Art Fair Insiders

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

Hi Everybody,

I will be presenting at an art show in November (along with other Sun City Artists) and we are inside with a 9 ft oblong table - no wall space and nothing allowed on panels or on the floor. First time I've done a show like this.
I have 3 mediums - photography, watercolors and silk flowers.

I'd like any suggestions that you may have for showing well without table overload! My thoughts so far are to showcase a number of photo's in 3 sizes (matted or framed) with a plate holder to support them. Rest of the photo's in a basket. Larger art pieces (framed) at the back of the table (prop up) and silk flower arrangements on edges (no more than 4). My art work in all mediums is predominantly flowers and landscapes. Any ideas would really be appreciated!

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First of all, three mediums is way too much for a single table. Decide which can earn you the most money and focus on creating a condensed display. For two dimensional work, Armstrong Products sells a table top display:
http://www.armstrongproducts.com/table09.htm
It's perfect for setting up on a table with small browse bins. Speaking of browse bins, can you use the floor space in front of the table or does everything have to be confined to the table top?

Larry Berman
Digital Jury Services
http://BermanGraphics.com
Test Your Jury Images and Presentation
http://JuryImages.com
412-767-8644
I have frustrations when I see people who exhibit more than one medium at a show. I get confused - wondering "Who are you - as an artist" and "What is it that you specialize in, really?". Balancing between various mediums takes away from one that you might excel at - bringing the rest of your work down. Think about it from the perspective of the customer -they see all three things what would your thoughts be from this perspective from the customer's point of view? Of course the frustration - for you - then becomes how am I going to sell all this stuff when it comes to displaying it?

Let me ask you this to help you decide which direction to go when you are faced with a 9 ft. table problem.
1) What do you have the most of to sell? 2) What do you feel sells the best, in your past experience or can give you the most bang for your buck? Could you earn more money selling just your watercolors or is it possible that offering smaller price point items might sell more? 3) Do you know what others will be selling at the event and if there will be an over abundance of photographers, watercolor artists, or flower arrangers? Going with a medium where there is less competition might be the answer you are looking for.

What you described in your post "we are inside with a 9 ft oblong table - no wall space and nothing allowed on panels or on the floor." reminds me of the old church shows I did when I first started out - here's your table and that's it. Makes me wonder what kind of show you signed up for as a show that offers only a table doesn't sound very "pro artist" giving room for creativity in displaying work and so on. Do you have the option of bringing in 2 smaller tables (4ft in size)? Or something that can go in front of the table (like covering up crate-like risers) to display more work, maybe even have your larger pieces there? As for other ideas for risers - draped/covered cubes, crates, or boxes may work just fine espeically if you intend to use them just for this one show.

These are just some of my random thoughts - hopefully you will be able to figure it out when the time comes.

- Michelle
www.bythebaybotanicals.com
www.quickcraftartisttips.blogspot.com
When you say you cannot use panels, do you mean the type that you set on the floor. Do you have the option of having panels that set on the table? That would allow you to add interest - you could have different height panels to hang some pics on. I am attaching a link to an A frame type display that I made to hold some of my jewelry. It is pretty simple to make and inexpensive. You could modify it to make it fit your artwork. The directions are below the pic. Just a thought. Whatever you do, go vertical to add interest to your display. If you could have some pieces hanging you would still have room for the basket, etc. on the table top. Here is the link. http://www.jewelry-display-ideas.com/tabletop-jewelry-tray-display....
Hope this helps a bit.
Debbie
Thank you Debbie, great idea about different height panels on the table, and the directions. Thank you so much for sharing, it does help!

Carol
Also try using a couple of sturdy cardboard boxes draped with beautiful fabric to raise items up off the table and add some dimension to the table. Velvet or satin works well, and use solid colors that complement your art. Look for remnants at the fabric store.
Thank you so much Mardi, great idea and remnants also a good suggestion!

Appreciate your help.

Carol

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