Art Fair Insiders

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

I just found out I got accepted into this show! I was excited... It then I read the reviews here! Ha! I applied because it is listed in the top 100 shows in "Sunshine Artist" for 2015.  Anyone done the show recently? Say the ?last three years?  I  create jewelry ( enamel, metal work & bead weaving). Thanks for any opinions!


Views: 1186

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

?? It looks like my answer got lost. I'll try again.

Do a search with the panel in the upper right corner of the home page. You'll find a bunch of hits on Wells Street.The consensus is that the show sucks. The management is Chicago Special Events who specialize in throwing Chicago street parties where the booze, brats, and bands are the main draw and the artists are a sideshow amusement. I've done other shows from these bozos and I've sworn to never, ever, do a show they are affiliated with as it is a recipe for disaster and loss of money. Security is terrible with reported thefts at the show, rowdy drunks create a safety hazard with artists hit in the head with flying beer bottles, and the list goes on and on. In a a nut shell, don't do it.

Thank you. I did see the other reviews but the most recent one I saw was from 2011. Thanks!

OK. Didn't see the shoplifting one. I did see the other. I was curious because these reviews are 4+ years old and the Sunshine Magazine placement for 2015 made me wonder if things had changed.
Thanks a lot for the advice.

The 2012 season was three years ago (3 1/2 years ago if we want to be exact about it) :-) I can't speak for Sunshine Artist except to say I no longer subscribe to them. I found their reviews to be not as accurate for me as they could be, and they use a different ranking system than what others use. Good luck with it, and if you do the show, please write a blog report on how the show was.

Sorry to sound so harsh about the show, but other artists I know who have done it since 2012 were less than enthusiastic about it. The last time I did Wells Street was years ago, far enough back that I don't recall what year it was, and that was at least two promoters prior to the current one. I did it a couple of years when the Chamber of Commerce did it, then I think someone else took it over, then Amy Amdur took it over (along with a major booth fee increase), and then CSE took it over. Let's just say that I'm underwhelmed by anything CSE runs as I did two of their shows that were terribly ran, and a third one I didn't recognize CSE's alternate corporate name until it was too late and decided to bail out two weeks before that show, choosing to lose the booth fee rather than participate in another street party and lose more money.

Ha! Well your argument is compelling. I don't subscribe to Sunshine Artist either, I do look at their list. There are other shows in the top 100 that I know to be good, that's where my confusion lies. It states it this is the first time in the top 100, which made me wonder if something had changed. $550 booth fee would be one of my highest, so naturally I have trepidation there....though I can swallow. I am usually up for anything once...

It might work for you. We did it once after being at Old Town for 15 years, thinking we could get the Old Town buyers to follow us to Wells Street. Didn't happen. Not our crowd of buyers at Wells Street and earliest set up ever on Saturday morning. YET -- it works for some. Go for it, Heather! What's life about anyway?

True! I know there are no guarantees! I will post here (if I decide to do it) & let you know how it goes.
The Old Town show is in a quiet residential neighborhood. Wells Street runs down, wait for it, Wells Street. Between North and Division, a mix of restaurants, bars and retail runs for four blocks. It's a big party. You can have a good show on Wells St., but the setup is hard, the hours are long, and there are lots of young folks there to drink and listen to music, not shop seriously for art. If you accept, know what you are signing up for.

OK, got it. Often, this is my crowd. I will post my results if I decide to participate.

Thanks for your no nonsense advice!


HI!  I have done Wells St. the last 3 years.  I also make jewelry.  For me, it is my most stressful show I do, but still worth it.  I averaged $4k.  There is a lot of jewelry.  But there are a lot of people buying jewelry. I have had something stolen every year.  They are long days, and the crowds get really drunk toward the end of Saturday.  Set up and tear down are awful.  So, that's my review.  I still felt like it was worth it, but it comes at a cost.

Did you do the art fair in 2016?  I got accepted and I am wondering if it would be worth my while to pay the booth fee.  I am very new to Art Fairs.



Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the 2018 Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service