question myself if you can do this without having a established career beforehand.

Turning 40 in sept, I have sometimes felt the need to pursue other career options especially since I am lucky enough to have a graduate degree, It is a tough business and endurance and patience does not register much with the younger generations. My education is my fallback although I have sometime questioned my passion for art.

 

I'm 29 now.  This will be my 6th year doing art shows. I guess I am keeping in line with your experience since I would consider what I'm doing innovative since no one does the kind of work I do.

And yes, it is kind of rare that I run into many artists my age at shows, but they are out there.

I've just been to your website, and your photographs are stupendous! I thought I found a site error - an enormous print of Manhattan for only $40, an obvious error -until I saw below that the photographic paper isn't available in that size. Feeling a bit sheepish, I am.  ;-)

Keep doing what you are doing, it's incredible.

Another thing that younger artists must consider is the traveling involved.  If they have families, staying closer to home is a prioroty. I, like many artists didn't start doing art fairs until my kids left home and I retired from my day job. It is great to see some of the younger artists commenting here.  So they are out there!

What do you all consider "young?"

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