Art Fair Insiders

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

So, I had two back to back one day art fairs. The University of Toledo Alumni Association Art of the Mall on Sunday, July 26 and Lakewood Arts Festival on Saturday, August 1st. I know that one day art fairs are hard to do. But this is the first year I did Lakewood. This is my fourth year on Art on the Mall. And I hit the $1k mark for the first time on Art on the Mall. Lakewood was more exciting hitting $1300. So, this year is kind of interesting, Art on the Park in Plymouth, Michigan was down $250. Ann Arbor (The Guild show) was down $1600. But my two one day fairs helped me out. I don't know why people like my work more at one day art fairs but they seem to do. Hyde Park Square in Cincinnati hit over $2k last year. That was a one day show too. So why do people like my work more at one day art fairs? I like one day art fairs the way they turn out. Yay!

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Hi Scott, back to back usually refers to two one day shows on the same weekend. It's something younger artists look forward to because they can double their audience on a single weekend. I can remember three such weekends. One with a show in Michigan on Saturday and then in Cleveland on Sunday. I think there was a one day show in Indianapolis with a corresponding show the day before, and the one I used to do each year. Saugatuck on Saturday and South Haven on Sunday.

Hope you're having a good summer.

Larry Berman

i think there are back-to-back one-dayers in Iowa. The first day is Marion Arts Festival, a show in which many artists want to do. I can't remember the second show on the Sunday, but it's not far from Marion. Maybe I'm mixing up several events... maybe there's a one-dayer after the two day College Hill Arts Festival. I think I'm mixing these things up.

Scott,

Just a thought, but perhaps your success at one day shows is that patrons realize there is "no tomorrow" and they buy what they see the first time they see it (more impulsive).  Are the one day shows smaller?  Less competition for patron's dollars?

I do find this to be true for one day shows for me.  On a multi day show I don't generally start selling until around 2:00 PM.  My work is large and heavy and people want to buy it on their way out.  At a one day show I start selling right away.  But the downside of a one day show is that bad weather can kill the entire show which happened to me this year.

Like Lakewood last year. I had an 8 hour drive in each direction. Torrential rains lasted from and hour after opening, til 2 hours before closing. Completely killed the show. Great heat can do the same thing. When you have set up and teardown the same day, you will have no energy for teardown when it comes. Twice I've had to stay another hotel night, because I was too wiped out to drive home. Making a one day show more like a 2 day, but without 2 days of sales to compensate.

I'm doing some one day shows and it is a nice change of pace in addition to the multi day shows we normally do.

Buying a plop-up tent makes it much easier for early morning set up and breaking down afterwards.

You say you got a plop-up? That's hilarious! WOOHOO!

One of my best-ever shows was a one-dayer in Fall 2010. We were the featured guest artists, and we sold five originals resulting in a 14K take home. I can't remember ever doing another one-dayer.

Oh yes, getting up on Saturday morning early, driving to Kalamazoo for the Bronson Park Show and home to our own beds that night -- tiny overhead, nice profit. 

Seems like a couple of good one day shows are now two day. Bronson Park and South Haven. Might be more now.

 

I like the fast in-and-out of a good one day, as long as the drive is not too long. I can use an EZ UP instead of my more labor-intensive canopy. Fewer hotel nights. At South Haven this year I had to plump for 3 hotel nights, as getting back around the lake westbound at the end of the show  is such a nightmare. I knew I would be proportionately more tired after a 2 day, including the added efforts of the serious canopy. Making the drive back potentially dangerous.

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