Art Fair Insiders

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

Art Fair Radio

Welcome to the Art Fair Radio Podcasts

Art fairs are our business. If they are your business, too, tune in for all the news and insider tips about the nation's top juried art fairs and craft shows. The "Art Fair Success Show" is a free internet radio podcast hosted by Connie Mettler, publisher of,, and

Click Here to Listen to the Show Live during Scheduled Broadcasts.

Click on the player below anytime to hear the latest strategies for success at the nation's art fairs, interviews with artists, art fair directors, real life stories, and more!


  • You can always listen here by clicking the "player" below:
  • If you have a question or comment call in during the show:  (805) 243-1338

1.  You can also download any podcast to listen later. To download any show click here, then click the episode of interest and click on the cloud (upper right hand side of the site.)

2.  Find it in the iTunes Library, Art Fair Artists Success Show. It is always free.

And please let us know if you have suggestions for topics, guests, or sponsors for future episodes!  Thanks for listening.

P.S. If you have any comments or suggestions for upcoming shows please leave them in the "comments" section below.


Art Fair Success Radio Podcast Show Archives

  • Pinterest: Can I Use it to Sell Art?

    Part V: Marketing Art Through Social Media/Pinterest
    The Pinterest social media platform with over 335 million users could just be the missing piece of your social media marketing plan. Using its tools it will help you can hone your sales strategy to build a following. 28 Pinterest Statistics Marketers Should Know in 2020:

    Our guest Brian Reagan: "Pinterest is a gateway to my website that I can't duplicate with any other social media outlet. Before I kicked up Pinterest, I really didn't have a national audience.  I was limited to the individuals that we have met doing events in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. I am getting eyeballs that would never have found my website."

  • Instagram: Can I Use it to Sell Art?

    Part IV -  Marketing Art Through Social Media: Instagram
    Instagram is a photo and video-sharing networking service. The app allows users to upload media and the posts can be shared publicly or with pre-approved followers. Users browse other users' content by tags and locations, and view trending content. Users can like photos and follow other users to add their content to a feed."  It has over a billion users.

    Because Instagram is all images and videos it is a perfect tool for artists to showcase their work and develop followers. Four artists share their stories, full of useful tips.
  • Facebook: Can it Help You Sell Your Art?

    Part III: Using Facebook to Sell Art

    Facebook is an online social media and social networking service with with more than 2 billion users worldwide. Wow! Bigger than any art fair I've ever attended, but what can it do for you as a business tool? Can you turn all those members into customers. Or, how about .1% of them. Would that work?

    This is an artist driven podcast with input from three artists who have experience on the platform.

  • Etsy? Is it a Fit for My Art?

    Part II: Using Etsy to Sell Art
    Etsy is an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies founded in 2005. It is a global online marketplace, where people come together to make, sell, buy, and collect unique items and supports independent creators. Successful Etsy sellers share their information to help you decide whether or not Etsy is the place for you.

  • Can a website bring you sales of your fine art or craft?
    Part I: Selling from a personal website
    Six artists join in a roundtable talk about their experiences. Their work ranges from small items (hand made soaps and associated products to $5000+ oil paintings.) Your work undoubtedly will fit into this continuum.

  • What is SEO? Everything You Ever Need to Know
    Scott Fox, a financial and self-help author, specializing in entrepreneurship and startup company advice joins us to answer questions about SEO (search engine optimization) and why it makes a difference to you and your website. Scott is the author of 3 best-selling books ...

  • Website Building 201 - Review Your Website with an Expert
    A solidly functional website can change your life. It is the art fair that never closes. It can reconnect you with a former collector of your work and expose it to a worldwide audience. This podcast focuses on examining your existing website. Franklin Piuck lends his expertise to help. 

  • Website Building 101
    Time is up. Get online or get out. We find ourselves comfortable right where we are. We’d rather suffer a little less than try new things. 

    This podcast will get you started with the basics and will sort out the options that have been holding you back. Web designer Franklin Piuck is our guide.

  • How Artists Can Apply for Economic Relief
    ArtFest Fort Myers under Executive Director Sharon McAllister's leadership, has initiated a plan to act as a clearinghouse to help artists interpret and access the financial services established under the new CARES Act. The law is meant to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States. Sharon is joined by professional accountant John Brodie of Comprehensive Accounting in metro Detroit.

  • Can Facebook Help You Sell Your Work?
    The high overhead of doing 30 shows a year exhausting you? What if you only did 20? or 10? When I first started my websites I thought if I only I could earn an extra $500 a month that would be great. Now nearly 15 years later I'm no longer putting up a tent and traveling to events. Social media, learning its ins and outs, made the difference for me. Dave Emmons helps us out.

  • From Clothesline Art to Beloved Tradition
    StJames Court Art Show (always the first full weekend of October) began five decades ago as a small open air art show taking up only a small corner of Old Louisville's St. James Court. It has since become the second largest event held in Louisville each year (second to the Kentucky Derby Festival). It hosts 700 artists in 4 neighborhoods in this historic part of the city.

    Enjoy this fact-filled history lesson to learn what makes an art festival a success with our guests, founders of the event.

  • 9th Annual Pledge Drive Drawing

    You support our websites with your donations and we really appreciate it. Listen as Connie Mettler, host of and and Larry Berman, the "go to" guy on photo imaging in the art fair business joins me. We draw the names for the winners in the 2018 Pledge Drive for $9000 worth of prizes. 

  • My First Art Fair II: A Zero or a Hero?
    In the beginning art fairs were created and artists and art buyers flocked to attend. You were one of them. Your mother and your friends thought your work was wonderful and maybe they were right, so off you went to the marketplace. How did it go? Was it a triumph or a humbling experience?

    A panel of beginner and experienced artists from various media discuss their "first time."

  • 8th Annual Pledge Drive Drawing

    Listen as Connie Mettler, host of and and Kena Berthiaume, Crafts Coordinator at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, draw the names for the winners in the 2017 Pledge Drive. We'll give away nearly $5000 in prizes to our patrons. 

