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It appears that restrictions are starting to be lifted.  By next week in Michigan, we will be allowed to have events of up to 100 people.  I am hoping to have a larger limit by the end of July when our first (remaining) show is scheduled.

Below is my first draft of a letter to artists to help them prepare for the show.  I would love some feedback and suggestions.  Note that we will only have a show if it is practical under current state regulations.  (Feel free to borrow ideas, though if you extensively use the material, reference Integrity Shows as the source.)

Practice Safe Art

       We all are learning how to prepare for a show in these times.  I would like to advise you of some steps we are taking as well as some suggestions.  Please let me know if you have additional suggestions or questions.

 

We will:

  • Add extra potties and have a crew member sanitize between uses.
  • Have sanitizer stations at various points in the show.
  • Require patrons to sign up for a specific time slot. We will send you information so that you can encourage your best customers to sign up early and get their preferred times.  While we will remain free admission, we will be adding a small fee to those who want preferred slots.  Your customers may have a discount code to register for those slots at no charge.
  • Patrons arriving without a time slot will be asked to line up. We will have 6’ markings so that they can do so safely. Our staff monitors crowd size and will allow additional shoppers as it can safely be done.
  • Please note that on the attached site plan each artist has three sides open on their booths. While you don’t need to leave your walls down on all three sides there are some advantages-
    1. By having your art visible from multiple directions, people can see it without congregating.
    2. The wind will help to disperse any unwanted germs and viruses.

 

We suggest that you:

  • Leave your sidewall rolled up and invite the public to shop from outside the booth.
    1. I have some mesh hanging walls and can rent them to you for $10 each for the mesh (Hand on your tent) or $30 for mesh and hardware (looks betters, straight, but you need at least 7’ high walls to fit it in).
  • Discourage shoppers from touching your items (unless the tactile element is essential). If so, sanitize between customers.
    1. Jewelers and others with nonporous items may consider using rubbing alcohol (if it won’t affect the materials. (Please don’t waste perfectly good gin on this).
    2. Fiber artists will need to research the best way to handle their fabrics.
  • A few items to add to your packing list:
    1. Masks (including extras)
    2. Hand Sanitizer
    3. Small signs- Please do not touch, Please remain outside of the booth, You must wear a mask to enter…   We will also have some available.
    4. Gloves

 

      Together we can stay safe and make this work.  We appreciate your trust and look forward to seeing you (though the hugs may need to wait).

 

© Mark Loeb

Integrity Shows

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If you have the capability you might consider renting Trimline awnings (thinking that Trimline is the most common tent).  My work cannot be in direct sunlight.  When you say three sides open is that counting the front?

Yes, front and two sides.  There are a variety of ways to exhibit that could still contain everything under the tent- for example one wall in the back and one at a 90-degree angle centered with art showing left and right.   With the three sides open there would be significant room left for storage too.   

Naturally none of this happens until government, sponsors, producers and artists are confident.

The show your work on the outside and have everything open works for 2-D. Not so much for 3-D. All my work including packing material and storage is contained in my 10 x10 space. That requires cutting off 2.5 feet in the back behind my walls as storage. My selling space is 10 x 7.5. I wish this would be adopted practice for everyone no matter if there is a virus or not. The point of this comment is something else, however. If I do a show in the next few months, I'm going to rope off the front of my booth. People can see the work from outside the booth. I will be inside the booth. If someone wants to look at something up close, they ask. I can stay back and communicate with patrons. If I know what they like I can show them a number of pieces up close. The added bonus is that nobody can touch the work. I hate when they touch my work because many times their dirty or oily fingers will mar the work. Usually, people that purchase understand proper behavior and they don't touch things. If someone touches my pieces I know right away they they aren't buying. Rarely, if ever, does anyone who touches my pieces ends up buying. I think roping off the front of the booth should be encouraged, if not mandatory, by every show director. It's a good idea that is never mentioned by any promoter/director, not even Mark who has started this thread.

If there is any show between now and November, lets say, there is going to interaction between customer and exhibitor that may be dicey. The main problem is air born spread. It's much harder to get the coronavirus from touching contaminated surfaces. So, all shows should require masks. No exceptions. Gloves? They could request it but not enforce it.

Mark, it's too late for your Royal Oak show. Are you still planning on having the Funky Ferndale?

The park shows could work with a limited capacity if we're at 250 people or more.  If we reduce to 60 booths, figure 100 artists. That allows us to have 150 patrons.  By requiring sign up in advance, we control timing.  If people miss their slot, some that came for stand by can come in.  It requires extra staff but would be worth it.

I agree that this year we should keep the patrons shopping outside of the tent.  

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