Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I was accepted to both of these shows for the first time this year and will likely only be able to squeeze one into my schedule. Does anyone have any experience/insight with these two shows relative to each other? I am a landscape photographer.
I'm torn because Jackson is closer to me (4hrs vs. 7hrs) and I have a fair amount of local images from there, whereas Boulder I have no local images and it is a little further but it looks like it gets nearly 15x the foot traffic as the Jackson show.
Thanks for the insight! I don't mind weird, but people not buying I definitely do.
What is your medium? Did you notice what was selling at either show? I'm wondering if my availability of local images for the Jackson show would outweigh the crowd advantage in Boulder. If people in Boulder are looking for local stuff I will have nothing to offer, as I have almost nothing from Colorado.
Boulder can be a good show, a minor amount of junk, mostly superb artists. Setup on the mall is tough - if you are there at 6:00 am, you are late! It takes me about 4 hours to set up my booth, hang work, and drink coffee. Then, at times during the day you will not be able to get out of your booth as there are too many people. Most are there and had no idea the show was going on; one tourist couple stopped in, had no idea the show was going on, said they liked the work, but they never buy things at art shows and left. They were back a half hour later, and then said, in 22 years they have never, ever bought anything at a show. but they wanted a piece, so could they buy it quickly they had to run to the airport. Ok. Off they went. They were back, two hours later, said they got halfway to the airport and decided they needed another piece, so they canceled their flight, turned around, and came back and bought a second piece.
Boulder, Can be a great show. Memorable. This year though, I have the Ann Arbor Show the next weekend, and it might be too much for me to do Boulder, tear down, drive two days, then set up on Wednesday in Ann Arbor for the show to open Thursday, haven't decided yet.
I live south of Denver and Boulder is AKA 'People's Republic of Boulder" locally. University and $ there. I did Jackson 2015 and 2016 and 3-day show was $5K both times. Judge Judy was there. Guy with very expensive wood/stone furniture and gal with laser cut steel practically sold out. I did Steamboat in 2016 and planned to alternate it with Jackson. Steamboat has gone downhill. Not doing Jackson this year as I have too much studio work, but I would go back.
Photography seems to do well in CO, depending on the subject matter. As far as pottery, neither show was great, but Jackson was terrible.
One thing I can say for sure is the stated attendance numbers for Jackson Hole are grossly off. They claimed (for the 2017 show) an expected ticketed attendance of 11-12,000, and I'd put it closer to 1000-1500 attendance for the August weekend, and the weather was great. At most points throughout the day, you could bowl down the aisle and not hit anyone, save a bored artist straying from their booth.
My rule of thumb is to try the show that is closer first and it sounds like your audience might be better in Jackson. I've not done Jackson but I have done Pearl Street. It was fairly busy but the buying energy was not what I had hoped for. Pretty much an average show for me in sales.
If you do the closer to home show first you will have something to help you decide in the future if it's worth it to venture farther away since there are always more shows farther and farther away from home.