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The setting:  around a man made lake, stone water fall, concrete walkway, perfect for an art fair.

Location: West Des Moine where there is huge growth of homes, townhomes and commerce with upscale mall with 160 stores and lots of restaurants.

Weather:  Couldn't have been more perfect. 70 degrees and sunny both days.

The art:  Great quality, for the most part.

This was a first year show with tons of potential.  The parking lot of the mall was packed both days and into the night.  By chance, a few people found us. As one customer told us, "The people of Des Moine love art shows. What a shame that no one knew we were there."

The shameful part:  The promoter did not advertise.  Not one person we asked saw an ad.  No signs on the busy streets where thousands of cars were passing by and no signs in the parking lot.  Saw one sign in the mall where people entered but it was hardly noticed.

Artists who took part were from all over the Midwest Minnesota,Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and more; plus Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, and on and on.

Traffic was so light that a couple artists packed up on Saturday night.  But the terminal optimists that we are, most stayed.  Many didn't make expenses and many zeroed.

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Replies to This Discussion

Ugh!  So sorry to hear about this.  I hope the rest of your season has been good enough to overshadow that memory.

Kathleen, Fortunately, I have had many good shows this summer and fall.  But ending my summer shows on this note certainly does grate on me.

I considered writing a blog/review of this show prior to seeing your post. I started one, and decided I hardly had anything good to say. Suffice it to say that I was one of the artists that traveled from IN and didn't make expenses. I was very disappointed in what should have been a great show.  

Jeri, You are absolutely correct! We artists did our part but the promoter failed us miserably.  It is sad because it could have been a great show for all of us.

This would be a wonderfully close to home show for me.  How do we learn if the promotor will or has stepped up his game for 2017?

Thanks so much for posting this! I was seriously thinking about applying to fill that weekend.

Kathy, BUYER BEWARE! I have never felt so completely scammed!

Thanks for this review! I just joined AFI and when asked what the worst art fair I've ever attended, this was the one! You hit the nail on the head, no one knew we were even there. One of the most beautiful sites I have ever shown at but, no one came. What a disaster. I talked at length to the promoter and told her just how I felt after the second day. I had convinced my brother (painter) to join me and travel three hours to get there, hotel room, meals, etc. He finally sold one piece. Lesson learned. I see they are not going to do it this year.


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