Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
2019 EVERGREEN WESTERN ART CELEBRATION, EVERGREEN, CO JUNE 14-16, 2019
PROMOTER: CCM Events, Darren Skanson
FEES: Jury $30, Booth $325
APPLICATION: Colorado Artist Tour
NUMBER OF BOOTHS: 62
HOURS: FRIDAY 10:00-7:00, Saturday 11:00-5:00, Sunday 10:00-4:00
GEOGRAPHY, CLIMATE, DEMPOGRAPHICS
Evergreen is a mountain community in the foothills about 30 miles west of Denver, and south of I-70. The population is a mix of old residents and lots of affluent newcomers. In general, it is considered as a wealthy area.
The elevation is 7220’ and the area is subject to afternoon thunderstorms and associated winds. During the show, it was windy Thursday evening during set up. It rained for about 45 minutes Saturday afternoon, and there were two brief showers Sunday afternoon and evening.
SETUP AND TAKE DOWN
There were 62 booths arranged in a perimeter around two islands of back to back booths. Set up was at 6:00pm until 10:00pm Thursday June 13th and from 6:00am until 10:00am Friday the 14th when the show opened. You could park next to your booth space or dolly in from the parking lot perimeter. We worked until 10:30pm and got out of the parking lot at 11:00pm. We stayed overnight in Golden, CO but commuted 1 to 1.25 hours home to Franktown Saturday and Sunday. There was a gusty wind of 10-20 mph during set up. Perimeter booths had storage space behind them. Island booths did not. Take down was at 4:00pm Sunday. Nothing special here other than there was a brief rain shower around 5:00pm.
I heard about this show last year but did not apply as I think it was its first year. It rained heavily daily and artist friends reported that they did not do well. I had done the Summerfest show in Evergreen in 2001-2003. My sales the first two years were in the range of $2K-$3.5K and I sold a saddle at one show (that is rare!). The last year we did Summerfest, 2003, sales dropped 75% and were less than $900. I moved on to another event after that as it was obvious the change in show management was not working. I decided to give Western Art Celebration a shot as there was western lifestyle money in Evergreen.
A week before the show, we checked out the site on our way to Battlement Mesa, Co to visit grandkids. Darren had said the show was in the ECHO parking lot. I thought it a little strange that the ECHO store sign was yellow, and not orange and black. During the week I was telling friends, the show was at the ECHO Chain Saw store on Evergreen Parkway. After I got to the show, I realized EcHO was Evergreen Christian Outreach, a thrift store. They had a 25% off sale and were giving out 50% off one item coupons. The store has really nice things and we scored a set of six wine glasses to replace ours which are always getting broken. It was a better deal than eBay.
The show was on Father’s Day weekend which is also rodeo weekend in Evergreen. The rodeo parade was on Saturday, and the PRCA rodeo was on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Cervi was the stock contractor.
SALES AND ANALYSIS
Although Darren had an interesting marketing strategy of drawings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for shopping sprees within the show of $250, $500 and $1,000 respectively, it did not draw in large crowds. I watched cars parking along the road and coming into the parking lot regularly, but there was a paucity of people in the booth aisles. I finally figured out, that most people were there for the thrift store sale. I only saw one rodeo volunteer at the show on Saturday and only one of my clients had been to the rodeo. Access road to the rodeo was a couple blocks away. The wealthy western lifestyle folks of Evergreen were not drawn to this event.
I am a hard numbers guy and if show sales do not meet my minimum I do not return. My sales over the three days were $1500 and change which is considerably less than my $1K-$1.2K minimum average per day to return. The show was profitable for me. Although I had few sales, the average was $85, and my margin for the entire event was 62%. Commuting kept my expenses down. I plan to keep this show on my watch list, because the western lifestyle money is in Evergreen as evidenced by my earlier shows there.
The quality of the art was high and western themed. It was heavy on 2-D, photography and jewelry. My neighbor, Randal May, was related to Loveland, CO saddle maker Rusty May, who has been around as long as I have.
Parking during the show was about two blocks away at a grocery store lot. Porta pots and a hand washing station were available. Darren and his crew brought around bottled water Friday. The thrift store gave out chocolate candies Saturday and bags of cookies Sunday afternoon. There was a food truck, and the thrift store cooked hot dogs for a donation.
Live musicians from CCM’s recording studio performed all three days. They were good and the volume of the music was reasonable. Darren Skanson introduced himself to all the artists and was helpful opening and closing our neighbor’s booth in his absence.
During take down, three cow elk wandered by the perimeter. We had an anxious moment as they crossed Evergreen Parkway, a four-lane highway. It was still daylight, so drivers saw them as they sauntered on their way. They are very large animals.
Hi Richard - I was also at this show; I'm sorry I didn't know you were there, I would have liked to meet you - I enjoy your posts on this site!
I sell jewelry, with a southwest flair, and also was excited about reaching the right buyers at this show.
I'm glad you did as well as you did, I had one sale in three days, and was very disappointed in the number of attendees. Several of my neighbors also had a poor result, including two veteran artists, one from Arizona, and one from Oklahoma.
I think we were all counting on tapping into the rodeo crowd since this is such a new show - and that did not happen. I also was impressed at the high level of art presented. Darren was very nice, and I understand others have done well at his other shows.
A venue within eyesight of the rodeo likely would have brought more people; I think that is what myself and others thought was going to be the case.
On to the next one!