Art Fair Insiders

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

Robert Wallis
  • Male
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • United States
  • photography
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Robert Wallis's Friends

  • Kyra Richter
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  • Paula Decker Haynes
  • Craig Roderick and Sara Beck
  • Joel Lockridge
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  • Barrie Lynn Bryant
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Robert Wallis's Groups

Robert Wallis's Discussions

Passing of Karen Holtkamp

Started this discussion. Last reply by Barrie Lynn Bryant Feb 6. 3 Replies

It is with regret I just found out that Karen Holtkamp, a long time member on AFI, passed away September 6, 2017. I was next to her at several shows, the most recent was last year's Talbot Street…Continue

Propanel extensions proving to be a hassle, looking for an easier solution.

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Tunney Jul 24, 2017. 7 Replies

This is the first season I've added the 20" extensions to my 7 foot Propanels. What I thought was going to be an easy add-on has turned out to be a giant PITA. My old step stool turned out to be too…Continue

Where are you this weekend of 9/9-9/11?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Connie Mettler Sep 12, 2016. 22 Replies

I'll be at Penrod Arts fair in Indianapolis this Saturday. getting up bright and early tomorrow morning and plan to get a good start on the Friday set up that officially starts at 9:30. Hope to get…Continue

Yet another scam

Started this discussion. Last reply by Robert Wallis Sep 2, 2016. 5 Replies

Here's one I received this morning. These people must count on the recipient being dumber than a box of rocks. I told them to go to my bookkeeper, Helen Waite, for payment."Hello Robert…Continue


Robert Wallis's Page

Latest Activity

Robert Wallis replied to Chuck Hinrichs Jr.'s discussion Item Name Badges For Products
"Mine are done the hard way, but worth it. I print the tags on high gloss photo paper, business card size, and print 10 per 8.5x11 sheet of paper. They are separated with a light gray dash line so I can cut them out after I mount them on a piece of…"
Mar 6
Robert Wallis commented on Larry Berman's blog post I scored a "1" at the Krasl Jury
"Keep in mind that my own scores included a 5-1-2-5-1 so I'm not saying rah-rah because I got in, for I certainly didn't. What I did see from being at the jurying was a uniformly high quality of entries. The number of jewelers entering was…"
Mar 6
Robert Wallis replied to Judy Christian's discussion Boston Mills- has anyone heard?
"Received notice today, wait listed in photography and rejected in mixed media."
Mar 3
Robert Wallis commented on Larry Berman's blog post I scored a "1" at the Krasl Jury
"I made the three hour trip to watch the open jury. It was a rapid fire assessment with each entry receiving a 20 second timed evaluation, There was an overview of each category before the individual entries were judges. This is pretty much in line…"
Mar 3
Robert Wallis replied to Carol Larsen's discussion Trying to redefine my medium...
"I'm doing much the same myself, and likewise struggling with it. I've been doing photography for many years, with this year being my 30th doing art fairs. In the beginning photographers at the fairs were mostly wet darkroom B&W stuff…"
Feb 17
Robert Wallis replied to Paula Decker Haynes's discussion Easton Art Affair in Coming limbus, Ohio
"OMG, NO! Turn back, it's a trap! I did it once, and that was once too often. Long hours, crap locations, it's in a large upscale shopping center/town center, beastly terrible weather conditions for the most part with asphalt reflecting sun…"
Feb 6
Barrie Lynn Bryant replied to Robert Wallis's discussion Passing of Karen Holtkamp
"I am sorry to hear of her passing. R.I.P., Karen. She contributed greatly to AFI."
Feb 6
Connie Mettler replied to Robert Wallis's discussion Passing of Karen Holtkamp
"Thank you, Robert, for posting this. It is so sad to hear. Although I never met her, Karen contributed a lot of helpful information to over the years. We exchanged emails and she helped me sort out some issues. I believe she did…"
Feb 6
Rita Seidel replied to Robert Wallis's discussion Passing of Karen Holtkamp
"I did not know her, but she seemed like a lovely person. I’m sorry to learn of the passing of someone else in the art community, and I’m sorry for your loss."
Feb 6
Robert Wallis posted a discussion

Passing of Karen Holtkamp

It is with regret I just found out that Karen Holtkamp, a long time member on AFI, passed away September 6, 2017. I was next to her at several shows, the most recent was last year's Talbot Street where we were able to talk again in person. She was always a lovely and vivacious person who held up well in a long running battle with an aggressive esophageal cancer that had metastasized and kept coming back after treatment. We were at one small show the year before in Lagrange, KY, next to each…See More
Feb 5
Robert Wallis commented on Connie Mettler's blog post Call for Artists: 63rd Talbot Street Art Fair
"It's a local show for me that I've done for a while. The crowds run the gamut from all economic levels. The immediate area is urban revival with high property values and younger professionals. Be prepared for heat with fans or shade as it…"
Jan 28
Robert Wallis replied to Connie Mettler's discussion Here Comes Santa! Part II - 2017
"My Secret Santa gave a beautiful bracelet that was re-gifted to my wife, who says thank you very much to Diane Hutchison for a lovely bracelet. The photo doesn't do it justice, so time permitting, I may give it another shot, time permitting in…"
Dec 26, 2017
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, 2017
Robert Wallis replied to Connie Mettler's discussion Naughty or Nice? Here Comes our 6th Annual Secret Santa Exchange
"Signed up again :-)"
Nov 20, 2017
Robert Wallis commented on Reid Watts's blog post Is your pricing keepin up with inflation?
"My bottom price items are still $20. When I started in 1988, I had 8x10 pieces in small metal frames for $20. Nowadays, those pieces are digitally matted with a backer and no frame. I tried raising and lowering prices; higher prices and lower sales;…"
Nov 20, 2017
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, 2017

