I'm new to this forum so I hope I'm not offending anyone with any ignorant questions, please let me know if my questions are inappropriate.

I have two issues that are sort of related to each other, it's a bit complicated so please bear with me.

I am a Dutch artist living and working in Canada, I create mixed media cityscapes, my work is a combination between photography and acrylic paints, it's very urban and contemporary. I have been approved for both the Northampton (May 2015) and Marlborough (March 2015) Paradise City shows next year.

My first issue is that I will need to cross the border with my artwork, I was supposed to do the 2nd Arlington Art Fair in September but this post by Jeremy Browne http://www.artfairinsiders.com/profiles/blogs/border-crossing?xg_source=activity scared me. I didn't want to take the risk, can't afford to be stopped since I want to be able to apply for a green card in the future :) so I cancelled last minute and lost my entire booth fee which sucked but I'm guessing it's still better then being detained for 8 hour. I then did my research, I talked to multiple visa specialists and applied for a B1/B2 visa. I was told that I will probably be ok but it is still up to the border patrol officer to allow me to enter the country with my artwork. 

I would love to so both shows but that means I will have to pay the booth fee upfront, which is a lot of money. If I get stopped at the border for the show in March I will loose the full fee for that show plus 75% of the fee for the May show because I would be canceling after march 15. 

So here are my questions:

Are there any other artists from outside the US who have experience crossing the border with their artwork?

And if I have to choose between the Northampton and Marlborough shows which one has the better reputation in terms of sales? (I realize that this last question really varies from artist to artist and that your experiences might not apply to me but I figure hearing about other peoples experiences will at least give me something to base my decision on).

I hope there's someone out there who is able to give me some more information, every little bit helps! I would really very much appreciate the help! Thanks in advance!

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  • The crowds are larger at Northampton. Marlboro being a part of Boston "should" bring a sophisticated clientele. I'd guess if you are choosing one over the other I'd agree with Carrie.

    Marjolyn van Der Hart lives in the Toronto area and crosses regularly to the U.S. George Raab and Mathias Muleme also come through the Sarnia and/or Windsor crossings to shows and have for many years. They all have beautiful 2 D work. George and Mathias live in western Ontario, probably haven't encountered "your" particular border guards, which may be an issue. You can find them all online. Marjolyn and George are members here.

    • Thanks for the help Connie! I'll definitely ask them! 

  • Julia Gilmore is a Canadian painter I met at a show in westport, CT. You can do a search and find her on the web. I'm sure she can help - she's been doing US shows for many years.

    As for northampton or Marlboro, I do very well in northampton, usually, and bombed twice in Marlboro. I'm an oil painter. You never know, but that's my experience!
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