Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Susan and I have been exhibiting at this event for 10 years or more. The art section is considered secondary to the music lineup. But what we have found out over the years is that the crowds are strong and there are many loyal art buyers that attend Sunfest for the art first and the music 2nd. The event is located on A-1A right on the water.
The jury fee is $30 with the booth fee being $300. Any corner location is an additional $50 and there are many more requests than available corner spaces. We are one of the few lucky artists to obtain a corner space. The music starts on Wednesday with the Art Show beginning Friday at 5:00 pm. Art show hours are Friday 5 - 10, Sat. 12 - 10 and Sun. 12 - 9. Yes these are long hours and there are times during the afternoon where the customer traffic can be light. But once 4:00 comes each day the customer crowds pick up and continue to grow the rest of the evening. Be prepared to have booth lights for the evening hours, especially from 7 - 10 pm. Sunfest includes electricity to all exhibitors which is included in the booth fee cost. They also provide free parking in a local parking garage about a block away for the 3 days. Looking for a hotel/motel shouldn't be difficult as many options are available and relatively close. We were able to find a special Sunfest rate at the Holiday Inn for $79/night about 5 miles away.
Set up starts on Friday at 10:00 am and goes on till 4:00. The set-up is pretty smooth with very little hassle. Sunfest offers art exhibitors a nice dinner at 4:00 pm friday before the art show starts that consists of Lasagne, Salad, italion bread and your choice of water, lemonade, ice tea or beer. Snacks, fruit and water, ice tea or lemondae are offered throughout the show at the artist oasis. Btw I love their lemonade and drink it all weekend. I heard that over 2000 cups were used by the artist and volunteers for the weekend.
Judging starts on Friday around 5:00 pm and the judge does enter your booth and reviews each artist body of work, even asking questions if need be. Total prize money is $13,500 with overall best of show being $2000.
I counted 160 artist exhibiting. The category breakdown is:
Glass - 9 (5%), Jewlry - 28 (17.5%), MM 2-D & 3-D - 22 (13.75%), Painting - 37 (23%), Watercolor - 5 (3%), Woodwork - 9 (5.5%),Pottery/Ceramics - 7 (4%), Fine Art Sculpture/Metal 10, Drawings/Graphics or Printmaking - 8 (5%) (6.25%), Fiber/Textiles - 7 (4%), Photography - 11 (6.9%) and Fine Craft - 7 (4%).
The art show chairman Will White and his vice chairman Phil Barbee are seasoned veterans. They assemble a solid support staff that will help you any way you need including booth sitting and stocking the artist oasis with snacks, fruit and beverages throughout the event. Everyone is friendly and prepared. Will and Phil are on site the entire show and do whatever they can to make sure the artist have a pleasant Sunfest experience.
Sales can be very good at this event. It is my opinion in order to optimize your sales you should have something that is either tropical, contemporary, very unique and a wide price range that are $25 - originals. There is some extremely high value, tremendous art being sold here. You have a mix of young people to wealthy socialites. It amazes me each year how many young kids buy art. I don't know where they get the $$$$'s but as long as they spend it on art work, I don't really care. We even had George Hamilton come to our booth and strike up a conversation with Susan while she was demonstrating. I did speak to a photographer who has been a loyal exhibitor for 28 years at Sunfest and he stated that sales had been good for him this year. Another photographer didn't faire as well. A metal clock sculpture was busy with sales all weekend. Our neighbor a mixed media artist/painter did very well. Both Susan and I had another stellar Sunfest. We sold two originals to a wealthy West Palm Beach socialite and two one-of-a-kind pieces as well as other framed and mounted pieces. It was the 3rd weekend in a row we had a "home run" art show. There is hope in Florida.
Sunfest concludes on Sunday night at 9:00 pm. with a 20 minute or so spectacular fireworks display on the water. Susan and I take this time to relax in our booth observing the fireworks. When the fireworks conclude the tear down begins. We managed to get all packed up and on our way home by midnight. Everything went smoothly as Will and Phil and their staff always do a bang up job facilitaing the tear down. By the time we arrived home it was 3:05 am. I can't say that we are an advocate for the late Sunday hours, but I know it's just one time a year so we accept it and sleep in till we wake up which in this years case was past 1:00 pm Monday.
There is plenty of opportunity for artist to make $$$ at Sunfest. Come to exhibit with an open mind, be prepared for the long hours and all types of art customers.