Art Fair Insiders

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

John Leben
  • Male
  • Saugatuck, MI
  • United States
  • Digital
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John Leben's Friends

  • William Lee
  • Christine Goshorn
  • Kathleen Taylor
  • robert casarietti
  • Deborah Bohren
  • Robert Wallis
  • Linda A Shields
  • Ruth Jellema
  • Alison Thomas
  • Nels Johnson

John Leben's Discussions

For Sale: 10 + 2 Graphic Display System Display Panels - $500

Started Aug 9, 2016 0 Replies

I have ten 7-foot tall 37.5 inch wide sectional panels covered with black fabric from Flourish and two 7-foot tall 19.5 inch wide sectional panels, also covered with black fabric from Flourish. I…Continue

Looking for Used ProPanels in Midwest

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Leben Aug 19, 2016. 2 Replies

I'm in the market for light gray seven foot Propanels with all the needed attachments. I need nine of them. I'll probably wind up taking out a second mortgage (HA) and buying them new from Propanels,…Continue

Digital Printmaking

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Leben Apr 17. 22 Replies

Although the "Digital" category is gaining more widespread acceptance in the art world (and the art fair circuit), as a digital artist, I continue to battle misconceptions in the public eye. I…Continue

 

John Leben's Page

Latest Activity

geri a. wegner commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Key West came through the hurricane fairly well.  The cruise ships are still stopping there and the usual restaurants are all open as well as most of the hotels.  The islands right above Key West got hit pretty hard.  The islands…"
Dec 1
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Oh my ... I do know that. A big slip in my thinking. Geez ... well I've been to both places and they are both wonderful destinations. One much more expensive than the other. But I can't answer to the sales. It is a great excuse to go to…"
Nov 22
Nels johnson commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Connie. Cedar Key and Key West are a million miles apart from each other. Cedar Key is high up on the Gulf, due west from Gainesville. It is also nowheresville for sales at its annual art show in April. Low attendance. Key West is a big destination…"
Nov 22
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Really? A busman's holiday ... why not, Robert? We used to do that, but usually in our van and tacked on a show somewhere to pay the expenses of the trip. If it was in Florida we'd try to fit in a Howard Alan show. Then during the week go…"
Nov 21
Robert Wallis commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Connie, my wife and I are considering just going and not dealing with an art fair. The difference between driving there in a Toyota Corolla vs an E350 van is considerable in terms of gas money. It would probably be wiser to go when the fair takes…"
Nov 20
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"Hi Robert -- always worth a try. I'd give them a call and see if they might take another application if you're really interested. I spent 5 days in Cedar Key a year or two ago and it is so quiet and charming, a really nice place for a…"
Nov 20
Robert Wallis commented on John Leben's blog post Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?
"I had planned to apply for that one and make a 1-2 week vacation around it, but spaced the deadline by a couple of days :-(I think Nels does this one."
Nov 20
John Leben posted a blog post

Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?

I've been accepted to the Old Island Days Art Festival in Key West on February 24-25. Any opinions out there about the wisdom of doing this show? Of all the venues for art fairs around Florida, Key West (and the Keys in general) seemed to be the hardest hit by hurricanes. I just wonder if vacationers and visitors are even going down there yet. I've got Images in New Smyrna, then Fort Myers, then Jupiter before Key West comers upSee More
Nov 17
Dennis Shattuck commented on John Leben's blog post Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?
"My gallery sales tripled the second year but I was in an indoor mall. That was twenty years ago. Hurricane Andrews closed it down. Custom framing made a big difference during our off season."
Oct 11
Christina L. Towell commented on John Leben's blog post Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?
"The gallery is really lovely, John, thanks for sharing the photo and the update.  I've also been wondering how you were doing in Douglas, great to know that you exceeded your expectations!"
Oct 9
Loc Tran commented on John Leben's blog post Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?
"As a fan and frequent reader of AFI, I've been following your posts and hoping you would post on your 'brick-and-mortar' progress. I'm so happy to hear it is going well! The gallery looks great and wish you continued success.…"
Oct 8
John Leben posted a blog post

Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?

Marcia and I opened the LebenArt Gallery in downtown Douglas, Michigan in May. We picked this area because we live close, and the area has become known at the Art Coast of Michigan. The small resort town of Douglas, where our gallery is, also has six other fine art galleries. We thought that would make Douglas an "art destination." This last weekend was the annual "Gallery Stroll," Saturday and Sunday, in which dozens of area art galleries (including Saugatuck) celebrate art openings. It's also…See More
Oct 8
John Leben received a gift from Connie Mettler
Jun 28
Melanie Rolfes commented on John Leben's blog post Old Town Art Fair in Chicago: Terrific Show!
"Great review. Hope to meet you in person in Des Moines"
Jun 19
John Leben commented on John Leben's blog post Old Town Art Fair in Chicago: Terrific Show!
"Connie: Since I opened a gallery in Douglas, Marcia and I are trying to be smarter about the outdoor shows we do. We have to balance the cost of hiring people to man the gallery with the expected revenue from the shows. And sometimes Marcia stays…"
Jun 19
Connie Mettler commented on John Leben's blog post Old Town Art Fair in Chicago: Terrific Show!
"A fine and balanced review once again, John, especially in the light of understanding and explaining the controversy about digital/original and the impact that giclees have had on the originals market. It isn't all about making it cheaper and…"
Jun 19

