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I am very dissapointed in this magazine and will not be ordering it again... especially after seeing this TOP 200 edition. 

There is a FULL back page ad from a promoter (Amy Amdur Festivals) and then ironically I see her shows very high up on this list. After talking to many artists on a FaceBook ArtFair forum and doing many shows myself I know the reputation of her shows is not good (Far too much BUY/SELL!)

I honestly doubt that this list is accurate and I find it a conflict of interest.Just like much of the media which is biased and slanted towards their advertisers I sadly see this to be the case with this magazine.

Sorry Sunshine Artist...ADIOS!

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This is an ongoing topic of discussion. Last year when this listing was published I had a lengthy conversation with the General Manager of Sunshine Artist, Joe Halbrucker. This survey's results, like most surveys, is a direct reflection of the questions asked on the survey ballots that were received.

There are two parameters to having a show on this list:

  • you must be a subscriber to the magazine
  • shows are ranked on reported gross income by those who cast the ballots

This is entirely a subscriber based ranking. So, if you're not a subscriber you had no input. No other influence is used to determine the winning shows. The staff simply applies the math to determine each event's score. 

The results of every poll, no matter what the subject matter, are open to discussion and questioning. They depend on what questions are asked and who fills it out determine the results.

I have not seen this year's list, but in my conversations with Joe he said directly that there were several shows on the list who had never advertised with the magazine. I don't believe there is any reason why the Amdur shows received top votes other than that people who subscribe to SA and do the Amdur events cast their ballots

Our site ArtFairCalendar.com is in the process of conducting a survey of America's Best Art Fairs. This is a "people's choice" survey -- we want to know what shows the art collectors like the best. It has nothing to do with gross income. It is not intended to be a guide for artists. Sunshine Artist, Art Fair Sourcebook , show reviews and talking to your friends already covers that very well. We have just completed the nominations process for which shows should be on the list for voters. The show that got the most nominations was one I've never heard of!

Yes, the show rankings are based on SALES NUMBERS ONLY. A flea market can be in the top 200. It has nothing to do with quality, or ambiance or anything. Sales numbers only. And who knows? How many pump up their numbers?

And here's some news. Buy/sell merchants subscribe to SA too. And they vote. And their votes count.

You take these listings with a grain of salt. It's up to you to find the shows that are best for you, not anyone else.

What you need to do is get a group of fellow exhibitors as friends who's opinions you can trust. Discuss the shows with them. Be honest with each other and you'll get more information in one sitting than you'll get with any magazine.

Are these mean averages? I heard on another forum that one of the shows had an exhibitor with 100K in sales. If 20 people vote on a show and the other 19 people averaged $2,500, the new average is $7375. I am wondering what the median averages are. How about the most common sales range ($0-$500, $500-$1,000, $1,000-$2,000, etc.).

Only SA knows how the numbers work out. If you have an idea on how to improve it, tell SA, not us.

Just so everybody knows, I'm not a shill for SA. I stopped subscribing over 15 years ago.

My comments were not ideas, just a criticism of this type of average.

Dan you're right.  The median is a much better measure of central tendency for these stats  (Unless the standard errors are also presented along with the arithmetic mean.  Then, the mean might be useful.)  The mode (most frequent sales level can also be useful).  It's real easy - why not present all three measures of central tendency if you want to give a more honest picture of what is going on at a given show?

Chris - SA probably doesn't care about any of this but it's useful for people reading the book to understand what is potentially being left out in the discussion of show results.

They have had this policy since I first subscribed in the mid 80s. Nothing has changed. In the mid 90s Country Folk Art's October show in Edison, NJ was ranked #12. And they were 90% B/S back then too.

SA ranks shows on sales numbers only. That's all we need to know. And yet there are exhibitors who think that just because the show they did was ranked it was supposed to be something it was not. Because they did not do their homework thoroughly enough.

Look boys and girls, Use the SA rankings as a tool, nothing more. Use the ranking as a lead, but dive into as much info as you can.  If you only go by the guide, you may very well be disappointed.

Do you believe everything the promotional material about a show tells you? Yes, the show was indeed ranked in SA's Top 100, but that was in 1993. And that ranking is still on the brochure today.

Hey folks. You can't complain about the Sunshine Artist best show list unless you are a subscriber. They only take survey results from current subscribers. So there's a good chance about 90% of the people complaining don't have a right to complain because that 100 best list doesn't even apply to them.

Think about it.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

You can also go over to SA's forum, http://www.sunshineartist.com/forum/ and there's a section where you can talk to the editor.

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