  • How to Save Big Money While Traveling 
    Veteran travelers (and cheapskates) share their secrets for traveling and scoring lodgings frugally. Learn their insider secrets of leveraging Air BnB, VRBO, Hilton Honors Points, KOA, couch surfing, Corporate Lodging cards, Ebates, loyalty rewards programs and so many more tips to save you money and have more fun on the road!

  • Artists, What do you Drive to the Art Fairs?

Getting to and from the art fairs is essential to an artist. Reliable transportation is a must. We talk with artists and learn their tricks for buying, loading, unloading, maintenance and what is the best vehicle on the road.

Our guest Michael Zavison drives a truck that holds all the equipment for a double booth and large artwork. What is the best vehicle on the road? A van? truck? trailer? RV? And -- how do you pack the van?

  • Will you do these First Year Shows?

Samantha Saturn is reviving a popular Nashville, TN, art fair: American Artisan, June 16-18. The event was started in 1971 by her mother, Nancy, a retailer and pioneer in the contemporary craft movement, and Louis Nunnelly, an artist and businessman with deep roots in our business and in the Louisville community, has spent the last three years perfecting a new event along the Ohio River to host the Big 4 Bridge Arts Festival in Louisville on Sept. 9 & 10. 

Listen and learn how they are building these events for your success.

  • Is Anyone Here Earning a Living?

We speak with three artists who actually pay the bills and make a living, BUT they do so without a pension or some other significant source of income. These are people who figured out how to be profitable at art fairs. This is a very practical nuts and bolts discussion of entrepreneurship.

Should I Open an Art Gallery?

The fastest way to earn money with your art is to participate in art fairs. The buyer enters your booth, loves the work, hands you the payment and your work has found a new home. But wait a minute, maybe not! 3 artists share the pros and cons or owning a gallery.

Judges, Jurying & Awards at Art Festivals

Sharon McAllister, Executive Director of ArtFest Fort Myers (FL), Rick Bryant, Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts and Les Slesnick an art fair industry advocate and former art fair exhibitor discuss the fairness of judging at art fairs. 

This episode was inspired by an artist who was concerned about being overlooked by the street jurors and missing an opportunity. They share their ideas for objective standards and best practices in street jurying.


The Art of Selling Art Face to Face

Mckenna Hallett, a professional trainer and consultant for small business, shares strategic tips from her 25 year career that has covers the entire spectrum of earning a living as an artist.

During this time she has always mentored other artists including teaching seminars on how to sell art. Mckenna has developed a selling system, the E's of Sellling. We talk about what she has learned and share her very solid selling advice. This is not about selling online, but rather how to make more sales in your face-to-face engagements at your shows. Click on the Art Fair Radio icon to learn how to improve your sales at your next show.

7th Annual Pledge Drive Drawing

Emily Peklo, senior event project coordinator for the Omaha Summer Arts Festival and its fall sister-festival ARTsarben in Omaha, Nebraska, joins Connie to draw the names for the prizes to be awarded to contributors to the Pledge Drive that helps support our art fair websites.

Thank you to everyone who has built our business, who attends art fairs and buys art, to the show organizers who bring these cool cultural events to their community and to the artists who take risks every day with financial ups and downs, economic woes, election and vagaries of the weather.

10 Tips to Use Now for Artists & Show Organizers

A best tips show for everyone involved in the art fair biz with three experts.

Do you have questions about using the Internet to further your career or better position your art fair online? Scott Fox, author and e-biz strategist can answer and point you in the right direction. 

Concerned about your jury imaging, booth design, visual appeal, digital help? Larry Berman is the recognized authority on "all things photography" involved with the art fair business.

All things art fair: marketing your show, connecting with customers, making the sale, travel tips, organizing your schedule, Connie Mettler 
host at and creator of,, and

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

This episode will either have you running to apply to the art festivals all across the country or running the other way, fast!

Our guests are Floridians Toni and Jay Mann who have been creating fun and functional claywork and selling it at art festivals for a long time, over 30 years.  

Also joining us are Craig and Sara Roderick, photographers from Alabama. Their desire to find a market for their work, American Road Trip Photography, brought them to the shows just a year ago.

We hear the contrast between the stories of the veterans and those new to the business. What is the best part? What is the worst? and OMG what did that patron just say about your work and what did its dog do to your booth?

10 Reasons "You Didn't Get In" (the Art Fair)

Anyone active in the art fair business knows getting into the best selling shows is very competitive. What are the odds you'll make the cut and get into that great show? Our guests are long time professionals from the business including Cindy Lerick, executive director of the Saint Louis Art Fair, Christine Berthiaume, Crafts Manager for the New Orleans Jazz Festival and Marguerite Esrock, executive director of the St. James Court Art Show.

We'll talk about:

  1. how each show prepares their jurors for jurying and the process of showing the jurors the applications
  2. 10 worst things you can do to sabotage your chances of "getting in"

Have paper and pencil ready. This one is sure to bring you useful information applicable to your finding success exhibiting at art fairs large and small.

Winners! 2015 "Best Art Fairs in America" Survey announces the winners of its 3rd annual survey. This survey is the only national online look at the country's juried art fairs and craft shows, designed to reward the festivals that create opportunities connecting artists and communities and encouraging "art fair tourism."

Listen to hear the top 50 Art Fairs in the country and also the survey answers on:

  • what makes a show "Best"
  • why people say they attend an art fair
  • why they don't attend shows they used to love
  • suggestions for show organizers

Keep them Coming Back - Marketing to the Art Fair Patron

The interested parties have come to your party: that Art Festival you have been planning and marketing for 364 days. How do you make sure they love the show, bring their friends, buy art, spread the word about what they found there and can't wait for next year?

Sharon McAllister, Executive Director of ArtFest Fort Myers (FL) and Jenny Wright, Festival Director of The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival (TX) give their best tips for building a memorable experience for their patrons. Connie Mettler shares results from her 2014 Best Art Fair Survey of art fair buyers with data about what makes them come to a festival and why.

Creating a Quality Festival in the Piedmont: Artisphere

When a city's largest employers pull out and the population begins to decline what do you do? Find new corporations, preserve the downtown, improve the quality of life by improving the schools, rebuild neighborhoods and focus on becoming one of the "Top 100 Arts Small Towns in the United States." 

