First, about the color run.  It was advertised weeks ahead of the show, if you lived locally, like the director of the art show, you would have to have heard of it, let alone know it would collide with your event.

Yes, these cornstarch color runs have become the recent hot trends in running.  Anything to get runners fork out $45 for a single event.

On Saturday, Ellen and I first visited my sister who sells plants at the farmers market which was located about four blocks south of the art show.

When we approached her area we noticed everything was covered in this pukey orange hue.  Canopies.  Trucks.  Food.  Plants.  It was everywhere. They would end up hosing everything down that night because they had a plant show to do in Tampa on Sunday.  Then they came over to Ybor to have dinner with us.  Mitch, my sis's partner, told me how difficult it was to get rid of the color.  When you hosed it off, a certain amount flew into the air as a cloud, only to resettle again on different adjacent surfaces.  It took many hosings to rid the color.

Nobody gave the farmers market a prior warning about this and its proximity to the market.  Everything was this rustic orange.  I did not buy any food at the market.

Now, we went on to the art show.  

I will describe the impact of the color run there.  Then I will get into a report of the show.

Where the show was held, on grounds north of the museum on Bayside Drive, the runners got sprayed in pukey PINK!  Yipee, I yeah!

It too, was everywhere.  Even the port-potties, inside, were totally infiltrated by the stuff.  I have never seen such gross port-potties before.  I looked for a friendly tree.

Canopies were sprayed in pink, art and craft was covered too.  It was nasty.

I just cant imagine running and breathing this stuff, it can't be all that healthful.

So yeah, the organizers of the run hd to be a little oblivious to effects of their colors going into the air and then eventually settling hither and yon.  Thankfully, not my yon.

Now about the show.

I stayed away.  Could have slept in my own bed and had minimum expenses.

I felt the $350 booth fee was way to high for a first time show, especially   ten days before Christmas.

I did the promoters show last year that was on Central Avenue in November.  It had nice awards, shitty sales, and minimal advertising.

Before this year's show, I had several email conversations with the director about this particular show.  Also about how he had tried to do the same November show and had no luck.  I gave him insights about that.  He asked my opinion bout a well-known promoters show in Florida.  I gave him some helpful insights.

Back in July I asked him if he would give me a lower rate for the booth fee because, after all, I had given him some helpful consult info.  He said, "No way, Jose."  I told him $350 was too high of a fee.  I told him most people were going to die at that show.  The timing was not right.  Luckily for me, he didn't relent and give me a hundred dollars off, because I would have been $250 out of pocket with very little. return.

So there.  Total transparency.  I asked for a lower booth fee, because of consult advice and was turned down.  Amen!

So, Ellen and I attended, Saturday, sometime after noon.

The show is in lovely location, under shaded trees, by the museum, next to the water.  All it needs is happy buyers.  Were not many of them.

I saw at least a dozen seasoned pros that I know on the circuit who were there.  The promoter got about 90 artists to do it.  Among the dozen I talked to, there was not one success story.  BTW, the show started Friday afternoon. So you had to be there two-and-a-half days which was two-and-a-half days too long.

Easy parking for customers is an issue.  Buying art for Christmas presents is an issue.  The real wealthy do not usually attend these events.  He sent out missives to supposedly every person in Pinellas County who had  house valued at $800K or higher.

It was a nice layout, good art but not many buyers.

Personally, St. Petersburg is a tough art sell any time of the year and especially before Christmas.

Personally, I was cheering for this event to be a success. I desperately need a show on the third weekend in December.  This is not it.

I told Ellen in advance that the fee was too high and most people would die.

Unfortunately, I was right.

So, there is my report.  I went there as a local, with no bias, and that was what I observed.  With 35 years of experience in the biz, I trust my instincts, they very rarely ever let me down.

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  • Geez...I hate those stupid color runs...I love to run. I run before it was "cool". I dislike those new trendy events...color run, chocolate run, wine run, run wearing underwear, beer run, nintendo run, snowman run, princess run, etc etc and most of these are 5k that charge 45.00 per person and they sell out with thousands of participants and in hours. Seriously?? Oh well...It's all about money but after seeing that "COLOR RUN" I saw everything. And getting other people's property stained...ughhhh!! Don't even tell me :-P   Do you want to really have a artistic/color experience?? Then go visit an art show and buy some art! 

