Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
The Show was last weekend. Three boring days with no sun, cold temps and fleeting rain showers.
Last weekend was a weather disaster everywhere in the Midwest. Heavy rains at Penrod, Bowling Green, Louisville, even St. Louis.
Rochester is a very affluent northwest suburb of Detroit. Mucho dinero live here. Everybody dresses in expensive outfits adorned with expensive purses and belts.
In earlier times AA was one of the top Michigan shows. Lots of artists did five figures very easily.
My, how the times have changed. For most 2-D artists selling even close to $3K is tough chore.
Crafters have better chance. Especially, ones with low price points.
This monied crowd tends to buy kitschy stuff on the Lowend side.
They are very conservative here in their tastes.
I have done this show at least a dozen times. And every time I do it the take home sales get smaller and smaller.
This weekend’s take was so small that I would have to use a magnifying glass to see it.
Over three days, I only sold three 16x20 framed pieces. Nothing larger.
The bulk of sales came out of my browse bins. As fellow photographer Bill Sargent would say, “I sold little precious pieces of paper.”
Here are some hard facts about the show if you consider to do it. And, for many of you, it could be a good money-maker.
You get to setup the day before, Thursday. Or come in on Friday to setup.
The Show starts at 4pm on Friday and goes til 7:30.
On Saturday, hours are 10am-7:30pm.
Sunday, hours are 10am-4pm.
Booth fee for a single booth is close to $500.
This is a show run by the Paint Creek Center for the Arts. You can find it on Zapp.
There are at least 300 exhibitors, and jurying is very competitive.
The thing is, when I know good artists that get juried out, and then see what gets in, it makes my head spin.
They do a great job of mapping out the show. Every space gets ample rear storage. Many artists move their booth over to the line on one side so that gives them some wiggle, and display room, on the other side.
The Show is held in a great inner city park in the heart of Rochester. A running creek, Paint Creek, runs thru it.
There are two main sections of the show. One on a lower level, the other on the upper.
I prefer the upper section. Just me.
Parking can be a bitch. It pays to get there early.
For example, on Sunday, I got there at 6:30am. Got the van situated in Position A. I had three and a half hours to kill. So I did my usual Sunday strategy. Which is:get the New York Times at a Starbucks (I can easily spend three hours reading it. Then I walk three blocks to Paul’s Greek restaurant for breakfest.
By 10am I am well read and well fed.
Ready to make mucho dinero, and none named Robert.
Sorry, but I spent another hour adding on to this post after I had saved to this point. It is all in the ether.
OK, it is Tuesday morning. I am going to paraphrase all that got lost in the ether last night.
God, I hate doing this twice, but I will do it for you readers. I have good info to dish out.
As I was saying....
So Sunday I opened up to chilly weather, in the low 50’s. Very windy which made it colder.
I tarped in all three sides of my rear storage which made a nice little warm cocoon free from the winds.
Almost nobody was there til about noon. People trickled in walked around and occasionally walked in a booth.
I was mostly ignored.
I had my black and white handcolors up of famous iconic figure like Bill Murray and Christopher Walken.
I would get giggles, laughs and colorful comments then they would move on. It went that way til close of show. I barely sold $400 for the day.
The woodworker behind me sold one small piece the whole day. A respected glass artist across from me mostly sold little glass balls, he was not happy.
Overall, most people were disappointed with their sales. Many were 50% off from before.
There were successful artists out there. Many had kitschy Lowend items. Certain jewelers killed them.
like I said before, this is a conservative crowd. They are well-monied but I do not see them buying much good art.
I tore down completely on the ground and got a red pass to come in. I was out of there by 5:15, they did not let us in til 4:30.
It started raining lightly just after I escaped.
I am done with this show.
But, it could be a winner for some of you. I try to give an impartial comments about the shows I do. I realize my audience is not the same for a lot of you. I sell to a niche market, and I realize it can have its shortcomings.
OK, good places to eat.
Pauls Restaurant right on the main drag, walking distance from show.
They are Greek. You know Greeks do great breakfest from omelette stop crepes.
For a great dinner go west on Walton to Luckys Prime Rib. In my humble opinion they are the best restaurant in Michigan for moderate price points under $20.
Try the filet for $19. Comes with a delicious loaf of bread, a salad plus one side.
They offer five kinds of fish, all under twenty dollars. They poor a mean martini for Seven.
Aloha, time to play golf.