Kerry Murphy, Executive Director of Artisphere and Liz Smith, Program Director, share their experiences.

  1. Learn how a city in the rural South, half way between Atlanta and Charlotte, attracts the nation's top artists and why those artists apply again and again to be part of the event. 
  2. How a fine art event is "sold" to the town and how they attract buyers.
  3. The organizational structure of the event, recruiting working board members who expand the reach of the festival.

6th Annual Pledge Drive

Connie Mettler, publisher of and moderator at is joined by Internet marketing expert Scott Fox to celebrate Art Fair's 11th anniversary online and the 6th for

They draw the names for over $10,000 worth of prizes donated by artists, art suppliers, show organizers and art equipment manufacturers around the country. And just for fun they've got great stories from the art fair business that make this worth a listen.

Fewer Shows, More Money

The guest is graphic artist Carroll Swayze. Carroll has a great story about how working smarter, not harder, has put more money in her pocket and enabled her to do more of the things she loves besides creating her work. A lifelong artist, after much trial and error she has found that balance we all crave. 

East Coast Craft Shows: Running Street Fairs in the Big Cities

We talk with Marcy Boroff, from Renaissance Craftables, one of the East Coast’s premier craft show promotion companies. They specialize in partnering with downtown areas and non-profits bringing people to enjoy the fine arts and crafts at the shows and customers to the retail districts for over 25 years.  

We talk about:

  • the role of the show promoter
  • choosing a location to host a show and starting a new show
  • building and implementing a marketing plan
  • the good part of being a show promoter
  • the bad part and the worst part
  • building relationships with the downtown districts and with artists
  • the future of craft shows and their economic impact

Artists Cross the Border and do Business in Canada

Do you regularly do business in PA, New York, Ohio, Michigan? Have you yearned to cross the international border into Canada to show your work in the sophisticated cities of Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver, but were intimidated by the logistics of cross border commerce?

Help is on the way.

  • Mark Teeple, Executive Director of the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto's largest, and longest running outdoor art fair, talks about the marketing of his event and the audience it attracts.  
  • Mixed Media artists Chris Rom and Geoff Buddie, no stranger to the top U.S. art fairs, cross the border to participate in the Toronto Exhibition. They share their experiences with border regulations and customs and what you might expect in Canada.

3 New 2015 Shows that "Look Good"

Change is good. New is good. Being smart about it is good. Hear about 3 new shows and what their organizers are doing to make them successful.

We talk about why they hosting the show, how, their connections to their community, their hopes for the event and what they are learning along the way.

The guests are:

  • Celane Roden - Arts in the Middle, sponsored by The Virginia Commission for the Arts, Middlesex County and the Town of Urbanna in Urbanna, VA, May 30 & 31

This is a nuts and bolts show that should be especially helpful to show organizers.

2014 Winners - Best Art Fairs in America announces the results of its 2nd annual"America's Best Art Fairs" survey. This is the only national online survey of the country's juried art fairs and craft shows, designed to reward the the festivals that create opportunities connecting artists and communities to celebrate the arts.

We asked our mailing list of over 50,000 art fair patrons what was the best art fair in the country and acquired not only votes for the best shows but also answers why they attend the shows. Solid demographic information included that is helpful to art fair organizers.

The No Mistake Art Fair Career - 10 Tips from the Experts
How do I get into the good art fairs and how do I make money when I get there? These are the universal questions that need to be answered for earning a living in the fine art and fine craft show business. Our expert guests Larry Berman and Bruce Baker.
Larry Berman lends his expertise on creating great images that will "wow" the jury and Bruce Baker shares his experience on creating a great booth and meeting the customer. Between the two you'll have the answers and there is only one thing left for you to do: make great art.

What to do with a BFA: How Nawal Motawi Created a Robust Ceramic Tile Studio

Nawal Motawi joins us to talk about her journey from art school graduate to founder of an award-winning nationally known art studio, based in Ann Arbor, that creates unique handmade tile reflecting the classic styles and craftsmanship of 20th Century American design.

Listen to learn how she made the move from her first art classes to a being a successful business owner, plus her best tips for building a sustainable career in the arts.

Email Marketing Works! Top Tips for Success

You've got your website. People can find you online. Shows can link to it and patrons can shop before and after the show. What's next? Email marketing

Our guests Mckenna Hallett (able to live in Hawaii and earn a living selling her jewelry around the world) and Scott Fox (an online marketing expert and host of an entrepreneur coaching community) are passionate about using email marketing as the prime tool for staying in touch with your audience of potential buyers. 

Learn why Scott calls your email list "the artist's retirement plan" plus:

  • what email marketing is and why it is important for your business
  • best tips for building an email list
  • services available to help you use email marketing
  • integrating your website with email marketing
  • nuts and bolts of those emails

From Florida to Michigan - How Top Show Directors Market Their Shows

How does an art festival market their event to the public without big name entertainers, wine tasting areas, children's stages, interactive activities for fairgoers? Sharon McAllister, Executive Director of ArtFest Fort Myers (FL) joins Sara Shambarger, Director of Art Fairs, at the Krasl Art Center, including Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff in St. Joseph, MI, to share experiences.

We talk about:

  • what they do to make an art fair attractive to buyers and how artists are their partners in doing this
  • marketing budgets, "in kind" promotion; media partners
  • how artists can help them in their mission to bring buyers to the shows
  • what they think artists can do to maximize their sales 

If you are organizing an art fair or even thinking about it, listen to this one for its great tips from experienced organizers who love the arts, the artists and work year round to bring culture to their communities.

My First Art Fair: A Zero or a Hero?

New to art fairs or contemplating your first one? Then this podcast is just for you. A panel of beginning and experienced artists tell tales of their "first time." What you will learn:

  • their biggest disappointments and their biggest surprises
  • learning from their own mistakes vs learning from other's mistakes
  • what they wish they had known then and how they used that information
  • the good, the bad and the really ugly
  • their #1 tip for a first time show

Birthday Prizes Drawn by Cherry Creek's Terry Adams

The Executive Director of the Cherry Creek Art Festival in Denver joins Connie to talk about running one of the nation's top art fairs and even more importantly to pull the numbers to pass out the prizes. 