Profile Information

Your Medium
Years in the Art Fair Business
First show ever
Talbott Street Art fair
What is your website?
What are the best things about art fairs
meeting the customers and knowing where the work is going
Best show ever and why
4th Street in Bloomington, IN, An art concious crowd
Worst show ever and why
Metro Arts Two Rivers Expo in DesMoines , Iowa, in 2008. Drove about 800 miles to get there, horrible load in (really, really horrible), I was back in the rear of the place with a big sign that said "Children's Section" so what few people did come to the show didn't go back there. I sold the lowest amount I had in 20+ years, almost skunked, and lost about $1000 doing the show. The a little over a week after I get back I have a major heart attack probably brought on by the strenuous load in process. Small wonder I have litle warmth for that show. Then I get a letter the following year reminding me the deadline was approaching, so I sent an email declining. I get another one back asking if I would reconsider and what was wrong. So I told them. Never heard back from them ;-)

Number two on the list; This year's Hopkins Art Festival in Minnesota. Sold even less then Des Moines, but only lost $800 this time, so I guess that means the economy is getting better.

Who referred you to Please be specific.
Lee Hill
What is one fun fact about yourself?
The adult interest school where I was teaching in the early 80's had long ran my beginning and portrait classes. Students kept on asking for a figure photography class. I assumed since the classes were generally held in rented spaces in churches for the most part that was not going to fly.

I mentioned it to the school registrar, and he said try it anyhow. I wrote up a syllabus for the church board of trustees, outlined the sequence of the 6-week course (six meetings), stressing the fine art aspect of it using the appropriate language, and it was approved by a main stream denomination church.

So for several years I taught a nude photography class in a church.

Robert Wallis's Photos

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Robert Wallis's Blog

Round the Fountain, Lafayette, IN 5-27-2017

Posted on May 29, 2017 at 1:15pm 3 Comments

This is a mid size and very selective one day show in downtown Lafayette arranged around the courthouse. I've yet to see the fountain, but haven't gone looking for it. This year was a bit more problematic due to construction, and the booths were in different locations. For some that was a blessing as a bunch of spots required hauling stuff up a long set of steps. Those spots were eliminated this year.

I was located around the corner from last year's location. Two streets were able to…


Oldham Arts on CityPlace 2016 - Lagrange, Kentucky- November 12&13

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 12:30am 7 Comments

This was a small indoor show, for the most part, held in a civic center in Lagrange, Ky, about 22 miles north-east of Louisville just off I-71. It was divided across two civic buildings or small convention halls with about 72 artists there.

About ten artists were located outside on the portico of the buildings, where they were afforded free electricity and reduced booth fee. These locations required a tent. The weather was a bit iffy for the outside venues, fairly chilly on…


Art on the Commons, Kettering, Ohio 8/14/2016

Posted on August 16, 2016 at 6:00pm 10 Comments

Last year was the first time I tried this show. It wasn't spectacular but there was a decent return for the effort and sales were worthwhile enough to make a return trip.

It's a one day show put on by the local arts organization in conjunction with the city government. the show is arranged around a large fountain in a city park. You have to dolly in from the street, but there are two one way streets either side of the venue, so it's not difficult and it's on concrete all the…


Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, Louisville, KY, 4/30-5/1, 2016

Posted on May 8, 2016 at 8:41pm 12 Comments

This show has always been at the mercy of the springtime weather, being held the weekend before the Kentucky Derby. Some years the weather is balmy, sunny, and warm; sometimes cool and damp, sometime cold with frost on the grass in morning and needing space heaters. Sometimes, like this time around it was cool and rainy with the emphasis on rainy. Saturday was rainy most of the day with deserted aisles except for a few moments when the rain and drizzle stopped. Sunday had about half a day…


Comment Wall (23 comments)

At 8:36am on September 13, 2010, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Robert, what great advice about the booth set up! Thanks for being here and adding such useful information to the site. You are one of the people who make the site work. Many thanks.
At 8:04am on February 20, 2011, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Great job, Robert, on all that solid advice for Dolly Ramot. Thanks for your generous sharing and for being a member here.
At 6:28pm on March 05, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats, Robert, on winning the Blog Post of the Week (3/54/12).
At 12:12am on August 22, 2012, Shannon Blosser-Salisbury said…
Robert (or do you prefer a nickname?), you are too kind. I definitely have been having a great time making my art and I hope the fun continues doing shows. Hope to see you out there!
At 11:14am on October 25, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Stellar comment on earning a living at the shows, Robert. Thank you for this very useful exchange full of great information. AFI appreciates it ;)
At 5:48pm on November 05, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats on winning the Blog Post of the Week Award - 11/5/12.
At 11:58am on February 21, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Impressive! Robert, this is such a gift for everyone who is at all serious about the shows. A lot of this has not been presented before and is wonderful evergreen content that should help many.
At 4:01pm on February 25, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats Robert on the Post of the Week Award - 2/25/13.
At 4:44pm on March 22, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats, Robert! Your wonderful series about the image workshop in St. Louis was voted best info on AFI for February. Thank you so much for all the time you spent on this.
At 10:04pm on June 10, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Robert, thanks so much for all your support. It is appreciated!

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