Best of Show!

Who is responsible for making the Art Fair Insiders community the #1 online gathering place for artists?

The Community Leaders:

8871130463?profile=original8871130476?profile=original8871130485?profile=originalAlison Thomas  Warren Townsend   Michelle Monet   Diana Ferguson   Brian Berkun   David Bjurstrom


Elle Heiligenstein  Richard Sherer  Robert Wallis

2012 Community Award Winners

Member of the year: Geoff Coe8869102858?profile=original

Most Helpful: Larry Berman

Personality: Nels Johnson

Author: Nels Johnson

Funniest: Barry Bernstein

Newcomer: Elle Heiligenstein

runner up: Richard Sherer

Special Recognition: Geri Wegner

Best Blog Post: Lots of votes all around, just proving that there is some excellent writing showing up at AFI.

Winner: Barry Bernstein, "The No-Holds Barred Coconut Grove Art Festival Review", 2564 views

Best Discussion: tie

"The Rejection Season Starts" - Jim Parker, 2534 views

and a repeater from 2011: "What's the Worst Question You've Been Asked at an Art Fair?" - Linda & Jim Dalton, 20809 views and 49 pages of comments.

My personal honorable mentions in the blog posts:

"I'll take everything", from Pat Sorbini

"Don't Survive, Thrive!", from Marti McGinnis

"ideas for closing the sale", from Deborah Potash Brodie

"How low can you go?? When a customer wants to bargain", from Carla Bank

"Faking a Sale", from Brian Billings

John Leben's entire series of blog posts as he navigated the winter Florida shows. Here's the wrap-up for 7 of them. They were a real lesson for everyone.

And one that resonated with so many of us: Archie Smith's accident with the bandsaw, "It Finally Happened"

Honorable mention in the discussions:

Besides Archie's plight which generated a lot of support for him and his family I was really pleased at Robin Aronson's discussion: "Minnesota Art Shows - Beware". Robin's discussion got artists working together to capture a woman who was passing bad checks at the shows. She was apprehended as they worked together on AFI to share information. Great job to all of you!

The discussion that ruffled the most feathers:
"Winter Park Artists to discuss fraud" - nearly 25,000 views and many pages of comment

The many helpful posts discussing and sharing booth shots in this category: Show Us Your Booth

In Memoriam

We will surely miss these artists who we were used to meeting in the next booth for many years: Dean Lauderdale, Bob Black, Barry Cohen, Marla Fry, Don Nibert, Leslie Jensen, art promoter Sandi Jewell and Linda Anderson's husband Neil.

2011 Community Award Winners

Member of the year: Geoff Coe - "He gives incredible answers to people's 8871131676?profile=originalquestions. He tells them the where, the when , the why and the how.  He tells them where to stay, where not to stay and how much of his answer is from is personal experience and how much is what he heard.  Then if that's not enough he tells them to e-mail him if they have any more questions."

Personality: Munks

Author: Nels Johnson - "People watch for how he answers and take the lead from him; consistently contributes the most interesting blog posts with show info. Plus his experiences are a hoot!"

ROFL: Caroline Kwas & Framer Dude - "appreciate hearing all of their adventures and always look forward to the next one"

Most Generous & Helpful: Larry Berman - "useful answers on Zapp"/Jim Parker - "all things computer"

Newcomer: Ruth Finkenbiner - "great to hear from the West Coast"

Special Recognition for hospitality and generosity:  Geri Wegner and Annette Piper. Geri hangs out here with us and then goes out and meets us in person. Annette is the unofficial greeter from Australia who is part of our international community but who feels like she is a neighbor in the next booth. 

