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Arts in the Middle (Urbanna, VA) or Taubman Museum Sidewalk Art Sale

Hi all.  I'm new to AFI.  I moved to our new home recently and haven't met other local artists yet, so I'm delighted to find a place where we can bounce ideas off one another, and help each other out.

My question - I'm a contemporary resin artist (painter, not crafter).  I attended the Taubman Sidewalk Sale last year.  It ended up in the top 5 of the festivals I did last year (in terms of $).  Not great, but not bad.

This year (after learning my lesson about only applying to one show/weekend at a time and then not being accepted to it) I applied to both Tauban and Arts in the Middle and have been accepted to Arts in the Middle.  Taubman isn't finished jurying yet.

I don't know anything about this show and don't find any reviews on it.  Does anyone have experience at it?  I have to pay for Arts in the Middle before they announce vendors for the Taubman fair and am not sure if I should bite the bullet and try it (bird in the hand....) or skip it and hope for the best with the Taubman fair.

Thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to participating with AFI and meeting some of you at upcoming shows.

CA

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I'll start by asking where you are now living, not that you need to say, it's just an expense that can be offset by proximity.  I did the show for the first time last year.  My sales weren't that good, photography, and can't speak for the others.  I saw packages walking by my tent.  The pottery lady next to me seemed to do fairly well.  I believe it is a fairly new show and growing every year.  Their advertising is becoming more aggressive.  Set up is very convenient and parking for customers couldn't be easier.  And on top of that it is a wonderful location.  You are set up under these large live oaks along the road to the planation.  Since you have been accepted you know they have host families for lodging.  There's not much around, close, when it comes to lodging.

Tough call.  Fourth in sales sounds pretty good to me, but branching out to new venues can also be rewarding.  Don't know that you can match your 4th place $$ but it is a nice event.  I'll be there again this year looking forward to it and expanding my photography efforts to hopefully improve my sales.

Thanks Ralph.  I live in NC and Roanoke is closer, but no way of telling if I'll get into that again, of course.  There's also the idea that it's nice to repeat the same show so you'll be there for the folks who remember you, and come out to see you again.

I'm not familiar with the host families and lodging.  I saw an email mentioning it, but didn't realize that there isn't much close by so that would be a good idea.  Thanks for pointing that out.  

Tough call for sure.  Thanks for taking the time.  If I end up going, I'll try and find you.

CA

I used to do Taubman for years, enjoyed the promoters efforts and that catered breakfast on Sunday was great. Just couldn't cope with the crowded streets, angry store owners, and the wind tunnel problems.  Sales were okay, but not enough to keep me coming back. 

So I tried out Urbanna's AIM last year.  Bit further to drive from NC, but the venue is appealing and Host lodging is an unexpected bonus. Easy drive-up to our booth spaces with no parking hassles, early closing on Sunday at 3:00 seemed about right.  Customers were gone by then, so everyone was able to load out and head home at a decent hour.  That small coastal town drew customers from Richmond and surrounding areas, out for a day-trip to see/buy art.  Surprising.

Profit margin worked out even between the two events. Sales $ were good enough that I'm going back to Urbanna again this year. Neither one is a gold mine, but the overall people experience at Arts In The Middle was much more pleasant.  Wish they were closer to Charlotte, but what's a couple of extra hours drive for roadies like us?

I am a traditional/realistic watercolor artist and did the Arts in the Middle last year for the first time. The setting among the trees was wonderful with easy drive in setup and cooperative staff, but poor attendance and sales will keep me from going back. Not sure if it was because of my first exposure there, my talent level or subject matter or what that caused poor sales. Sunday was a complete waste of time for me. I commuted 60 miles daily from a relative’s home since nearby lodging is a problem. My expenses were way out of proportion to sales so it’s just not feasible for me. Perhaps your genre or medium will be more appealing. It is an enjoyable and relaxed setting.

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