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

Nels Johnson
  • Tampa, FL
  • United States
  • Photography
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Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, Minnesota--Very Mini

Posted on August 9, 2017 at 9:00am 4 Comments

Suggested music: Listen to Tom Petty "She Went Down Swinging" -- repeat 10 times

Ok. A novel beginning, why not, it fits, read on, there will be a good Tequila Report to follow, Art Fair Reviews, eat your heart out, nobody does a blog like me--and, delivers.

Uptown is in the heart of the district slightly south of downtown Minneapolis in a highly charged business district full of bars, retail, and restaurants that attracts thousands of people for three days, Friday to Sunday,… Continue

Des Moines Art Festival--Killer Show for Most

Posted on July 12, 2017 at 8:00am 5 Comments

If you jury into this show and are accepted, plan on bringing plenty inventory.

Melanie Rolfes has already written a thorough blog about the nuts and bolts about the show.

I will try to give unique insights:

  • I have done this show three times in the last 10 years.
  • It is not easy to get into. About…

Part two--how I spent my June--Columbus Art Festival

Posted on June 30, 2017 at 11:54am 2 Comments

This is a long running show in downtown, it has exhibitors set up on both bridges and along the streets leading to them. Additionlly, there are booths on the other side of the bridge.

It is a big show with nearly 300 exhibitors.

It is a long walk to get around to all booths, which discourages be backs unless they are in great shape.

I sell photos in the $30-$500 range. I always make money at this show. I have done this show since 1992.

Unfortunately for artists, the present… Continue

How I spent my June-- first, The Kalamazoo Art Institute show in the park

Posted on June 29, 2017 at 11:41am 2 Comments

I am behind on my blogs for art shows. I did three great ones in June.

I will start with the KIA show which was the first weekend in June,.

Btw. I sell color photos and also have a line of iconic figures which are hand-colored b/w photos. My price range is $30-$500.

I am affordable.

This show is held in a lovely treed park in the downtown.

Small show, about 150 artists and the booth fee is not killer high one.

This show opens at 3pm-8pm on Friday.

Then 10-5pm… Continue

Artisphere, Greeneville SC--Small show with killer sales

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 3:00pm 8 Comments

I put this show among my top seven in the USA.

Only 130 booth spaces, with more than a thousand artists applying.

This was my third time in. It was also my best one there, although it started off scarey.

First, a little history.

In the eighties, when I started going away for five months to do shows in the Midwest, I always stopped in Greenvillle.

I had a solid glass artist buddy named Loren Marshall who lived there.

In those days I was lugging a 21-foot…


Ah ha! A Tequila Report for after Fort Worth

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 3:30pm 4 Comments

Ellen and I killed ourselves to get to FW in two days. So going home we said, let's do it in three days and enjoy ourselves.

Of course, that meant we would eat and drink reall well at

fun new places

So we left Monday and came east on I-20 to Shreveport and then headed south on I-49 to Lafayette, which is in the heart of Cajan country

So, about 40 miles south of Shreveport is a lovely town called Nachicthocies. The City of Lights. Definitely worth a stop

This charming… Continue

Main Street Fort Worth--Absolute killer show for most of us

Posted on April 27, 2017 at 8:00pm 15 Comments

Putting it succinctly, I made more sales at this show than all the previous eleven shows I have done since January.

In my 42 years of doing art shows this was the second best one, only the 1999 Kansas City Plaza was better.

I was not alone. I talked to four other artists who said this was their best show ever.

Almost two thousand artists apply for about 160 spots. Many are called, few are chosen.

My wife, Ellen Marshall, got in and was selected as the poster artist and tee… Continue

Tarpon Springs Art Festival--A lot of work for a little return

Posted on April 11, 2017 at 2:30pm 8 Comments

This is a very labor intensive show to do for setup and tear down. It is held on the grounds of a scenic park on a bayou in downtown Tarpon Springs. It is fenced off and they charge a $5 admission.

There are only three entrances to the show where vans can park and offload. Otherwise you are carting work from the van parked on the side streets, sometimes as far as two blocks away. It is one giant clusterfuck for the 200 artists there.

It might be worth it if you were…


Latest Activity

"I did Des Moines once a few years ago and had a great show.  Big, big money.  You know those things you hear from people that seem to insinuate in person that they are big shots with the show...  Well, at that show, a supposed big…"
Feb 14

Profile Information

Your Medium
Years in the Art Fair Business
First show ever
Waimea Falls Park, Oahu, Hawaii
What is your website?
What are the best things about art fairs
the freedom to move around place to place and make money
Best show ever and why
Kansas City Plaza--they bought from me like there was no tomorrow
Worst show ever and why
One in Michigan(which will go unnamed) held in a muddy cow pasture, and it felt like only the cows were there.
Who referred you to Please be specific.

Comment Wall (101 comments)

At 3:33pm on February 10, 2009, Connie Mettler said…
Who made those socks, Nels? You knitting these days?
At 7:32pm on February 18, 2009, Carol Napoli said…
Thanks Nels, I saw it last night. Pretty nice. I am glad that you took the shot early in the show...Good article on the last weekends shows. Not so easy...makes for a longer ride home. Have a great next show.
At 7:47pm on February 24, 2009, Barry Bernstein said…
Hey Nels, I've known Pat Dragon for many years. I met him when he was living in Florida. He used to come by my studio a lot, but, I haven't seen much of him since Rhona moved up here.
At 12:37am on February 27, 2009, R. C. Fulwiler said…
Hey Nels; I love your story about your first art show; makes me think I'll write mine up too. Kim and I missed you again this year in Key West, but hope you did well in Naples. I did Coconut Grove the week before and had to be on the road for 10 days. I guess I'll see you tomorrow at Punta Gorda: Tell me why we're doing that one again?
At 7:39pm on March 3, 2009, Bill Sargent said…
Busted. I copy everything RC does.

Thanks for the note? How's it going? You don't have to say anything about last weekend.
At 9:48pm on March 16, 2009, Wadsworth~Noll Studio said…
Hey Nels! Thanks for the welcome. Guess I'm the probie of the group. :o) I could use all the guidance one could give. lol- just don't send me left when I should be going right.
You spoke of the Vero Beach show... what is your experience with that one?
Thanks again for the kind words.
At 4:46pm on April 7, 2009, YborArtStudio said…
Hello Nels, I signed up Saturday when I returned to the Studio from the meeting. What a great sight! I will have to spend some time setting up my home page.
Your Home, Gallery, and Work is quite wonderful! Thanks for having me. I will look forward to seeing you soon. Thanks for the invite.
At 12:19pm on May 7, 2009, R. C. Fulwiler said…
I took your challenge to heart and put up 20 more photos. Keep me posted and let me know how I'm doing!
At 9:15am on May 8, 2009, R. C. Fulwiler said…
They're mostly old ones. I didn't know "age" as a factor. I'll get right on it!
At 12:25pm on June 14, 2009, Connie Mettler said…
Loved your comment on DJ King Assassin's page!! What's happening here? LOL....probably the best page on the site.

Do you think we should have a competition for the best pages? Looking for nominations from you, as I believe you've been all over the site.

Thanks for your continued support!

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