Best Blog Post: Escalating Booth Fees--In This Recession What are They Thinking? from Nels Johnson - over 5000 views

Best Discussion: What's the Worst Question You Have been Asked at an Art Fair? Linda and Jim Dalton - nearly 7000 views and 32 pages of comments; runner up: Addicted to Gushers from Leo Charette

Special Award: Nels Johnson has been a frequent contributor here and we have especially enjoyed his 8871130498?profile=originalTequila Reports. Now that he has turned 67 and has resigned from this particular activity (drinking tequila), nonetheless when I attended BlogWorld and one of its sponsors was a new tequila, U4RIK, the product manager agreed that Nels should be the recipient of this special award. Coming your way Nels:

There was a lot of excellent writing and I want to note these particular posts which made a contribution:

Karole Bowlds: EZ-Up, Secure 40 Minute Set up the Maine Way

Corey Johnston's several thought-provoking blog posts

Nels Johnson's helpful post: How to Write an Interesting Blog and not Necessarily Be Witty

Kathy Oda's My 2011 Lessons Learned

Ray Hartl's photo blog from Madison, WI, Protest on the Square

Barry Bernstein's post about Oklahoma City: It's Cold, It's Hot, It's Rainy...

Helpful discussion: Where do you keep your money at an art fair

Best intervention with an art fair:

Want to have some fun? Here is my personal favorite discussion:

In Memoriam: We will surely miss artists Jackie Russo, Bob Vonesh, Sandra Sharon, Hank Bardenhagen, Todd Lundeen, Dee Segula, Sonny Dalton, Barbara Cook, Robert Barab; promoter Audree Levy and Bill Batts former husband and best friend of Pam Bartl.  

Many thanks to this site's administrators Larry Berman and Jacki Bilsborrow who keep us up to date.

Building a Community is the plan for this website. Helping artists help each other and entertaining them along the way is a big goal. 2011 was a very good year. The traffic to the site increases daily. We have members come and go and lots of lurkers. The list of contributors is lengthy. Google analytics say that over 500,000 visits occurred in the year, with nearly 65% of them return visitors. (2010 saw 120,000 visits and we thought that was a good year.) I hope you are finding this resource helpful and I look forward to meeting you here and in person in the coming year.

2010 Community Awards Winners

Congratulations to these members of who make 

8871132057?profile=originalthis online community the "Facebook" for art fair artists! Your votes from the blogs and private emails to me have been counted and the winners are:

Read additional notes on these nominations from my emails: MemberAwards.rtf

Best blog posts:

  1. Munks: "Bad Things Happen When You're Not Where You're Supposed to Be"
  2. Nels Johnson: Here is my Tequila/Elvis/What is the Meaning of Life at Art Shows, Report
  3. Barry Bernstein: Gasparilla Review--The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
  4. Bill Sargent: Kumquat Festival, 2010 (we didn't have a category for most amazing art fair photos, but his post definitely would be in the running for the best ones)
  5. Phil Crone: Coconut Grove 2010 - the Fobots' Perspective

Read additional notes on these nominations from my emails: BestBlogPosts.rtf

Honorable Mention:

David Hipwell, Bert Herrera, Joe Clifton, Merri Pattinian, Jim Parker, Heather Jordan, Martha Bennington, Richard Rothbard, Michael Wommack and Robert Louallen.

Many thanks to all of you who have made this community flourish, not only those listed above but to all of you who taken the time to care, comment and share with one another. We are looking forward to what will happen here in this ever evolving group. Thanks for all your support to one another in this exciting art fair business. Community is what makes us strong.



Here we recognize the most generous members of the Art Fair Insiders community with our "Featured Members Awards".

Listed below are the people you can count on to welcome you to8870894860?profile=originalour community. They are generous in sharing their expertise, personal experience, friendly support, or plain old opinions when you need it.

Winners are selected by popular community vote each month. They each receive recognition, appreciation, and hugs and kisses at every art fair. Thanks to our Featured Member Award Winners for helping make our Art Fair Insiders community a success! We truly appreciate your generous spirit.

[Note: Featured Member Awards are given each month based on anonymous email voting by all active Art Fair Insiders members. At the end of each month you can help recognize those who have helped you most. Click here to email one name as your vote.]


MAY 2010

style= - Geri Wegner /> - Phil Crone /> - Patricia Hecker

APRIL 2010

style= - Mark Zurek > - Holly Olinger /> - Geoff Coe

MARCH 2010

8871132662?profile=original -Munks 8871132466?profile=original- Chris Hoyt8871132853?profile=original-Dave Hinde


style= - Bob Stuart /> - Larry Berman/> - Linnea Lahlum


style=  > - Nels Johnson /> - Michelle Sholund


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