  • Learn insider information on running a prestigious art fair and the background on a  new Denver event
  • find out who won the nearly $12,000 worth of prizes donated to our Pledge Drive

Top Ten Most Helpful Links on

Internet marketing guru and author, Scott Fox, joins Connie to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the groundbreaking social media site for art fair artists. Covering topics such as:

  • Choosing Jury Images
  • How to decide which shows to apply to
  • What a booth slide should look like
  • Dealing with rejection
  • Equipment for the business
  • Beginners tips
  • Closing the sale and so much more ...

What Really Happened in Houston at Bayou City

With four out of five shows being adversely affected by rainy weather and the subsequent dearth of funds, the Board at the Bayou City Art Festival had to retrench in order to keep the festival viable. Festival Director, Susan Fowler and Operations Director, Kelly Kindred share 

  • how a board of directors oversees an organization and its' fiscal responsibilities
  • how the decision to increase the size of the show was made
  • how successful the changes were that they made to the Spring show
  • what they learned from this experience and what to expect next from this festival
  • and a lot more!

Taxes! Artists and Bookkeeping

We talk to two artists with bookkeeping experience and we'll learn how they adapted this information for art fair bookkeeping. Our experts are:

  • Alison Thomas worked with her husband's in his HVAC business and did the bookkeeping with Quickbooks. The business was a corporation with employees so she knows payroll  and payroll taxes and the forms. We'll talk about Quickbooks and how she uses them for her art fair business.
  • Leo Charette has been a data manager using computers since the 1980's, so when he started participating in art fairs he developed a system that could manage the interrelated relationships between creating art, selling art and staying in touch with the art fair patrons.

That's All Folks! 2013 Art Fair Wrap Up

Artists weigh in on art fairs around the country with an assessment of the 2013 events. The guests are:

We find out their best and worst shows, their favorite shows, their best stories and biggest disappointments, plus - their plans for making 2014 a banner year and a special tip from each for newcomers to the business.

No More Starving Artists! Money 101

Our guest is Sheryl Kosovski, a certified Financial Recovery Coach who specializes in business development for creative people, helping artists and designers grow their businesses, make more money and learn how to hold onto that income.

Do you:

  • rarely balance your checkbook or forget to record checks?
  • not have a savings account?
  • pay only the minimum monthly credit card payment?
  • frequently live in pain or stress around money?
  • live from show to show?

We discuss how being aware of the financial details of your situation can empower you to make money as an artist and help you hold onto that money.


Credit Card Processing for Mobile Merchants - Part II

Free credit card processing? What does free mean? Does it include:

  • 24/7 live customer support?
  • immediate deposit of funds into your account? 
  • reception/connectivity you can rely on?
  • merchant services dedicated to you as a mobile merchant?

Maybe, maybe not. Somewhere, someone needs to pay. Credit card processing policies and options are changing rapidly. 

Listen in as Steven Ballan, Vice President of 1st National Payment Solutions, explains the latest technology changes, alternative processing systems and the risk/reward of opting for free processing.

Discover the devices, software and merchant services that best meet your particular needs, whether you process only a few credit sales a month or need service for a greater volume of sales.


WINNERS! America's Best Art Fairs Survey - 2013

We asked our mailing list of nearly 50,000 art fair patrons what was the best art fair in the country and had an amazing response from across the nation. Nearly 96% completed the lengthy 22 question survey and the answers were both expected and intriguing. 

We'll share the survey answers on:

  • what makes a show "Best"
  • why people say they attend an art fair
  • how art fair goers find out about shows to attend
  • why they don't attend shows they used to love
  • their suggestions for show organizers

The Best Art Fairs Awards is the first national online survey of the nation’s juried fairs, designed to reward those festivals that create opportunities connecting artists and communities to celebrate the arts.


Art Fair Alternatives - Part II: Art Studio Tours

Potters Jan Richardson and Robert Briscoe have been in the art fair business since the 1970's creating pottery and selling it at art fairs. Early in their careers they also developed artist studio tours as a way to bring people into their studios and connect on a more personal level with their collectors. 

  • Jan started the Valley Craft Network in rural Maryland in 1982 which continues to this day. She is currently is involved with the Peninsula Arts Assn. in Ocean Park, WA, developing an art center which hosts a clay show and workshops as well as building the Peninsula Artists Assn. Studio Tour.
  • In 1992 Robert Briscoe brought his friends together in rural Minnesota, north of the Twin Cities, to develop the St. Croix Valley Pottery Studio Tour. This event draws people from across North America to buy pottery and visit the studios. It is the most copied artist studio tour in the country. Bob derives over 60% of income from his studio tours.

You can do it too. Listen to these two pros discuss how they have developed economic opportunities for themselves and their friends.

5 Things You Need to Know to License Your Art

Art publishing is a big business. Have you explored licensing your images? This podcast sorts out the basics. What you will learn:

1.  What it means to license your art (how it works, contractual permission, etc - a broad overview)

2.  How to create art that works for licensing

3.  How long it takes to make money

4.  Basic expectations manufacturers have of artists who license their art (digital files, website, etc)

5.  Some day-to-day realities of life in the art licensing industry (lots of competition, art changes, deadlines, quick turnaround requests, often no response to submissions...)

Our guest is  artist Tara Reed who founded her art licensing business in 2004. She creates art that helps sell products, teaches artists about the business side of licensing and blogs about licensing at She serves on the Advisor Board of SURTEX, a premier trade show for the art licensing industry.


How We Bring Buyers to our Art Fair

What can an art fair do to bring serious buyers to attend their events to buy art?  

The guests are from two of the top rated shows in the country. The La Quinta Arts Festival is a 4 day festival held in an affluent area in California. Art on the Square is in Belleville, Illinois, a small town near St. Louis with nearly the opposite demographics, yet both shows excel at bringing collectors to their events and the sales figures are "above average" and ranked #1 and #2 for best sales at any art fairs in the country.


