Art Fair Insiders

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

I am originally from Peoria, IL and they would have (and still do) the Peoria River Front Market in the summer months. Local produce, meats, cheeses, crafts, pottery, art and entertainment. Not too big - Not too small. Just a nice show to walk around and sample the local skill.

Does anyone have a favorite show that they have attended as a either a vendor OR as a patron?

Chris Alexander

RLI Insurance Company


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Please don't use the term "vendor". Vendors buy what they sell. Artists or craftsmen make what they sell.

I've done over a thousand art shows as an artist, never as a vendor.

Larry Berman

Thanks Larry.  It's an important distinction that has many repercussions (expectations of mark-downs as a typical vendor might do; lack of distinction between hand crafted work and mass produced; the perception of the artist as sales person in a shop selling goods made elsewhere, etc.)

Thank you, Larry!

I think my favorite 3 shows would be:

Mt Gretna, PA... Beautiful area, very nice customers. Relaxing environment. nice local neighbors (the ones living there). Strolling through the neighborhood is very nice.

Crafts in the meadows, Richboro, PA... Although I don't do well at "craft" shows. My photography goes well in Fine Art shows only. However I had very good sales there. Good contacts. It attracts serious buyers looking for fine art.  The party for the Artists Saturday night is GREAT. Such a nice social environment. Everyone wants to help each other. The party is set in a field, sitting on hay bales, setting of Japanese lanterns, listening to a live band, relaxing. Just being able to relax and share with fellow artists, can make the weekend.

St James Court, KY... Huge show. For most, difficult load in, congested with traffic flow (customers). Very difficult show to work. HOWEVER, the neighbors living there are FANTASTIC. You could not ask for nicer people. each day the were coming out with food for us. It poured rain so in the muck one of the local neighbors, slipped, slid and got muddy helping me pack out. They have the logistics down to a science. the Victorian homes are beautiful Again it was almost like they were in competition with each other to see who could prepare nicer food for us.

In a nutshell, although this is a business, long after the money is made or lost, the memory of how nice we were treated, lives on.

Being treated nice is important Larry.  I think most people don't go back if they are not treated nicely.

Thanks for the feedback here. I try to go to a few a year because I really do like the atmosphere these events present. I am on the East Coast now so some of those shows in PA might be doable! 

Chris Alexander

RLI Insurance Company



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