Art Fair Insiders

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

I posted a different thread here last week about taking too much inventory to an art festival, and it turns I have been. So now I'm looking at purchasing a used 6x12 enclosed trailer and turning it into a mobile art gallery. i.e., go to an art festival, only take about 45 pieces mixed between paper and canvas to the 10x10 tent, but have the trailer parked near by with EVERYTHING else. Over the course of the event we can switch out work with the inventory in the trailer... plus...

If a potential buyer seems genuinely interested in my work, I can offer to show them more art by giving them an secret your of our art trailer. If the organizers are open to the idea I can also have my son stay at the trailer and have his own art gallery there. The trailer I'm looking we would modify with internal lighting, carpet, and french cleats down the outside to hang large art on. I know others have done this.

My ponderance is this: how strange would it be to offer to take someone from the tent to the parking lot to see more art? 

I can also use this trailer to just go park somewhere on a random weekend and have an pop-up art gallery in a parking lot. The city of Fort Worth and Dallas both have mobile vending permits so it's legal (but the city I actually live in, Arlington, does not, maddening). 

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The trailer itself is not the issue here.  I agree that many of your female buyers would be reluctant to traipse off to a parking lot with a strange man to look at art in a trailer.  I spent too many years doing shows solo to not be aware of possible security concerns.

Sandra, this is exactly what I was trying to get across, especially after I saw some of the trailers.  It’d not the trailer, it’s going off the beaten path with a stranger.

Uh, yes there IS a difference.  When I am in the booth on the street, I am not leaving the venue to go to an unknown location with a stranger.  

I'm in total agreement with Peter, and I have a mobile gallery. And it's being used.

By the way I participate in what are probably the best shows in the country and as long as the show is in a street I have not had any problems with the shows, and it has increased the bottom line in my income and expense statement.

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Ynon: Absolutely awesome!. I looked at your attached jpegs and your mobile gallery IS the future,....and no doubt cheaper than the horrible sum of show costs over a relatively short period. Good luck and keep the ideas flowing, this may be just the beginning. And the naysayers will be copying your ideas down the road, be ready for that!

Update: after spending 5 months looking at trailers I finally decided that my SUV just wasnt powerful enough to tow the size trailer I'd need for a walk-in trailer (7x16x7 at least) and the tall ones are just not common, so I opted instead for a smaller/nice trailer to transport art. I can still hit a parking lot on a weekend and set-up, just not a walk-in. So now I have different question: I plan on storing upwards of 50 canvas pieces in the trailer, sized from 36x36 and up, what is the easiest way to keep the art from sticking to each other? I've had this problem before and will have it even more now. I've tried cardboard corners but they are a bit of hassle to keep on. I also tried wrapping the top with craft paper from a roll, but its hard to use the same paper more than once. Any one have a good solution? I have installed 2 rows of vertical dividers inside so the art can't lean far, but that won't help pieces touching each other

If you are still looking at buying the trailer, stay away from Arising Industries trailers. **legal disclaimer** In my opinion (although I have lots of evidence) they are disreputable, will lie, cheat and not honor their warranties, shady workmanship. First hand experience.

I got lucky and got a nice preowned Pace American trailer with just 600 miles on it, and the inside was finished out in ash paneling by a cabinet company. It's even got a drip rail down the sides that I can hang canvas art on with french cleats. I installed vertical dividers this last weekend so art can't fall over. Now if I can figure out the best way to get some ventilation into for our hot Texas Summers I'll be good to go. If I sell a lot of art this summer I'll upgrade to much larger one, I underestimated would I can tow with a V8 Sequoia. 


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