I've been relying on a catalog called "Midwest Art Fairs" Art & Craft Show Guide the last few years to get information about shows.  It seems fairly comprehensive to me and I really like that the shows are arranged in chronological order based on their show dates, but I'm wondering if other midwestern artists have found a better publication to guide them when they want to work new shows into their schedule.

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  • Thank you, Connie and Larry, for recommending other sources for me.  I appreciate your advice, and your willingness to respond to my question.  Now that I am going to expand to shows outside of Minnesota and Wisconsin, I'm sure the sources you mentioned will be quite helpful to me.  These sources are not unknown to me; I was wondering, however, how other artists compare them to a source like Midwest Art Fair when researching Midwestern shows.


    I wonder if you might be dismissing Midwest Art Fairs a bit out of hand, if you are not familiar with it.  It would be hard to compare it to the other sources if you've never seen it.  

    • Not necessarily, Betsey. I'm sure there is value in a regional publication it's just that Larry and I both are more familiar with a more nationwide perspective and why we recommended these other options. Who knows? there may be something right across the border that may lure you there and that is why I like something a little broader. Both Sunshine Artist and FestivalNetworkOnline.com have really large databases of all kinds of events that might work for you. This site (AFI) and our other sites (ArtFairCalendar.com and CallsforArtists.com) focus pretty much on top juried shows, not trying to be as comprehensive. 

      • Yes, I will definitely be using other sources of information to help make better decisions as I expand geographically in the Midwest.  I am aware of Sunshine Artist and FNO, as well as ArtFairCalendar and CallsforArtists.


        Midwest Art Fairs covers Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, and South Dakota.  I'm still wondering how other Midwestern artists compare Midwest Art FAirs catalog to the other sources.  I do find it helpful that you can access it online or page through the catalog, which is arranged chronologically; sometimes I like to page through the catalog rather than have to go online and search, and the catalog is handy to take with me anywhere and study when I have a few moments.  I do appreciate your experience and perspective with other sources of information, but perhaps someone who has used MAF and is familiar with it will be willing to compare it with other sources for Midwestern shows?

        • I'm still wondering how other Midwestern artists compare Midwest Art FAirs catalog to the other sources.

          With ZAPP and JASV, I rarely need to go to other sources these days. For me, the shows I want to do are all listed on the national jury service sites, with a couple of exceptions. I just don't do the tiny local shows. Perhaps for the smaller shows, the Midwest Art Fair catalog would be useful. Thanks for the tip -- I'll check it out.

          Never heard of it until now, never missed it. I started out using Sunshine Artist and AFSB. Word of mouth helped me the most. I used the Sunshine Artist audit book for a couple of years to get a perspective on national shows. I stopped subscribing to AFSB last year, but did buy Greg's little pocket edition. I think it does depend on the type of shows you are looking for. The big national shows are well-known now, so it's primarily the smaller shows that fly under the radar. Sunshine Artist used to be good for ferreting them out, but the information was so slanted that I stopped paying much attention to their reviews. The listings are useful, however.

  • I'm with Larry. I don't know that publication. Sites like this one are really helpful because you can get direct answers. There is nothing like word of mouth from those who have been there. Another resource full of all kinds of events is festivalnetworkonline.com. 

    • Add to that each state has their own festival guide and most artists doing art shows have not found it particularly useful, except maybe when first starting out. Though when I first started out, everyone suggested getting a subscription to Sunshine Artist Magazine, which was considered the bible for the industry thirty plus years ago.

      Larry Berman

  • I've done shows about 35 years and have never heard of the publication you're referring to. I started reading Sunshine Artist Magazine and then moved on to the Art fair Sourcebook when I was researching higher quality shows.

    Now answers to all your questions may come from researching on the internet and asking fellow artists. This web site is one of the places to research.

    Larry Berman

    • http://www.midwestartfairs.com/    It's currently in its 37th year of publication, published twice a year, in February and August, and usually includes about 100 pages of fine art fairs, and but also many craft shows, which is not helpful to me but I know it has useful information in this regard for many other artists and crafters. Event organizers are charged $25 to list an event, and I know that is a point of discussion, as far as being comprehensive and including as many shows as possible, versus the publisher needing to make some money from his/her work.  It is a good guide, but I am all for adding more sources of information to my desk which will help me make better-informed decisions about which art shows will be a good match for me.  I believe it is fairly comprehensive in listing fine art shows in Minnesota, where I live, but I have no idea how well it covers other Midwestern states, those in which I'm ready to launch my artwork. 

      • I’ve heard of Midwest Art Fairs. It was recommended to me by a couple of people on here. Without being able to see what information is in its listings, though, I have not thus far subscribed. At least with AFSB, when Greg goes around to shows, you get to thumb through one and see what is there. I am reconsidering getting Midwest Art Fairs, though, since I am trying to travel less this year, and smaller local shows may be my best option. What little I can see there looks pretty bare bones. I like to know things like how many applications received, how many spaces open to jury, etc. I started out with Sunshine Artist too.


        I used to be happy with the state online directories for Illinois and Wisconsin, but cuts to both states’ budgets have eviscerated their art fair guides.

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