  • average household income in La Quinta $93,000; Belleville - $48,000
  • La Quinta is home to an international tennis tournament, second homes, a tourist destination
  • Belleville is in rural Illinois but near a large population area that includes St. Louis with many large businesses and industry
  • La Quinta charges a gate fee and commission. Belleville is a free event
  • La Quinta is part of a foundation with full time staff. Belleville is a volunteer run event
  • La Quinta - 230 artists; Belleville - 100-105 spaces

Learn what they do to bring collectors to their events and keep the excitement going all year long. 

Guests are Christi Salamone, Executive Director, La Quinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA; Kathleen Hughes, Events Manager, La Quinta Arts Festival and Patty Gregory, Director, Art on the Square, Belleville, IL.


Art Fair Alternatives: Part I - Two Painters

Art fairs not working for you? Not getting into the shows where you know you can sell your work? Tired of being on the road? Looking for a new adventure? 

Meet two painters who can say both yes and no to the questions above. Yes, the art fairs work but they wanted to try some  new ideas for marketing their work. Where did they turn? Social media!

  • In March, Carrie Jacobson, a painter from Virginia, drove from Virginia to Arizona, painting, doing a show and visiting her dad. She found buyers  who paid for the whole trip in advance and she had more paintings to sell when she reached her destination.
  • Painter Scott Coleman from Georgia has been doing art fairs forever (I met him at my first art show back in the good old days), but in recent years has been using his blog and Facebook to sell "a painting a day." He sold 365 "Daily Cupcake" paintings in a year and a half. 

Imagine -- no rejection letters, no booth fees, no storms, just creating art -- and oh, Marketing!  Remember, being an artist is 50% creating and 50% marketing. 

Would they do it again? Listen and find some lessons for your art marketing.


Birthday Party Prize Drawing w/Celebrity Guests

As the pledge drive comes to a close Connie is joined by celebrity guests Carolyn Bird and Alice Moulton from the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival. This year's pledge drive has over 80 prizes donated by friends of the art fair business. The show:

  • Carolyn and Alice visit to draw 45 names of the winners chosen from those who have donated to the pledge drive.
  • These veteran show organizers share behind the scenes information about their festival which is always on artists "most wanted list."

Happy 4th Birthday AFI - 10 Tips for Selling Art

Internet marketing expert Scott Fox joins Connie Mettler, host of AFI.

  • Scott shares his 5 best tips for selling online
  • Connie give you her top 5 tips for selling in your booth at the show.
  • they draw 20 names of the winners in this year's Birthday Pledge Drive. Who wins the Flourish Canopy? Find out here.

Artists, Art Fairs & ZAPP®

In recent years artists have learned that if they want to earn a living in the competitive arena of fine art fairs they must participate in the digital upload systems,, and 

But how did this get started and what is the relationship of the individual artist or individual art fair with these systems?

Here are our experts:

  • photographer Larry Oliverson who was instrumental in introducing the concept of online applications to the art fair business by bringing artists, art fairs and Westaf (the agency which provides ZAPP) together
  • painter Kathleen Eaton who is an artist member of the ZAPP Oversight Committee and has served on several ZAPP juries. She is writing a book on the history of art fairs.
  • Leah Charney, Manager of ZAPP®, oversees the ZAPP product and the 350+ clients, 570+ events and more than 60,000 active artists that use the system

These guests have a long history with the organization and can provide both historical data as well as current operating information.

We'll discuss the myths and truths about:

  • how ZAPP has changed the art fair business since its inception in 2004
  • how the art fairs use ZAPP as a tool to manage applications
  • who gets into the best art fairs

ZAPP is going to be around for a long time and understanding its processes and using it to its fullest is advantageous to everyone in the art fair business. Access information about ZAPP myths here:

Credit Card Processing for "Mobile Merchants" 101

Making the sale and making it easy for you and your buyer

Talking about:

  • terminals, wireless & wired
  • iPhones, iPads & tablets
  • PayPal, Square, Intuit, SalesVu
  • PCI compliance & fees
  • merchant support
  • card fees, monthly charges
  • and getting the biggest bang for your buck and what to expect next in credit card processing

Steven Ballan, vice-president of 1st National Payment Solutions, one of the pioneers in providing merchant accounts to non-bricks and mortar merchants, lays out the current "best practices" and answers questions about making smart choices in your credit card processing options. 1st National stepped out years ago to provide services to artists and they have a long history serving the art fair business.


Let's Start an Art Fair!

New art fairs are necessary for the evolution of the art fair business because artists
need new markets and even reliable shows sometimes don't continue to thrive.

We speak with 4 show directors developing events for their communities:

  • Rae Marie Schneider and Kim HouseSt. John's River Festival of the Arts in Sanford, FL, had solid community participation at their inaugural show in 2012. They'll talk about how they did it and their plans for 2013.
  • Dennis Gorg, a 10 year event organizer who has a new show in June in St. Louis, MO, MidTown Taste Art Fair. Learn how an experienced producer leverages his skills for a new event.
  • Tim Reilly, is the director of The Cotton South Fine Art Festival in Madison, GA, debuting in September 2013. Still in the throes of filling his show, raising money and working with sponsors, we'll hear how a new director makes his plans.

This show is full of information for everyone thinking of starting a show with ideas for new show directors, it will also fill in the nuts and bolts of show development for artists as well who wonder where their application and booth fees go.

Established event promoters will enjoy the creative ideas that these people pull together to make their events a success for everyone involved.

High Winds, Flying Tents, Liability and Artists

Art fairs can be a dangerous business fraught with problems of high winds, theft, traveling with artwork, liability issues, damages to equipment and accidents of all kinds.

Valerie Bjarnson, Director of Online Programs for Veracity Insurance Solutions whose innovative insurance programs have made reasonably priced insurance available to artists, joins Connie Mettler to discuss why an artist needs liability insurance.

We'll discuss

  • liability issues
  • bodily injury and property damage
  • weather related losses
  • theft and the best way insurance can keep protect you and your livelihood

whether you only do a few shows a year or are a full time art fair traveler participating in more shows than you can remember.

