Art Fair Insiders

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

I wish they would put a notice in the shows leaflet or a sign at entry points, that taking pictures of Artists 2D work is something they should ask permission to do.

In my book, taking a close up photo of an image is stealing.  They can take it home and print it, or toss it all over the internet.  At least ask.  I don't want to give people a hard time but I do want directors to help educate the public.

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A show I did a few years ago gave you a big cookie or an apple (your choice) if you turned your survey in. They got almost all of them returned!

When I do shows I see the artists, many friends, year after year and facts are we all are getting older. While I realize it's not only older people doing shows I have to wonder if the show model should try a change. Also despite what some people think, climate change scientists predict more and more severe weather. What if some shows, if it works, put up giant tents. It makes it easier for some vendors (come on, why not?), might make it easier for people to travel in their cars if no tent space is needed. That way those who still need their tents can set up inside, those who don't rely on their tents can just set up and PATRONS...the ones who you want to be dry or feel safe can also be under these large tents and business can keep going. Rather than, shutting a show down because of wind, loosing clients when it starts to pour and also this big tent idea could extend the selling seasons in colder area buy creating an indoor show outdoors. While convention center shows are fine there's not as many as outdoor shows. I know some shows do this but most of the ones I have done do not. 

Kimberly,

The show I am doing this weekend and next are both under cover, as in under large buildings with some sort of open ends.  This allows sellers to put up their full tent with canopy or no canopy, or just a pipe and drape system or other dividers between booths.  It does allow for more flexibility in setting up.

This particular building we are in arenas that are used for equestrian events.  No horses are on the premises this weekend.  And just as importantly, no smell and no horse hockey to be found.  The building we are in is open on the 2 longs sides.  It made I quite comfortable here today even in the Jackson, MS area. The other building has a more enclosed feelin and it felt warm to me when I made a walk through earlier today. 

Next weekend I am in a show that is in an old cotton seed oil mill.  It has soaring rooflines.  There are extra wide doors, big enough to drive a vehicle through, on each end.  There are 2 sets of doors on each end I believe.  These are open all during the show for ventilation and it works well.  I heard a story from a gemologist/jeweler that said the very first show was held in May of that year.  In Louisiana May can be very, very warm and humid.  The sellers all got together and told the promoters that if they did not move the spring show to early to mid April that none of the sellers would return.  Guess what?  It got moved!  Yay!  They building is a great ambiance, at least to me.  It was on the verge of being torn down when the Mayor of the town wanted to do something with it to save. Now it is used as a venue quite often for local events.  Sounds like a win win for the town.

I am not sure if this trend can be won on the climate argument but when it keeps a part of history from being torn down, as in the case of the community of New Roads (cotton mill), it may be a good reason to convert it to a permanent venue.

Sounds very nice. What a great reuse for a cool old building. I hope more shows consider adapting and re-thinking/refreshing the 10x10 tent linear set up.

Kimberly, we were still set up in a linear fashion.  The show that just ended yesterday in the equine center had the usual 10x10 in linear fashion.

The show this weekend is 10' wide and 16' deep, still in linear fashion.  I love the extra space.  We do not bring a tent.  We do bring our pipe and drape and set it up at the back end of the 16 foot depth and work from there.  I'll be writing more about the just ended show in a blog.

This past February I did the Banbury Art Crawl in a old factory in Eau Claire Wi. It regularly rents to art studio's & small businesses. This was the 8th year of this 2 day crawl & my first . I loved not having to set up my tent & be concerned about weather. They had a guard for the night , big garage doors & a industrial cart that was extra long to use . My spot was next to garage door &I had a window. It was a bit chilly but I would ask for it again . This is a two building venue . The main building is multiple floors & im guessing a bit more of a hassle to set up. This show is well attended & busy all day both days . I did better than I had expected to so that's always wonderful . They had a tasty meet the artist offering at the Oxbo a block away Saturday evening. This is a Friday & Sat show . I would have liked the food meet& great to have been on the first evening. So all the artist could be present at the same time rather than trickle in after tear down. It was a great experience for me & I think the public also like the idea of art & exploring a old factory & the reuse of a old building.

To REALLY cut down on buy-sell is to require photographs~NOT CD'S!! If the Artist applies thru zapplication, the promoter should still ask for the same pictures they were juried in on to be mailed to them.The promoter and/or a "team" need to go to every booth during the entire festival-more than once doing on-site jurying with the Artists pictures in hand~true that a picture is worth a thousand words~IF the pictures do not represent what they are selling-SHUT THEM DOWN ASAP! I WISH every show did on-site jurying! The promoter needs to prove they care that there is NO buy-sell in their show.

Do you think that the jurors are being swayed by the slick and polished look?

I have done a show that truly did not have any buy sell.

The overall look was not as slick and polished, and some of the booths had a more homemade-handmade not as upscale professional look- but everything was entirely handmade.

<clearing throat>  They CAN print the images from their computer.  No need to send pictures.

The ONE thing I wish show organizers would do is enforce every booth having adequate weights that are attached to the top of the tent frame.  I walked through a show recently where a vendor was literally holding a tent pole to keep her tent on the ground.  While I was in the booth, a man walked up and put a cinder block on the little metal "foot" at the bottom of one tent pole.  There was no bungee, tie-down or rope.  

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