Art Fair Insiders

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

Here is a review from the Southwest part of the country.   I have taken time to reflect on this show which was the Prescott Arts and Crafts Festival put on by Mt. Artist Guild.   First of all they treated the artist fine.   Bringing by water and snacks both Sat. and Sun.   If you were alone they did come around and sit in your booth while the artist went to the bathroom   (portopotties).    Setup and teardown were easy.   Prescott usually gets rain on this particular weekend.  Well the rain never materialized.

The Show.  There were a lot of empty spaces in this show.  I had a feeling they had a hard time filling it.
Unfortunately Prescott shows are getting a reputation for not being all that good.   There was a show three weeks early and it was very empty of artists.    Prescott has a show almost every other weekend beginning in May thru Labor Day.  The locals are tired of seeing the same art every two weeks.   Getting back to my experience.   It was slow,  Sat a little better than Sunday, but not by much.   I usually judge a show by bags in buyers hands  saw very few.   Only saw three big paintings go out near my booth.    My work is not that expensive but did not sell much.    I have a $10.00 snake that I make, had a hard time selling those.    As far as, would i go back,  not if I can help it, and I only live 2 miles from  show.   Met someone from Santa Fe who sold nothing.  I am sure there were a few of those.   The arts and craft shows in prescott are not filling up, there are a lot of empty spaces at a lot of the shows.    I am sure a lot of it is due to the economy.  The good thing is i got to sleep in my own bed and i did not spend money on gas getting there. 

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Comment by Annette Piper on August 16, 2011 at 7:04am
Sorry to hear that the show wasn't much good for anyone Steve.  Sounds like there are just far too many shows - if they cut them back there would be more interest in what was left you would think.
Comment by steve appel on August 16, 2011 at 8:56am

I think,  the problem is that most of the prescott shows jury by ck.  Hopefully next year a few of the shows that did so bad will disappear and yes that might help.    There is a show coming up next month celebrating the birthday of Arizona and I heard thru a source that they are having a hard time filling the show in Prescott.    There is one in tucson as well as phoenix.  This show is only for AZ residents.   They claim that 40,000 to 60,000 are expected to come to this thing,   I think it is exaggerated a bit. 

Comment by Ruth Finkenbiner on August 16, 2011 at 1:00pm
Steve - thanks for the review.  Based on what I keep hearing about the AZ shows I think we've decided to not venture quite that far in our 2012 travels, reviews like this keep confirming our decision.
Comment by steve appel on August 16, 2011 at 1:40pm
I think most of the Prescott shows stink,   I would not come here.   The only show i do well at is tempe but that is it.    i do have friends who do fountain hills, and do ok, not great.  I find that the promoter of fountain hills is more concerned about how  many artists she can get into the show and not quality.   lot of buy/ sell   so like i said the only one worth doing is tempe and there are a ton of jewelers
Comment by Jim Parker on August 16, 2011 at 4:17pm
I did Tempe a couple of times and thought it stank both times. Way too much trash. Same at Fountain Hills. Market is over saturated with mediocrity.
Comment by steve appel on August 16, 2011 at 5:45pm
Stank what is that,   i guess it depends what you are selling,  i am not saying the show is for everyone.   I do ok in Tempe.
Comment by Trilby Arnold on August 19, 2011 at 11:10am
I haven't done any shows in Az except for Art In The Park at Sierra Vista near the Mexican border. This is a high quality, well done show. spaces are large, 15x35, promoters (Huachuca Art Association) are helpful and on top of things. the show is juried, no buy and sell allowed and if it sneaks in is kicked out when discovered. Work is quality, sales have been good. We'll see in October how the economy effects sales this year. Show is going to a 3 day event and starts Sept. 31.
Comment by Jim Parker on August 19, 2011 at 12:15pm
Shows that have painted lightbulbs, jellies n' jams and jigsaw puzzles next to $4000 paintings show a lack of good jurying, or are juried by check. Just saying.
Comment by steve appel on August 20, 2011 at 6:35pm

i diid sierra vista two years ago instead of art in park in boulder city, nv.  yes there was buy sell.  it rained the year i did it.  Was not impressed with the clientele.   There was all kind  of junk at that show.  went back to art in park and did twice what i did at sierra vista.  I heard the show was going to 3 days best of luck.  did a show in patagonia the following week and barely made my booth fee.  so so. AZ is not for me.

 i still think a lot of shows are jury by ck.   they are all hurting.

Comment by Trilby Arnold on August 20, 2011 at 7:40pm
It did indeed rain that year---not exactly under human control. The crowd simply put up umbrellas and those folk that braved it out were purchasers. I did well. Sorry you did not, and happy that another show was good for you One person's junk is another's treasure. I was one of the 13 jurors and can tell you we rejected a number of applicants for buy and sell products as well as poor quality.  Hardly juroring by check. Jurors only have photos to judge by so yes, sometimes the work in the booth is buy and sell or of poor quality, but as soon as it is noticed that vendor is shut down. I don't do the Patagonia show because most of the vendors and the purchasers were at AITP, Sierra vista the previous weekend . If the art hadn't sold then it probably wouldn't the next week end. I always liked what a friend of mine who sold tractors had to say "There's a tractor seat for every rear end and a rear end for every tractor seat" many different strokes for different folks and isn't diversity wonderful. So not every artist is for every show nor every show for every artist.


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