Get definitive answers for all your insurance questions and learn more:


Is Wholesale Marketing an Answer for You?

Are you ready to wholesale your fine art or fine craft? Do you have handmade goods that you'd like to see in galleries and gift shops? 

Guests are:

Glass blower Paul Willsea has worked as a glass artist for over 20 years, participating in wholesale as well as retail shows. He has been on the Board of advisors for the Buyers Market of American Craft and is well acquainted with the business aspects of wholesale shows.

John Terry, owner of the Avalon Gallery in Del Ray Beach, FL, ventured into the gallery business in 1993. He not only attends the wholesale markets looking for new artists to showcase you'll also find him at street art fairs searching for the perfect work for his enterprises.

Stacey Miller, a jeweler for 27 years who is brand new to wholesaling shares her experiences as a first time exhibitor as she prepares for her the BMAC in February.

Join us as we learn about

  • best wholesale marketplaces
  • what a wholesale buyer is looking for, price points, inventory, presentation
  • the ups and downs of the gallery business
  • is wholesale for you?
  • ideas for longevity in the business
  • how to prepare for your first show

John, Paul and Stacey share their best tips for success in wholesaling one of a kind fine art and craft.


Artists, Are You Homeless?

Artists - do you have a website, just for you? A site where you can

  • post your pics
  • blog your thoughts
  • sell your stuff
  • and keep in touch with your audience, all in one place?

Is it time for you to find your home?

Be inspired by Jennifer Rapp Peterson, whose company IndieMade LLC specializes in creative websites for artists and entrepreneurs.

Jennifer has spent 20 years as a serial creative entrepreneur as a cartoonist, book illustrator, software consultant and inventor. Her unsuccessful search to find a friendly, easy and affordable way to build a branded website for her own endeavors that would include a store, content marketing and built-in marketing tools was the seedling that grew into IndieMade LLC.

We talk about why an artist needs a comprehensive site, how to build it, how to market it, SEO and all the issues creatives regularly wrestle with.

Find out how you can use simple inexpensive online tools to market your art. You know it is time! Plus, subscribe to their e-newsletter and receive a free ebook, "Building an Artist Website: a Place Called Home."


Call in Show - Best Art Fairs in 2012

What were the best art fairs in 2012? Veteran artists Allan Teger and Daryl Thetford vote for Coconut Grove, Cherry Creek and Bayou City. No surprises there! Others call in and share tales of selling $2.50 greeting cards as well as paintings for over $100,000.


  • Allan Teger, in the business for over 35 years, talks about his career doing high and low shows, finding his buyers, his online sales and being featured on the Huffington Post. He muses about what he will do next as he makes plans to step into more galleries.
  • Melissa Ayr has been building her career through galleries and the high society/high figure Art Fairs such as Miami Art Basel and tells her story about creating a livelihood from art student to being included in the nation's high profile gallery art fairs

Their dialogue is stimulating as they give and take ideas for living the artistic life. You'll come away from this podcast with new ways of thinking about your art fair business.


Jurors, Jurying and What Happened to my Jury Fee

In a business full of taking chances the first big challenge an artist has is to make that competitive jury cut at the shows. Mo Riley, executive director of the Ann Arbor Art Street Art Fair, Lyn Sedlak-Ford, jury chair for Art in the Pearl, an artist run art fair in Portland, OR, and Jerry Allen Gilmore, artist, curator and juror for many of the top art fairs discuss:

  • choosing a jury, who are those people and what their credentials are
  • what an art show organizer does with your submission before the actual jury day
  • what an artist receives in exchange for a jury/application fee
  • how a juror evaluates art that is not in his/her field of expertise
  • what the jurors learn from each other and why the panel should include insiders (art fair artists) and outsiders (teachers, curators, museum folks)
  • how the final choices for the show participants are made

In listening I was particularly taken with the seriousness of purpose with which these people treated the jurying. When they talk about pre-jurying and the number of times a juror looks at the images the level of professionalism is readily apparent.

Listen to this podcast and be prepared to look at the jury process in a new way.


Storms and Their Impact on the Art Fair Business

Storms are no strangers to the nation's art fairs. Show organizers and artists plan for inclement weather as a matter of course. The National Guard cancelled the Westfield, NJ, show because of weather-related concerns. This event is part of a series of shows run by Rose Squared Productions and its loss impacts not only the show organizers, but also the artists counting on the show and the surrounding community. The Omaha Summer Arts Festival boasts an award-winning emergency program to insure the security of all participants.

Listen to learn:

  • how show organizers make their money
  • impact of weather on budgets
  • the interdependence of shows, artists and municipalities for mutual benefit, economically and for building community
  • ethical treatment of exhibitor fees
  • how to keep a business going in the light of economic hardship
  • how to respond in an emergency situation

Howard and Janet Rose have producing fine art and craft shows in upscale New Jersey communities for over 30 years. Ashley McNabney is the Festival Coordinator of the Summer Arts Festival.


Using to Raise Funds & Grow a Business

Artists Casey Sheppard (a jeweler) and Evan Reinheimer (a photographer) talk about their experiences using to fund their art projects.

Casey's project raised funds to enable her to participate in the Cherry Creek Art Festival in July 2012 and Evan is currently fundraising to finance a trip to Australia.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects.  Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

We talk about:

  • what motivated them to participate
  • what they learned along the way
  • how to market a kickstarter project
  • rewarding your donors
  • mistakes made along the way

See Casey's completed project here:

View Evan's ongoing project here:


2 Artists Share Their 40 Year History at the Art Fairs

Who gets into almost all of the top shows and can win Best of Show? Meet  Jody dePew McLeane (pastel drawings) and Ted Gall (sculptor), involved in the art fair business for over 40 years and consistently exhibiting at the "dream shows."

The essence of this show is:

  • how to build a long term career selling at art fairs
  • sustaining a body of work that continues to grow and yield creative fulfillment
  • adapting to changing economic conditions
  • art fair vs gallery sales
  • tips for someone starting out today

Jody is a member of the Pastel Society of America in New York and was elected as a master panelist by the Society. Her works have been featured in four books including "The Best of Pastel II" and her work is in many public collections.