  • Well, as a family of serious runners we talked about this color run.  My high school All American didn't think any serious runner would want to run through all that paint.  Who wants to breath all that into your lungs?  Semi-runners like the gimmick of the "color run."  That should be done where there isn't much around.  I'm sure it washes away with the rain but nobody wants to wash their tents and art work.  However, it would be fun to watch the color run from a window in a building.

    Good for you, Nels, for asking for a consultation fee.  You had to try to get that.

    Nancy, great way to finish up your year. 

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  • Well look at this, one of our members got proactive (he can remain anonymous or come forward) and contacted the Tampa Bay Times and here is the upshot published for all to see. Read the article: St. Petersburg Color Run was fun to see but ...

    Looks like the 15,000 runners had a great time though.

    St. Petersburg City Council chairwoman Leslie Curran and Jefferis said evaluations occur after every event, and they will work to reduce problems.

  • I was considering this show and decided against it.  From what I read, I made the right decision.  Thanks to all for your comments.

  • I just stumbled upon a discussion of this show in October where artists were wondering whether or not to participate -- some added background for this discussion:

  • I also did this show the one thing I heard several times was the patrons  didn't know it was going on they happened to eat at one of the restaurants on Beach dr. and saw us. Next year Amy Amdur is doing her show at Gulfstream on the same weekend which I did very well for a 1st annual this year so won't even have to think about this one next year.I don't think color run will be returning soon  I overheard on one of the clean up crew radio the boat owners weren't to happy either

    • I'll bet they weren't! and they carry a lot more weight in the area than itinerant artists!

  • I will say one more thing then I'll get off this subject.  The reason I did this show was the location.  It's absolutely fantastic.  The timing is wrong and Mr. Frutko is extremely green when it comes to running a show but he has the backing of a major museum and access to an amazing show property, so he had a great start.  He lacks experience and guidance.  In his facebook post he said that great old line, we artists always say at a bad show, "It only takes One"  which is true in most cases.  I didn't get my one.  He also made reference to the fact that maybe "the people who didn't sell, didn't have the right work".  In another case I might go along with that but I have a huge 35 year following in St. Petersburg.  That was my second reason for doing the show.  Unfortunately I was in Little Cayman and then Europe before the show and didn't send out my mailing list.  I'm sorry about that because my buyers list is extensive and would have helped us all.  I trusted him to do that for me with his publicity.  That didn't happen.  The show was very quiet, some of the people in the restaurants across the street walked over just to see what it was, others happened along because they were walking their dogs, there weren't even any signs to point the way.  His idea to send post cards to wealthy people is cute, but in my 42 year art show experience, wealthy people find it invasive to get random labeled mail from a mailing list they thought was private, aside from the fact that wealthy people support their own and generally buy from galleries or have decorators choose their art.  This is in my experience, it's a generalization I realize but it is my experience growing up in a wealthy family and living and working in a wealthy community. 

    Here is my offer to Mr. Frutko:  I would be willing to help him if he decides to do another show there.  With my artist management skills and my intense publicity skills he could have a winner.  We would also have clean bathrooms, garbage cans to throw our trash in and buyers coming out our ears.  If anyone wants to pass this offer along to him, please be my guest.

  • Here's a picture of the artists parking lot at the St. Pete Holiday Show.  My neighbor went out to get something in her van around two and her silver van along with everyone else's was so blue she had a hard time finding it.  Her hands were covered with blue when she got back, the powder was very invasive.  When we all went to the vans after the show there was a big water tank truck refilling after they had washed about half the vehicles off.  Apparently the promoter touted the show as a great experience on his facebook page and then said that the only people grumbling were the ones not making money.  Really?  The guy who got hit with the pink first probably had to throw out his cloth panels, or the guy with the rope furniture who was in the direct line of fire who we all watched attempting to clean his chairs with whatever rags he had with him, I'm sure he had a great experience.  Or the elderly woman who had to leave the show because she couldn't get enough air.  I am thoroughly enjoying having to unframe my work and throw away perfectly good and expensive mats and scrub pink off the glass and frames while I get ready for my studio party this weekend.  Just what I needed to be doing.


    St. Pete Holiday Festival Blue Vehicle colors.jpg

    • This is not good, Carroll.

      I remember being at the Atlanta Dogwood Festival during "pollen season" and everything was covered with yellow. Years later we still had pollen in the crevices of our van's doors -- but that was an act of nature, a totally different story.

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