Art Fair Insiders

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

Kalamazoo Institute of Art Fair—A Pretty Location, But Sales Were Pretty Low

The KIA art Fair was last weekend.  Artists setup early on Friday morn and the Fair is from 3pm-8pm that day.

Then on Saturday it runs from 9-5. No Sunday show.

It is setup in a beautiful downtown park, Bronson Park. Artists have plenty of room around and in the rear of their booths.

Setup and teardown are pretty mellow.  You do not have any militant show people harping at you, unlike too many shows in Florida, especially in Naples.

The Show has about 200 plus artists. There is a comfortable mix of newbies combined with old vets like me.

Their are lots of artists with cheap pop up tents, luckily there were no bad winds to damage them.

I have done this show off and on over 15 times and always come away with a nice profit, at least 5x my booth fee. THE show is only an hour away from my Saugatuck casa, and I just spend one night in a hotel.

the last two years I have made an easy 10x my booth, so I was licking my chops going there this year.  I had 20 new images and felt I would sell a goodly number of $150 framed ones.

Boy was I wrong.

Not only me.  A lot of fellow artists were disappointed.  The show did not click.

Both day’s we had mellow cooler weather and the crowds turned out big time.

Lots of young families with eager kids.  There was a nice mix of older “Good Shoes” people.

Trouble was, they all kept their hands in their pockets. I only saw about a dozen larger pieces of art go by my booth both days.

Sadly, I only sold one, $150 framed image.  Last year I sold 12.  Go figure.

Most of the crowd were just walking and talking and not really looking.

Frankly, I think I am going to have to give this show a break and go elsewhere next year.

If you are selling Lowend crafty, conservative art or crafts you might give it a try.

Kalamazoo has become a cool town, lots of good restaurants and bars to choose from and they are not pricey.

Oh well, I am on to Columbus next.  I see mucho dinero in my future.

Views: 276

Comment by Joan Tweedell on June 4, 2018 at 2:11pm

KIA petered out for me last year, plus I HATE the long hours on Friday! I opted for Winona Lake IN this year instead, 1/2 the booth fee and artist friendly from setup to teardown. Sales were OK for most, I ended up with close to average profit. This year I'm good with that! 

Comment by Bridget Marie Tremaine on June 6, 2018 at 12:43pm
Thank you Nels was questioning whether it was my location in the fair..—This was my first year at KIA— and very disappointed as well.
Definitely the crowd out for fun and entertainment vs buying.

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