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While waiting for the Uptown Art Fair (Mpls) reviews (Loring Park and Powderhorn too) from this past weekend, here is the news I have so far:

  • The weather was beautiful!!! Such great news for all of you who have suffered through long hot days at this event that left you crabby.
  • Got to love this: Metro Transit in Minneapolis had a downloadable pass for free rides between the shows so fans wouldn't have to worry about parking.

I know a lot of you were in Minneapolis this weekend -- look forward to some stories of life in that big city.

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The weather was GREAT (for once this summer). I had great sales at Uptown. I did hear about some of the thefts, but don't know any details. Just that there was practicably entire inventories stolen, and large pieces at that. Again, I just heard that second hand. The promoters always sound like the police force at Uptown is watching everything closely so I don't know how this could happen so easily!

I was at Uptown for the first time. Everyone around me was complaining about how slow it was. I had nothing to compare it to, but last year I was at Loring Park. I made as much at Loring Park in 2 easy days as I made this weekend in 3 much longer days. That being said, it was a decent show, meaning I made 10 times booth fee. Not stellar, but not bad. Somewhat disappointing as there was definitely no where near the estimated 350,000 people they say attend.
However, there were some artists around me that only made expenses. The quality was quite good, especially in the jewelry area (where I compete). As for other mediums, I saw very little "iffy" work.

We were at Uptown, too.  We avoid big-city shows, for the most part, and we were being aware of our area during close-up.  We noticed an iffy fellow lurking on the sidewalk behind our booth.  He left, but then came past again carrying an unwrapped framed piece of art.  My business partner conveyed this information to our neighbor, who ran after the guy and retrieved the piece.  Close-up in a big-city environment is a very dangerous time.

I was at Loring and it was great weather and consistent crowds.  I did very well.  The artists around me all did very well too.  Loring is great because of the grass, lake, two days rather than three, and ease of getting vehicles in and out.  I also heard lots of complaints about Uptown from patrons who said it was too crowded and that the art was better at Loring.  The latter I can't verify as I didn't get over to Uptown.

I did the Loring Park show and I was proud to be part of it and I agree with your assessment. I also visited Uptown for the 4th year in a row, and for the 4th year in a row I was not impressed with the venue, the crowd, the judging, and the overall aesthetic or Gestalt of the Uptown show.

More about the thefts at Uptown:

The phrase “high-security tent” was tested earlier this month as thieves entered the premises of Minneapolis's Uptown Art Fair and stole paintings worth tens of thousands of dollars. Speaking to the Star Tribune, Helen Gotlib remarked that in her nine ...

Thanks for the update connie. I had no idea that there were multiple artists that had this happen at the fair.

What is it with directors and their inability to admit mistakes?  

I was pretty surprised at this reply. Obviously this person was not prepared to meet the media. I believe they have new-ish people running the show and it is a really big, spread out event. I can kind of empathize with them. You balance so many things and work so hard and people only want to talk about the things that went wrong. Still ... a little media coaching may be in order.

A little media coaching?  What they need is some coaching on how to hire security to watch a bunch of tents overnight.   I'm glad the director has  exposed her cavalier and clueless attitude about show security.  It speaks volumes to anyone considering doing or returning to their show.

 Clearly security is not high on Uptowns list of priorities.  Shows like Uptown and State College that try to put the onus on the artists (by suggesting that they just remove their work every night) need to be taken to task.  It's not a big deal to watch tents over night.  I know, because I and other artists at CPFA (State College) used to chip in to hire our own security guy when we realized the show could not care less.

I haven't applied to this show for 5 years and I'm from Minnesota. I am so embarrassed for our entire state. The Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota are very art friendly and supportive. We as a state approved on referendum an additional 1/3% sales tax to support the arts and environment yet we don't have a show worthy of the artists who reside here. This is unacceptable. Uptown has done nothing but diminish the stature of "Art Show Artists" for years. Shame, shame, shame. Please, do not apply to this show.

This has been an ongoing problem at this show. I'm speaking from experience.


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