Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
well I have had to sit here fuming for awhile so that my comments about the recent Talbot street 'fair'?would be rated pg. first of all, any of you who will be applying to TS should know that there is a reasonable chance that you might not be on Talbot st. which is the main drag and where the real crowds are. you could be on 17th, 18th or 19th side streets where the crowds aren't despite being told by the 'officials' that they are all good spots. what a load of horse manure. of course youll still be paying the same booth fee and you don't get a side st discount on gas, lodging and food. when we realized what we were in store for, my wife made the mistake of asking permission to move to any one of nearly a dozen empty spaces on talbot. she was met with silence and an icy stare and the spots stayed empty throughout the show. so much for asking. at least we weren't one of the half dozen artists who were on 17th and stuck behind a kettle corn setup and a sliders food truck. I didn't even know that they were back there until late sunday. Greed seems to be the word of the day for some shows when it comes to adding unrewarding booth 'spaces' to shows that are large enough already. It should be simple...if we are paying the same booth fee as others, we should get the same shot at the buying public and let the cards fall where they may. side streets and grocery store parking lots (Edina) do not have a place in shows where there is no natural foot traffic flow. every artist pays for and deserves an equal chance at the buying public. Shame on you Talbot and Edina and all you others and your MORE ART THIS WAY> signs. Its not working, except, of course, for the show organizers.
My one experience with Talbot Street was 3 years ago and I swore I'd never do the show again nor say anything positive about it. I found the same issues you'd described, plus I had merchandise STOLEN during the show to boot! I notified the show staff who were totally indifferent to the security issue and blew me off. It was easily one of the poorest show experience I'd had in my 46 years of doing outdoor shows--greed in cramming too many artists for the demographic to support, disorganization, indifference to problems as they arose.
If you see the application, RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Talbot also keeps your booth fee once you're accepted without giving you a chance to decline. I've decided not to apply anymore to shows with bad spots because it's not worth the risk. Vail, CO, is another example of this.
Not anymore. They have been on ZAPP the last 3 years, and now booth fee is due after acceptance, like other ZAPP shows. Plus, fee is refundable for a few weeks, less 20%, also in line with what other shows have done in recent years. The committee are all working artists, most of whom have booths at the show, so they do know what trends are.
It's an urban show with free admission, so security is always an issue with such venues. I keep everything really valuable within my line of sight. Police presence is very visible during and after the show. I have had things stolen at shows with all demographics, however, not just urban ones. My biggest loss to date was in a wealthy town where all the patrons were well dressed.
This year the booth layout had to be very different, due to much neighborhood construction. 2 of those streets you mention are on the direct path from the closest parking lots. Sometimes when you have no choice but to change the layout, it is hard to predict where the "hot" or "cold" spots will be.
I am not connected with the show in any way, just as a person who has done the show numerous times. But I had to speak up, reading all of the above. As a lone artist of a certain age, when I told the committee I needed a little help, or I could no longer do the show, they were on top of it.
linnea youre right about the zap refund option but Talbot does not notify you of your booth space until fees are paid. there was no refund after notification. we read reviews about the side st issues and called Talbot but were told that they couldn't promise. when we got to show we asked if there had been any cancellations on Talbot and they said no, which I did not believe given the number of artists. and then to top it off, they wouldn't allow us to move to empty space pre show sat morn.
thanks for the heads up peggy. we too are not applying to shows who haven't figured out traffic flow.
well put Sandra. I like your last comment and will saying the same thing to those considering Talbot until they return all vendors to the street its named for.
A bunch of those empty spots were unusable due to construction of new homes. There were two spots a couple of booths south of me on Talbot where construction debris and dirt were on the sidewalk, and there would have been no room behind the booths. Other spots had new trees planted in the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street. Some locations where the booth spaces had obstructions at the sides weren't able to be used due to shortness of space between the booths with perhaps 9 1/2 feet clearance. To the casual eye it looks like an open spot when it isn't.
There are a limited number of ways to enter the fair, and those are the 17th, 18th, and 19th Street entrances in addition to the north and south ends of Talbot. There are parking lots on Pennsylvania where the direct entrance from there is through 18th. People parking east of Talbot come in through the 17th, 18th, and 19th Street entrances. Those who park further north on Penn usually come in on 19th. Normal years the streets are packed to the gills no matter which street you're on and 18th is the heaviest. There is virtually no parking south of Talbot and the "main" entrance has the fewest people entering that way.
Attendance this year was down considerably after 1:00PM because of the beastly heat. I had customers showing up at 9:00, an hour before start time, in an effort to beat the heat. My sales were greatly impacted and just about the lowest I've had at this show in 30 years. The heat index from the airport was 100+ at times, and it had to be hotter with the sun coming off the asphalt at the fair. No one can control that and that reduced attendance. Regardless, I'll still do it next year.
I have no idea what happened three years ago to Sandra. All I know is there is a heavy police presence and have heard of shoplifters getting caught and hauled off to jail, but haven't heard of any issues for the last several years. One of the directions in the artist's packet says to not leave boxes and crates behind the booth at night so the police have a good sight line when patrolling.
the empty spots that I noted Robert all had booth stakes. I assumed it meant that they were a legit space. I saw the few new homes, trees and construction sites and I don't question those. Talbot cant help the heat and it was fierce. what they can help are the side street booths. what they can help is to allow vendors who want to move to an empty space pre show. what they can help is to notify vendors of their space assignment and refund if they opt out. you don't find out about your booth until you've already paid your money. what they can do is require that judges look at each and every artist. (he walked right by us without taking a glance). no blue dot for us. I didn't talk to a single artist who was happy to be on one of the sidestreets except for those who were right at the intersections. we were on 18th and were told about all the people coming in. well they did but they were headed to Talbot and when they left they were headed to the car. we would do Talbot again if we were on Talbot. would you do it again if you were on 17th behind the kettle corn and sliders? Talbot needs to lose the side streets and give all vendors a fair shot. put the food and drink vendors on the side streets if they must. don't understand the Sandra comment. must be to someone else's comment.
Sandra commented that she had some items stolen three years ago.
Hey Johnnie, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this show with us. You most likely helped someone to make a decision for next year's show.
Would you mind writing a review for this show at:
We have a few reviews there that are a few years old, nothing current. We would appreciate it. Fell free to write a review for any show you would like. Good or bad, your reviews help other artists.
Also, use our website when you are making a decision on whether or not to do a show. Artists find it very helpful.