Hi I'm new here and I'm new to doing art shows/festivals -- although I did wholesale shows (BMAC, etc) for years and now do Portland Saturday Market, OR, every weekend - and have on and off for 16 years. I've done some really nice shows in the Pacific Northwest in the past few years and have really enjoyed them and have done quite well. Now I'm moving to the Southeast US and will have to do shows exclusively to survive.

First off, though, from what I've been able to learn online and from show photos, it appears that shows in the Eastern US are more professional looking than what we have here in the Northwest.  Here's my question:  Can I get away with my nice, clean Caravan booth (with side walls, ProPanels, weights, clean top, awnings)  at most art shows, or do I need to invest in something more upscale, such as the "LiteDome" I think it's called?

Also, I'm horrified to jury to shows. I do paintings, mostly dogs, and I've only shown them here at Portland Sat. Mkt - where they sell very well, and I get lots of commissions, too. Will paintings "like that" get me into good juried shows? Are there alternatives if I can't such as festivals? I'm listing my website, too, so that you can see the quality of my artwork rather than have to pass judgment sight-unseen. I'm even thinking about switching over to something like landscapes, or who knows what else, if necessary. But my dog and animal art sells, so I feel that I've got a good thing going - IF I can get into some decent (i.e., money-producing) shows. Making and selling my artwork is my only income. Thanks. Dottie Dracos, www.dottiedracos.com.

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  • ooooh they are really cute, Dottie. :-)
    The trick is always finding where you fit. This is cute, happy animal art. No, it is the the upscale art festival art. So what? You can make good money at another farmers market type of event or at art & craft shows. The atmosphere is very different at different style of shows too. For me, it turned out that Renaissance Festivals were the right place for me instead of art shows. Go to some of the events before applying if you can and get the feel of it.
    I have a Caravan tent and it is fine. I just weigh it down really well.
    Best of luck in your adventure,

    Amy Schulz
    custom engraved art & gifts
  • Thank you so much for your honest reply; it's very helpful. Yes, I'm moving to Florida, so I'll check out the "Craft Endeavors" shows and I suppose other more-loosely-juried festivals until I feel I'm more ready for the better shows. Dottie
  • I'll go out on a limb here and say that you need to grow within your medium to get into the better shows. The golden rule is that what sells well doesn't jury well and what juries well doesn't sell well. Just doing paintings of dogs may sell well but won't get you into any of the better shows.

    Your display should be fine though not as sturdy as the better made canopy systems out there. I've never heard of someone not getting into shows because they were using an EZUp or KD canopy. As long as it looks really professional it should work until you feel that you want to upgrade.

    You don't say where you're moving to. If you can't jury into the better shows, Howard Alan has shows in Florida called Craft Endeavors that are more loosely juried.

    Larry Berman
    Digital Jury Services
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