Profile Information

Your Medium
Digital
Years in the Art Fair Business
Off and on for 30 years
First show ever
Old Burton Place art fair in the 60s. Now the wells street art fair.
What is your website?
http://Www.lebenart.com
What are the best things about art fairs
To be able to sell my art and make a living on my own terms.
Best show ever and why
Recently, 2009 DES Moines art fair. Why? Perhaps because people attending looked forward to it every year and attended with the intention of purchasing something, unlike cities like Chicago that have an art fair every week-end so none of them are considered a special event.
Worst show ever and why
I remember a show in Muskegon, Michigan a few years ago when I didn't sell anything.
Who referred you to ArtFairInsiders.com? Please be specific.
Connie

John Leben's Photos

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John Leben's Blog

Key West Old Island Days Festival - Worth Going?

Posted on November 17, 2017 at 4:05pm 7 Comments

I've been accepted to the Old Island Days Art Festival in Key West on February 24-25. Any opinions out there about the wisdom of doing this show? Of all the venues for art fairs around Florida, Key West (and the Keys in general) seemed to be the hardest hit by hurricanes. I just wonder if vacationers and visitors are even going down there yet. I've got Images in New Smyrna, then Fort Myers, then Jupiter before Key West comers up

Gallery or Art Fairs? Where should we exhibit?

Posted on October 8, 2017 at 2:00pm 3 Comments

Marcia and I opened the LebenArt Gallery in downtown Douglas, Michigan in May. We picked this area because we live close, and the area has become known at the Art Coast of Michigan. The small resort town of Douglas, where our gallery is, also has six other fine art galleries. We thought that would make Douglas an "art destination." This last weekend was the annual "Gallery Stroll," Saturday and Sunday, in which dozens of area art galleries (including Saugatuck) celebrate art openings. It's…

Continue

Old Town Art Fair in Chicago: Terrific Show!

Posted on June 18, 2017 at 11:00am 5 Comments

I'm a digital artist. I sell limited edition prints of my digital paintings in multiple sizes. Its only in the last couple of years the Old Town Art Fair has accepted digital artists, or even printmakers. This show has traditionally been an "originals only" show. I'm delighted that I finally got to participate in this, the grand-daddy of all art fairs. I did very well at this show with twice the sales on Sunday than on Saturday, but this wasn't the case for all artists.

As I mentioned…

Continue

Belleville: One of the Best!

Posted on May 26, 2017 at 9:56am 2 Comments

I can't say enough good things about this terrific art fair! It takes place in a small town in southern Illinois only a few miles from St. Louis. I have no idea how they do it, but they bring people out to the show in droves, and they all seem to have money in their pockets to spend on art. But first a couple of qualifications. Not every artist did well at this show. Our neighbor, a very talented painter, was very disappointed. I am a digital artist selling limited edition prints. Could be…

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Comment Wall (22 comments)

At 12:03pm on May 30, 2010, Connie Mettler said…
Welcome to ArtFairInsiders.com, John. I'm pleased to see you here and look forward to getting to know you.

When you have a chance, please add a photo to your profile and stop by the Discussions area to introduce yourself. We all look forward to your participation here. Also visit the "member map" and add your location. We have a lot to offer one another, experienced and newbie alike. Let's make this a dynamic site!

Best wishes,
Connie Mettler

p.s. The best way to make this system easy to use is to click on the "Follow-Email me" link at the bottom of each Forum discussion that interests you. That way the system will email you automatically whenever anyone responds. It's a great time-saver.
At 7:15am on May 10, 2011, Nels Johnson said…
John on your post about 4 Bridges you mention it was your first time doing it, then you say you sold $2K-to$5K that is quite a range.  There is a big difference between a $2K show and a $5K show.  Which figure was more likely?  Just wondering.  Personally, I wouldnt travel all that way for $2K.
At 4:34pm on June 07, 2011, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Many thanks for this support, John!
At 3:04pm on June 02, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Many thanks, John, for your continued support.
At 4:23pm on June 02, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Thank you for your generous support!
At 11:40am on September 10, 2012, Daniela Lo Presti gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Thanks for sharing your story.
At 3:01pm on October 17, 2012, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Happy birthday, John. I hope you are thoroughly enjoying this beautiful fall day, walking the Lake Michigan shore and celebrating your life. Best wishes for a great year!
At 5:08pm on February 04, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
A gold trophy to you for all your contributions to the community at AFI -- your generosity and sharing and good thinking skills are a gift to all of us. Many thanks.
At 11:38am on March 25, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
Congrats on your Post of the Week Award - 3/25/13.
At 9:43pm on June 06, 2013, Connie Mettler gave John Leben a gift
Gift
John, thanks so much for all your support. Your help is appreciated!

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