Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I'm relatively new to doing art fairs and I'm in the process of searching for appropriate art fairs to apply for 2020. The region I'm looking for is within 500 miles of Dayton, Ohio.

I'm familiar with but I'm wanting a more comprehensive list.

Given my newbie status I don't require the "best" shows, but due to my subject matter and business approach, I'm wanting at least a moderate level and number of upscale clientele.

I don't mind paying for a publication that would make my search easier (although Greg Lawler's products are a bit pricey).

Any suggestions on publications, services, or other resources are appreciated!

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This web site, Facebook forums art fair review and art fair reviews. But the number one answer is ask other artists.

larry Berman

Thank you, Larry. Yes, this site, forums, and asking other artists is what I plan to do when it's time to find out specifics to qualify or disqualify a given art fair.

What I'm wanting to know is if someone has compiled a list that I can start from - rather than spend hours searching and making my own list. If I need to make my own list, that's fine, but I'd rather not reinvent the wheel if it's not necessary.

Ohio used to put out a small book with all shows imaginable for Ohio. It was free and a new one came out in the beginning of each year. There was a decent amount of info for each show.

I think it was done by the Ohio Arts Council. You may want to check. Maybe it's online?

For Coloraodo: for shows other than Zapp.

As you stated about Greg Lawler's Art Fair Sourcebook, it is pricey. However if it makes the difference between bombing out or making good at just one show, it will pay for itself. His system is compiled with a lot of DATA. I have found it to be very good. Worth the investment.

I disagree.  Most of the info is WAY out of date. 

I don't have a list, per se, but I have been doing art shows in Ohio for a couple years.  Boston Mills is in Peninsula, Oh, and they put on an excellent show.  Two weekends to chose from - last weekend of June or first weekend of July.  Can be found on Zapplication - I believe the deadline for this year is coming up on Jan. 19th.  Also, I did a one day show in Chardon, Oh called the Chardon Square Art Fest.  It's held in early August, and it draws an amazing crowd of buyers!  Their application process is, however, old fashioned.  Must go to their website, download paper application, and mail it in with actual photos of your work and booth.  I also did the Perrysburg, Oh Levis Common Art show recently.  While well run by the same group that puts on the Ann Arbor Art shows, the turn out wasn't great, and more lookers than buyers.  I heard that the Black Swamp Art Fest in Bowling Green, Oh is very good; hoping to try it this year myself.  Also look into the Crosby Art show in Toledo, and the Berea Art Fest in Berea, Oh.  Both are well respected and well attended.

Zapplication lists shows with due dates and the calendar feature keeps you up-to-date but there is no reviews of shows on their site. Also, Sunshine Artist Magazine has reviews of some shows and lists of due dates for applications.

Sunshine Artist is now geared mostly towards crafts, since being purchased by a craft conglomerate a few years back.

That may be true, Carol, and I know you have an insider's point of view. But the listings are pretty extensive. We used it a lot to find smaller events that could fill an empty weekend when we'd be out on the road. Maybe not the best shows, but it is hard to make a living in this business if you only depend on getting into the A shows. Right? We always had a handful of not so great events that kept the income going.

Before the Art Fair Source Book it was the only way to find shows because you could look up the weekends you had free.

Larry Berman

Judy, Richard, Larry, Sonja, and S Brian - I really appreciate the helpful replies!


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