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Why aren't there many high end art festivals in New England?  Besides Bill from Paragon, who's fairly new, and Denise Morris Curt, why no biggies like a CocoGro or the South Florida string?  I'm originally from Long Island, and I know the demographics are there, all the way up the coast.  So why???  Is it because all the art collectors think "good art" only comes from a gallery?  Is it that the real estate is limited for a show (then how come the monster truck venues, hmmm...)?  There's tons of craft shows, fairs, and then there's the NY Expo which out of reach for me.  I'm just scratching my head here because I would dearly love to do a prodigal daughter returns home kind of trip.

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People in new England are just not into fine art I guess. Sure, there are many fine art/craft shows up here but the customer base is a little more pragmatic. They're more into 'functional' as opposed to 2D.

New England is rural, with a few cities thrown in. It's mostly hard working middle class people who, as a group don't have the disposable income many in other areas do.

New Englanders look for value in things they buy. And with a few exceptions, shows as a rule are for the locals who just aren't into fine art/crafts.

That's not to say the arts aren't supported. The arts are a big part of Vermont's economy. Here in Vermont the Vermont Crafts Council has "Open Studio Weekend" where all participating artists sign up and their studios are on a state map for May 28 & 29 and October 1 & 2 of this year. Peak foliage season. The tourists love driving up a dirt road to find a 200 year old farmhouse with a contemporary studio inside. Especially in October!


Just saw this, Charlene...funny!!


Thanks Geoff. It still makes me laugh, too.

I don't know.  The same people (snowbirds) who populate Florida in the winter live up north in the summer.  Michigan and Chicago have a lot of good shows.  Maybe I'm just a Yankee girl, but New England is home to many famous artists, and I don't think the rural and suburban folks necessarily eschew fine art for craft and functional art.  There's plenty of savoir faire off I-95.   I'm thinking Nantucket, Cape Cod, Gloucester, Newport, etc.  If you've ventured off the show cities in Florida and looked around, there's an enormous rural population (I'm being extremely kind) there as well, and I suspect the preferred form of art there is of the beer can variety.  (Unfortunately that's where I live now.)

It doesn't really make sense that a promoter wouldn't follow this huge market back to their homes in the summer.

The Cape and the islands are a different scene altogether. Ther's money there, but it's the tourists who buy.

Gloucester? I've done Gloucester shows since 1995 and again, those fishermen's families aren't wealthy, the tourists are. Gloucester was never a vacation destination until the movie "The Perfect Storm". It's still pretty much a rough and tumble town.

Now there's Rockport out on the end of Cape Ann, but again, the artists work from their studios, not shows.

We're thinking two New Englands. The I-95 corridor and the rest of the region.

And yes, New England has been home to many famous artists, but how many of them did shows? Norman Rockwell lived in my town from 1939 to 1953. I am fortunate to talk to a number of people who knew him personally, and I hear stories about him not too many people know.  Grandma Moses lived about 10 miles from here in Eagle Bridge, NY and she and Rockwell were good friends.  We still go over to the Moses family farm to buy corn in the summer.

Two very famous artists. But neither one did any shows.

It's just different, that's all. The way it's done in Florida just isn't the way it's done up here. I can guarantee you promoters have tried in the past to lure the snowbirds to shows in their home states. And failed.


I'm just still fairly new to the show scene (3 years, in FL and AZ) and I'm trying to get my work in front of northeast audience, since my scenes are of New England shorelines. So if fine art shows up there are not the way to gain exposure, then what is?  Galleries and art consultants?  I have several shows I'm waiting to hear back from with the two promoters I mentioned, but I'm frustrated trying to find other events that would support paintings in the 5-10k price range.  There's obviously art appreciators up north.  Bill from Paragon is doing a respectable job targeting this area; I hope Paragon's shows bear up.
I can tell you from personal experiences at Florida shows, the Yankee visitors are polite and appreciative of the artwork, but they rarely buy anything.  It is a tough market up there, that is why I stick to the midwest.
Targeting the much hair pulling.

The only show I know of where something in that stratosphere would have sold, besides the Sunapee show which is only for New Hampshire artists, is the Craftproducers' show in Manchester, VT.

A number of years ago, an exhibitor had a complete handcrafted bedroom suite. He wanted $8,500 for it. A woman walked by and said "who do I make the check out to?"

That's when times were good and the city skiers were furnishing their brand new million dollar condos on the mountain.

Those times are long gone. And won't be back for quite a while. Those condos either went into foreclosure or were sold at auction for back property taxes.

anyone going or has gone to paragon in Fairfax---is it possible to set up your tent the night before????

i am too slow to set up that morning


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