Ted has served consultant to the Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Arts Council.  He has taught art classes in Illinois and in California.  His corporate collections include The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, Walt Disney, Bell & Howell, Standard Oil and others.


Pricing & Marketing Your Art: Don't Think Small

Barney Davey brings his expertise as an art marketing consultant to help artists bridge the gap between making art and making a living. As a sales and marketing executive for Decor magazine and Decor Expo tradeshows in New York City, Barney has consulted with hundreds of the industry’s leading art publishers and self-published artists regarding their art marketing and advertising strategies.

We'll be talking about:

  • Why silence is golden in selling
  • How to make more per sale by offering big
  • Selling and pricing art without fear
  • Using warm markets to build your collector base
  • Understanding your customer types and working with them accordingly

Join us to learn smart moves for marketing and positioning your art for solid sales.


What Good is a Website for Artists?

Author and small business marketing expert Scott Fox shares specific strategies useful to artists in building their websites and selling online. This episode covers everything from choosing a domain name to capturing the sale online, including:

  • keywords and how to determine the best ones
  • choosing an url, best choices for artists
  • how google searches for sites
  • why a free platform may not be the best choice for your site
  • how to expand your market beyond the people you meet at shows
  • what are the five things every artist's website should have
  • his idea for an "artist retirement plan"

You'll also learn about his own online community whose focus is on helping individuals build their Internet businesses.


Who is Buying at the Shows and Why

Between them art show patrons Geri Wegner, Ed and Judie Seidman attend over 100 art fairs a year and bring their friends. Listen and find out

  • why they attend art fairs
  • what they collect and how much they spend
  • their favorite artists
  • favorite shows that keep them coming back for more
  • what attracts them to a booth & tips on making the booth more attractive
  • booths they avoid
  • and most importantly what makes them purchase a piece of art.

Ed and Judie Seidman not only attend art fairs close to home (Chicagoland) but also art fairs and galleries are important in their travels. Geri Wegner travels between two homes, both in the heart of the nation's best art fairs, Chicago and Florida, where she plans her weekends around visiting the shows, meeting her friends and adding to her collections.

Buy/Sell, What Art Fair Promoters & Artists Can Do About it

Tired of encountering buy/sell at the art fairs? What can an art fair organizer do about it? What can an artist do about it?

Our guests are:

  • Carroll Swayze, a veteran of 40 years participating in the nation's juried art fairs has been gathering information to help keep these resellers (vendors) out of the shows.
  • Carolyn Edlund, executive director of the Arts Business Institute, blogger at, a jeweler who ran a production studio for 20 years and who has been "in the trenches" at large wholesale shows.

Expect strategic information and steps you can take to keep buy/sell out of the fairs, including many resources and website links where you can find out more details on ways to keep the art fair business thriving, including:

NAIA,,, what you can learn at your state government website about registering corporations (e.g., what an art fair booth can tell you about the exhibitor, tips on improving the art fair application to keep out imposters and plenty more!

Birthday Party Prizes Drawn Live by Rick Bryant of CPFA

Rick Bryant, Executive Director of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College, PA, joins Connie Mettler of to share art fair stories and draw the names of the winners of the prizes for the Birthday Party Pledge Drive.

Want to hear a little art fair gossip from one of the guys who has "been there and done that" for some time now? Then you might enjoy this lighthearted episode.


Happy 3rd Birthday Art Fair Insiders! A Celebration Show

Do you love Do you check in regularly for information, support or a good laugh? You are not alone!

Today's show is hosted by Connie Mettler and Internet marketing author Scott Fox.

Welcome to our 3rd Annual celebration show where Connie and Scott decipher how to make a living at the nation's fine art fairs and discussing these important life questions:

  • I was blackballed at my favorite show
  • That show director hates me
  • Someone has to die before I can get into Old Town
  • Cancelling a show
  • I'm never going to use Zapplication again
  • Prizes to our supporters

Here's the best part. This will be live and we want you to call us, tell us your art fair stories and ask your questions and give a shout out to your favorite parts of our business.

Wendy Rosen, Art Marketing Maven & Congressional Candidate

A wide ranging conversation with Wendy Rosen, best known to this community as the founder of the Buyer's Market of American Craft. Wendy has been a fixture in this business for over 30 years most specifically focusing on the marketing aspect. The Buyer's Market, her magazines (Niche and American Style), her educational arm, the Arts Business Alliance, all are part of her big soapbox for the creative community.

You'll find

  • solid tips for better sales at the shows
  • ideas on how to launch a business that grows
  • the economic importance of creativity
  • her campaign for American made goods and strengthening our trade laws
  • interacting with salespeople in the Bright Angel gift shop and asking for American made souvenirs and where they were found
  • picketing and protesting for 1st Amendment rights at the gift shops at the national parks
  • launching her Congressional campaign and how she plans to find herself in Congress
  • how you can learn more and support these initiatives for a career that she calls "scary, fun and wonderful"


Amy Amdur & Howard Alan - The Business of Art Fairs

Connie Mettler talks with Amy Amdur,, and Howard Alan,, two of the most influential people in the art fair business. Amdur produces 17 Chicago area shows and Alan has two divisions of events, fine art fairs and craft shows, producing over 80 shows a year around the country.

Just about every artist has participated in one or more of their events and has met them face to face but you've never heard them talking to each other as they discuss their art fair businesses, including

  • how they got started, the logistics of running multiple events
  • where the income goes, the main expenses
  • how they choose a new event location
  • how the changing economy has shaped their business and how they have adapted
  • their jury processes and choosing a balanced show
  • their relationships with artists


Artists Running Art Shows

When artists start complaining about how they are treated by the art fairs they often segue into the idea of developing and presenting their own shows. In this episode Bonnie Blandford, a jeweler from Grand Rapids, and Carla Fox, a jeweler from Bend, OR, share how their stories about the Garage Sale Art Fair (Kalamazoo, indoors at the fairgrounds in the winter) and Art in the High Desert (Bend, outdoors in August). Listen as they explain:

  • when to do it
  • best geographical areas for shows
  • sponsors or not costs
  • perfect venues
  • why they do it
  • how you can do it too

Artists who Beat the Odds, Consistent Participation at the Best Art Fairs

Mixed Media artist Kathrine Allen-Coleman (15 years in the business), Glassblower Andrew Shea (30+ years in the business) and Photographer Bruce Reinfeld (7 years in the business) share their strategies on how they consistently jury into the top shows.

