Art Fair Insiders

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

We are deep into art fair season right now! If you don't have a show you must be in some other business!

Big ones in State College, PA and Madison, WI -- I mean large numbers of artists. Then the other sweet ones, in St. Joe, MI, on the bluff overlooking Lake Michigan and the one we always did, Cain Park in Cleveland Heights, OH. What about Guilford, CT? Corn Hill in Rochester, NY?

In Michigan the Royal Oak Outdoor Art fair, Wyandotte Street Fair, Plymouth, MI's Art in the Park -- I think the list could be very long. How about you? Setting up in State College right now?

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I'm in AZ and only do a few West Coast shows, so I will be busy in my cool (although its only 100 today with 44% humidity) studio getting ready for gallery showings!

You know, when questions like this are posed, you really need to include some of the shows that are west of the Mississippi.

We are on Whidbey Island getting ready for Choochokam Arts Festival in Langley WA, loving this Western WA summer weather.

I agree Ruth.

At the same time, us East Coasters would love to see more western show reviews in the Blogs and not as posts in the group section. :)

(For us, it's a week off before Westport, CT)

It's pretty hard to follow those posts in sequence when posted to a group. I don't plan to do any western shows, but it would be nice to see if things are handled differently out there.

Bill & Robert - agreed, I usually do a blog or an Art Show review on this site, sometimes both.  Understand the group posting issue, everyone seems to do things a little differently.

Just wanted to remind people there are shows west of the Mississippi, I would suspect that the reason some artists don't post in blogs or main discussion forums is that this site seems to be very East Coast centric.

I do the same as Ruth; blog and review. So far this year Estes Park, Grand Jct, CO and Salina, KS. Also Hilltop for locals. I agree the site is mostly east of Mississippi shows, but that's ok because we make $$$$ out west LOL.

Would love some East Coast show info too, Bill. It has been a little light this year and I know you are all out there working. Now Westport, I've heard good things about that one.

I would love to include those in the questions, Ruth -- I am seriously deficient in even knowing about them. My Eastern bias shows, I know, (and my ignorance) and I really want to know about them also. Help!

I know you guys are making money out west. The farthest west I've done a show is Denver and nothing between Des Moines and Denver. Tell us more. Or Ruth, or someone else, why don't you pose the question? Doing our best to not make this eastern centric. Honest.

We did the Jackson Hole show once, and when I read the paper the morning of the first day of the show I discovered the show director had been quoted as saying, "Artists don't usually make money at this show. They just love to come here for a vacation."

I didn't really make much at the show, either since expenses were really high due to hotel costs. $110 a night for Motel 6 (that was probably in 2006 or 7 or something like that. Now we have a jeweler friend who lives near Jackson and she always does well there. She doesn't travel very far from home, though. No monetary awards at the show.

We also did Kimball Art Festival once back then. That's when they had trouble with the set up and we had to wait in a parking lot WAY away from the show for hours in a lineup until they let each row through. Again, expenses are high in a place like Park City, but that isn't my main gripe about this show. The night before we checked into the show at the Museum the Kimball hosted a HUGE art auction for western themed art. I'd say several hundred thousand dollars worth of big-name western artists were featured in it. It's a big fundraiser for Kimball.

So why in the heck did we do the outdoor festival (I know some people swear they do well at it and always return) when they sell that much art in an indoor gala featuring artists not even in the outdoor festival? Strange stuff. Plus no monetary awards. Also, they were charging extra for corner booths if they were requested (I never request it since I don't want to pay more) and then everyone had a corner booth since they set up the show in the center of the street with two tents back to back.

Don't mind me complaining, y'all. I don't do many western shows anymore and I'm certain there are plenty out here that are good. One friend of mine sold 34 paintings at Sausalito once, but it hasn't ever been that good for him again.

Northbrook Art in the Park in Northbrook, IL, an Erin Melloy show. I've never done one of her shows before. This one is a small show, about 70 artists, a bit smaller than I usually do but the area is supposed to be a good one. I'm matting and framing right now as I just found out my canvas printer lost the order last week and it shipped out today which means I don't get it in time.

Robert, I will be there too.  This is the town I grew up in and  I've done this 5 of the last 6 years through two organizers.  It's usually a decent show, but the weather may have an impact.  What is your booth number?  I'm in 27, but I will be solo most or the entire weekend so I won't be walking around a lot.

Since we are moving to Chicago NEXT WEEK, I am so hoping to get into Erins' shows!  Didn't make it this year, but we won't stop trying as we are unique (LOL)!  She sounds like she runs a very professional show & she DOES have very nice ART.  Yes, we should be doing a show this week-end, but instead we went to a local show in  UNION CITY, MI.  to enjoy it from "the other side", & not only were Steve & I amazed at even tho it was a small show, it was QUALITY & what is even MORE important, we ran into CONNIE!!!  Who wouldn't love to run into CONNIE METTLER for Gods sake!!!  What a great lady & nice visit we had, so even tho we didn't make any $$$ on such a great ART show week-end, Connie was the icing on the cake after a fun time at the show!!!


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