Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I just did a seazrch on this site for a color run and could not find anything about it. Anyways, an artist that I know did a show this week end at St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts Holiday Art Exhibition. Evidently on Saturday there was a 5k Color Run. On the race are hoops that spray out dyed corn starch that the runners go through. In the photo that I saw of this it made like a low level pink fog.
Well what happened is that this pink corn starch went everywhere for blocks. It just blows in the breeze. Covering tents, cars, product and everything.. Then if there is any humidity or dew it sticks to everything.
At this time it is unknown if the show promotor had anything to do with the run or if this was something the Museum did and did not realize the mess it causes.
I do not think that these can be very popular at all. They have to be a disaster for the runners too. Imagine having to run through this and breathe it in.
I just went searching and found that these are held all over. Here is a link to you tube where they show what happens. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2a4wTLWUZc&feature=youtu.be
Watch it to the end to see what the runners look like when they are done. Lets hope that you do not have to do an art show next to one.
B. David Kay
They certainly know how to excite people, but I agree. This event would not be good next to an art show or any buildings. I think the promoters should clean up the mess and replace any works that were damaged by the color fog.
I think it would be more appropriate to ask permission and credit the person who took the picture instead of just posting it. Carroll Swayze took the picture you posted.
I did this show. It was a disaster. Not just the pink powder covering everything, but every aspect of the show. The promotor David Frutco did not advertise the show whatsoever. He basically took our $350 entry fee and put it in his pocket. They blocked off the streets for the Color Run, so we couldn't get to our parking lot. Set-up and take-down were a joke.
Words cannot convey how bad this show was.
I'm on it.....
I am an artist new to festivals (only participated in two). My second show was this one next to the Color Run. My concern with posting experiences is I've heard rumors that if artists voice anything negative, they can be black-balled from future shows. Has anyone had this experience?
The way I feel about it is, if a show is bad enough that you're going to talk bad about it, who cares if you're black balled. I would never again apply for a show as bad as the St. Pete show was. I personally want the promoter of that show to know that I think he is a thief for taking our money and basically putting it in his pocket. The color run was just the pink icing on a terrible cake.
Two weeks later, I'm still mad.....
Thank you, Nancy and Ken! What you say makes sense.
When reading reviews about different shows, I've found it is helpful to keep in mind that so many factors come into play that can cause a festival to be successful for one artist and a complete failure for another. Such things are often out of the control of the organizer (weather, purchasing inclinations of the crowds, etc.). I've decided to to just try all different areas and promoters so I can decide what works best for me and the type of art I create.
However, I now know to look for reviews that describe problems within the control of the organizer - such as evidence of no promotion:
- business owners on that very street who say they were unaware of the festival before they saw the tents going up
- no signs
- locals asking if this was a last-minute show
- the director for community events (who worked for the city) knew all about the Color Run but had no idea there would be an art festival and asked us who was in charge so she could talk to him about communication with the city
Someone else in this thread asked if the show was a success apart from the damage done by the colored corn starch. Whether or not customers want to purchase is not the fault of the organizer (in my humble opinion), and I did sell enough to recoup the entry fee plus a bit more. Most artists I spoke with did worse. As we were packing up, the promoter told me that some had a fabulous show and others did not and that artists shouldn't complain but try to make the most of the situation. I agreed that the location and weather were gorgeous that weekend. I asked which artists did really well (since those on my row were grumbling about sales and I was curious what type of art this St. Pete crowd was interested in), and he said the glass artist who sold large decorative bowls and plates.
Apart from the sales, there was a lot of clean-up involved with this show. Although my artwork and tent were covered in pink powder, it all came off after a few hours of cleaning. I was lucky in that my work is either behind glass or varnished so a damp cloth took care of that. In case anyone needs cleaning tips for future Color Run disasters, I tried non-chlorine bleach, Spot Shot, and good old liquid dish soap with water and a scrub brush on my tent top, sides, and mesh walls. Interestingly enough, it was the dish soap and elbow grease that scrubbed the tent and mesh walls clean!
I was very upset the day of the Color Run because of the potential damage and the lost time since everyone had to zip up their tents and wait for the clouds of pink corn starch to dissipate. Unfortunately, the runners moved from color station to color station, so the corn starch continued to be thrown throughout the length of the race. The few people who did walk through the art festival that morning only saw pink starch-dusted tents zipped up to protect all the artwork. Artists were not willing to open for business until the artwork was guaranteed safe. It also deterred some people from coming to the area at all. I overheard someone on her cell phone telling her family she had gone for a walk and seen the art show, but that her family should not come because even though the race was over, the air was still thick with corn starch. She was worried because there were a few asthmatics in her family.
I'm thinking that if this show exists next year, the Color Run probably won't coincide. However, I would advise any artists who consider participating to research possible events that might affect the show and do some publicity yourself.
As an artist new to festivals, I didn't realize I would need to check out possible conflicts before applying to a show or start doing my own promotions. I read that another artist has a following and draws a crowd on her own by advertising festivals in which she participates, so I guess I need to start doing that. Maybe if all the artists at a festival promote, we might have larger crowds. On the other hand, if we have to do all the research on scheduling conflicts, coinciding events that might ruin our merchandise, and our own promotions, where does the money go that we pay to the event organizer?
Ken, I was told by another artist that those who won awards were friends of the organizer. I was unable to attend the ceremony, so I can't say for certain. What I heard was that each winner was announced as "my old friend," "someone I've known for 10 years," etc. Were you at the ceremony? This came from a disgruntled artist unhappy about low sales and pink dust on her work, so I don't know how accurate the information is.
Thank you for the update on your experiences at the show and the aftermath of the event, particularly as it relates to the ability to clean up the corn starch mess.
I would caution you and everyone else about what you've written in the last paragraph. It's not, in and of itself, unethical for a winner of an art show to be the friend of the promoter, and it's flawed logic to draw the conclusion that a friendship or acquaintanceship between promoter and artist leads to an award. Did the promoter actually judge the show himself, or was he simply handing out awards?
Ok, good to know. There was only one judge that I am aware of. The same artist told me the judge is also a friend of the promoter. She has been doing shows for many years, so when she was upset by the relationships between this group, I assumed this was out of the ordinary.