Learn how they

  • choose which shows to apply to
  • select their images
  • fill out the applications
  • handle rejection
  • their big (or not so big) payoff
  • their favorite shows
  • shows to avoid 
  • 2012 plans


Art Fair Directors, Cindy Lerick of the Saint Louis Art Fair and Stephen King of the Des Moines Art Festival 

Meet the directors from two of the nation's best non-profit art fairs as they talk about their events, including:

  • Their background
  • What is a non-profit and where does the money go?
  • Do the show directors know who I am?
  • How applications are reviewed
  • Transparency in jurying
  • What the jurors are asked to do
  • How about that booth shot?
  • Buy/sell
  • much more ...
Be aware that at the beginning of the episode there is some silence as technical issues get resolved. What is really interesting is how Cindy and Stephen, caught off guard and being recorded, start to interview each other, great improv!


Selling Art Online, Another Option

Connie Mettler talks with Chris Lake, Managing Director of, an online venue connecting artists with buyers of their work. Learn how you can tap into this marketplace, no cost to register. as the online partner of Distinctive Livingmagazines, will expose your work to over 2,000,000 upscale homeowners both online and in print.  No other online gallery offers this service.


Art Fair 101 - New to the Business Part II

Newbies to the art fair business Barbara Poole, Caroline Kwas and Michelle Wermuth talk about:

  • their biggest disappointments at the shows
  • their biggest surprises
  • advice for others new to the business
  • plans for 2012
Were they discouraged or encouraged? Listen and find out.


Art Fair 101 - New to the Business and what I have learned

Connie Mettler speaks with fiber artist Barbara Poole, painter Caroline Kwas and photographer Michelle Wermuth about their art fair experiences. All three artists are new to the business having started in the last two years and have lots to say that even seasoned artists will find interesting. We talk about:

  • what made them decide to participate in art fairs
  • their art background
  • their first experiences
  • are they making any money yet


Online Marketing for Artists 101

Host Connie Mettler interviews Scott Fox, online marketing coach, author and host of, an online community that explores turning your interests into a lifestyle business.

Learn Internet marketing tips to help you with:

  • website building
  • email marketing
  • building your online "social" presence
  • marketing information that will help build an artists "electronic retirement plan"

Presented by and

2nd Anniversary Show for

Scott Fox and Connie Mettler celebrate the birthday of, take calls and discuss insider tips for succeeding in the art fair business.

Listen to this free art fair podcast for:

  • how to choose an art fair
  • hear advice from artists about the business
  • review the year in business

Nels & Munks dish the Art Fair Business

Hear insider art business tips from these popular (and often controversial) veteran artists Nels Johnson and John Stillmunks, including art show sales strategies, what inspires their work, and why they are active members of the artist community at


1st Birthday Show for

The and art fair web sites are dedicated to helping you increase attendance at your local art events, make more money as an art show artist, and supporting the fine artists who are the lifeblood of the art fair industry.

This show covers the history, strategy, and mission behind the founding of and, plus plenty of birthday celebration pledge drive calls, shout-outs and prize giveaways.


Thanks for listening and please support our sponsors!



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Comment by Connie Mettler on April 11, 2020 at 9:13am

Hi Collette. Please post this in one of the discussions where there are more people who know much more about this than I do. And I’m going to ask that innocuous question of you. Did you Google that question? It is amazing the answers that you will find. Best to you and Berry.

Comment by collette fortin on April 10, 2020 at 4:37pm

Hi Connie-Many thanks to you, Sharon & John for a very informative podcast dealing with financial assistance. A question-Where can I find info on what the employer has to do when the employees file an unemployment claim ? I am guessing it may be on the individual state's unemployment compensation web page, but I am not having much luck with Ohio Job and Family services. If anyone can provide me with this info, I would be most grateful-thanks-Collette, Neptune hot glass

Comment by Connie Mettler on June 24, 2016 at 10:20am

I knoW, Bari -- great timing!

Comment by Bari Tarmon on June 23, 2016 at 12:59am
Hi, I'm glad I knew this show was going to be recorded, so I didn't stress out that I was missing it live being in the midst of a tech support session. Anyway, I really enjoyed the show and though I have Mckenna's book and have read it several times, the real test is how I apply what I've learned at the shows. I have a show this weekend and this podcast was very timely in that it refreshed the points I needed to remember. Thanks McKenna and Connie.
I'm posting this on the Art Fair Insiders site as I don't "do" Facebook, and on the radio podcast site logging onto Facebook was the only option.
Comment by Connie Mettler on May 17, 2012 at 3:40pm

Ginny, they are available at iTunes in the store (free) and also at, all for download.

Comment by Ginny Herzog on March 18, 2012 at 10:14pm

Connie, is it possible to download these Radio Shows to an iPhone to listen to while on the road? I've gone to the website but it asks for a username and password but no way to register for them. Would love to get caught up on these while driving to Houston this week. Thanks!

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 27, 2012 at 6:52pm

Ynon -- that was one of the topics addressed. I believe that Both of these shows do furnish this info. Did you see the open sharing from Broad Ripple at this link:

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 27, 2012 at 6:48pm

Richard, again I had some technical problems and will ask your question when I talk with support tomorrow. 

Comment by Ynon Mabat on February 27, 2012 at 5:49pm

Connie, could you please ask why we do not get back any feedback when accepted or rejected. I mean the score we got, our positions in wait listst and so on.

Comment by Richard GRUCHALLA on February 27, 2012 at 5:41pm
Why can't I open the live radio on my iPad?
Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on February 22, 2012 at 10:39pm

Are we the next Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon?

Comment by Mary Anne Maslanka on December 7, 2011 at 1:07pm

Thank you, Connie.  Finally found it.  Good program and good information.  Mary Anne Maslanka

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