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With just one outdoor show under my belt, I'm ready to try more. I've been accepted into the City Place Art Festival in West Palm Beach, FL on March 5-6, and I'm waiting to hear from the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show on June 16-19. I've selected these because they match up with my travel calendar.

Does anyone have experience with these shows? I'm interested to know anything anyone can share, and specifically if there seem to be buyers looking for fine art (my work is oil painting on canvas) or if they're mainly lower price audiences.  

Thanks for any info!

Sharon Strine

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 If you do VA beach be prepared for high winds! This show is notorious for them, and your out there for four days in it. Bring every weight you have and more. Avoid the beach front hotels, they are full of party people.

Thanks Courtney, I was just looking at additional weights as this will be my first experience not being able to drive stakes into the ground. I haven't shopped hotels yet; that's helpful. Secretly hoping to stay with friends.

How about the art buyers there? Would you say it's a worthwhile venue for mid-range to high-ish painting prices for works of large scale ($500-$3000)?

High winds, yes. But you don't need weights on the back legs of your booth because you can anchor to the boardwalk rails so double up the weights on the front. The first two numbers in your four digit booth space are the block you're located on and it's possible to get a motel right across from your booth. If so, you can park in their parking lot and dolly your artwork into your room at night.

Larry Berman

Thanks very much, Larry. Sounds like those winds are to be expected. Does that become a problem with hanging artwork - should I consider adding some weight to the inside back frame of my paintings? 


Weights on the frames won't work. If your booth is set up properly you shouldn't have a problem. When I had wire racks, I use tiny 6 inch bungies on one corner of each frame so they wouldn't flap in the wind.

Larry Berman

Got it. Thanks again for the tips, Larry.

I disagree about the beach front hotel.  I request a specific block where the hotel has first floor rooms with patio doors.  This means I can keep my water in my own hotel refrigerator and go to the bathroom in my own bathroom.  Also I park my van in the hotel parking lot and it does not move the entire show.  I agree on the wind.  I put 75 lbs on all four legs, ratchet strap to the back railing and add an additional 45 lbs on each of the front legs.  The heat is another problem.   Bring your sunblock and plenty of water and be careful not to get overheated on setup (another vote for the beach front hotel since you can stop and rest in the room)

Sounds like great advice. I'll be ready for all the elements! Thanks, Alison.


Alison is exactly right! Every word of it. :-) 

As for weights, the show will let you rent barrels (for front legs; as Larry mentioned you can tie back legs to railings). Last year, this was $80.00, and after the wind whipped through on Saturday night and sent a number of poorly-weighted tents sprawling, I was glad I'd spent the money. 

Thanks Geoff, good to know. I found information (might have been on this site) on a type of weight that seemed well-designed for this and for use at other shows so I ordered them. Sharing the URL in case anyone else is researching weights:

Thanks again for your help,


I've only done the Boardwalk show once, last year, and it was brutal weather wise.  No wind to speak of but the heat and humidity darn near drove me to the emergency room.  The artists on either side of me had been doing this show for 8 and ten years respectively and they travel from Michigan and Florida.  I was prepared with weights but I was fortunate to be able to tie into a 55 gallon drum, filled with water, on either side of the front of my tent, and you can easily tie onto the boardwalk railings in the back of your tent.  The water drums were paid for by the artists on either side of me and they each had no problem with me tying into them.  I offered to split the cost but neither accepted.  According to those two artists the crowds were minimal and both credited that with the weather.  I considered the weather to be an anomaly for that time of the year therefore I am trying to go back this year.  Also, if you apply this show make sure you sign up for the DRIVE ON program.  Doesn't cost anything and you get a police escort onto the boardwalk.

Hi Tony, thanks for sharing your advice and experience. Best wishes for a better - more comfortable and lucrative - show this year.


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