Art Fair Insiders

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

Robert Wallis
  • Male
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • United States
  • photography
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Robert Wallis's Friends

  • Kyra Richter
  • Christopher Roche
  • Otis Harville
  • Larry Sohn
  • Louis Nunnelley
  • Paula Decker Haynes
  • Craig Roderick and Sara Beck
  • Joel Lockridge
  • Lynnea Bennett
  • Chris Gug
  • Barrie Lynn Bryant
  • Emily Gartner
  • Scott Pack
  • Amanda McLenon
  • Loren Fisher

Robert Wallis's Groups

Robert Wallis's Discussions

Secret Santa?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Connie Mettler Nov 23, 2018. 5 Replies

Is the Secret Santa exchange being done this year?Continue

Passing of Karen Holtkamp

Started this discussion. Last reply by Barrie Lynn Bryant Feb 6, 2018. 3 Replies

It is with regret I just found out that Karen Holtkamp, a long time member on AFI, passed away September 6, 2017. I was next to her at several shows, the most recent was last year's Talbot Street…Continue

Propanel extensions proving to be a hassle, looking for an easier solution.

Started this discussion. Last reply by John Tunney Jul 24, 2017. 7 Replies

This is the first season I've added the 20" extensions to my 7 foot Propanels. What I thought was going to be an easy add-on has turned out to be a giant PITA. My old step stool turned out to be too…Continue

Where are you this weekend of 9/9-9/11?

Started this discussion. Last reply by Connie Mettler Sep 12, 2016. 22 Replies

I'll be at Penrod Arts fair in Indianapolis this Saturday. getting up bright and early tomorrow morning and plan to get a good start on the Friday set up that officially starts at 9:30. Hope to get…Continue


Robert Wallis's Page

Latest Activity

Robert Wallis replied to Ynon Mabat's discussion Mobile Booth for sale $9,500
"It does look like the interior height is 8 feet as the overall height is 11 feet. That does give two more feet of wall space height than the standard propanels."
Mar 16
Robert Wallis replied to Sandy Walker's discussion Jury images for mixed media
"It should be the art only, unless the framing is unique to the piece or integral to it."
Mar 10
Robert Wallis replied to Connie Mettler's discussion Any ideas on how to change demographics at the art fair?
"Do it very gradually. Has someone's work gone stale, they're using the same jury shots for the last five years, and their booth is still the same? Those are the ones that you gradually remove. Dump all the loyal artists who return every…"
Feb 25
Robert Wallis replied to Fletcher Dean's discussion jury images - consistency or variety?
"Keep it as a consistent body of work. That's the recurring theme I keep hearing at mock juries and workshops. I submit two different bodies of work if it's a tough show to get into. Each body of work has a different booth shot."
Feb 12
Robert Wallis replied to Otis Harville's discussion Marine Battery Booth Electricity Allowed or No?
"As long as inverters have a sine wave output or a multistep square wave, a dimmer will work. The inexpensive inverters, "modified sine wave", are typically a square waveform with a little delay between positive and negative excursions.…"
Feb 5
Robert Wallis replied to Otis Harville's discussion Marine Battery Booth Electricity Allowed or No?
"When they were separate, it was a no brainer. After tying them together it was problematic and it was a moot point when I used 50 pound saddle bags with pea gravel for tent weights. If I were to use them as tent weights tied together, they would…"
Feb 5
Robert Wallis replied to Otis Harville's discussion Marine Battery Booth Electricity Allowed or No?
"I was using two 37 watt "corncob" LED lights, each is a 300 Watt equivalent plus 3-4 12V RV fans that pull about an amp each. The LED lights pull about 6 amps total, so the total load is about 10 amps. allocate the typical 80% efficiency…"
Feb 5
Robert Wallis replied to Otis Harville's discussion Marine Battery Booth Electricity Allowed or No?
"I have two set ups; two large boat batteries and a 300 watt inverter. I've found that wiring the batteries together in parallel improves the battery life before they run down. The heavier the drain, the less a/h capacity the batteries will…"
Feb 5
Robert Wallis replied to Steve Sawusch's discussion Scam Alert: Email regarding purchasing a list of attendees from a show
"I kept one on the line for a while. He had me going through keystrokes (I was faking it), then I was asked what type of computer I had. I told him it was a Commodore 64, It still took him a few moments to realize he had been had."
Jan 30
Robert Wallis replied to Sheri Kowalski's discussion What do you do with your inventory after you throw in the towel?
"I've seen your work and it is magnificent. The only thing I can suggest is that you may have been behind the curve on the choice of presentation. I've just about eliminated gallery wrapped canvases except for a few panoramas that are in…"
Jan 28
Robert Wallis replied to PHILIP JEFFERSON's discussion Need an honest answer
"I thought I'd add a postscript to this; I just got results back from Broad Ripple Art Fair. I was wait-listed for photography but accepted in mixed media for the poetry/photo work. I agree with the consensus that quotations on top of images…"
Jan 28
Robert Wallis replied to PHILIP JEFFERSON's discussion Need an honest answer
"Forget about flea markets unless you're selling 16x20 prints for $5. It is not your market as those are lowball venues with no appreciation for fine art. You might consider spendong some money for a consultation with the guys who do Art Fair…"
Jan 26
Robert Wallis replied to PHILIP JEFFERSON's discussion Need an honest answer
"There is a post by you a week ago on page 1. Is that it?"
Jan 24
Robert Wallis replied to PHILIP JEFFERSON's discussion Need an honest answer
"I've been doing a combination of poetry and photography, usually submitting it as 2D mixed media since I do the photography and use my own poetry. It's only gotten me into a few shows with that material. I sat in on the St. Louis Art Fair…"
Jan 22
Robert Wallis replied to Jessica Curning-Kuenzi's discussion where to sign and number matted photographic prints
"The practice I've used for about the last 25 years is to place title on the left of the matte, under the image and aligned with the left side of he matte opening, add the editioning in the middle directly below the matte opening, and…"
Jan 21
Robert Wallis replied to Chris Doane's discussion 10x20 tent worth it?
"I have several 10x10 tents, which are what I started with, and then went to a 15 footer where space permits. You can't sell it if you don't show it. I've also found that adding walls down the middle screws up sight lines as people…"
Nov 25, 2018

Profile Information

Your Medium
Years in the Art Fair Business
First show ever
Talbott Street Art fair
What is your website?
What are the best things about art fairs
meeting the customers and knowing where the work is going
Best show ever and why
4th Street in Bloomington, IN, An art concious crowd
Worst show ever and why
Metro Arts Two Rivers Expo in DesMoines , Iowa, in 2008. Drove about 800 miles to get there, horrible load in (really, really horrible), I was back in the rear of the place with a big sign that said "Children's Section" so what few people did come to the show didn't go back there. I sold the lowest amount I had in 20+ years, almost skunked, and lost about $1000 doing the show. The a little over a week after I get back I have a major heart attack probably brought on by the strenuous load in process. Small wonder I have litle warmth for that show. Then I get a letter the following year reminding me the deadline was approaching, so I sent an email declining. I get another one back asking if I would reconsider and what was wrong. So I told them. Never heard back from them ;-)

Number two on the list; This year's Hopkins Art Festival in Minnesota. Sold even less then Des Moines, but only lost $800 this time, so I guess that means the economy is getting better.

Who referred you to Please be specific.
Lee Hill
What is one fun fact about yourself?
The adult interest school where I was teaching in the early 80's had long ran my beginning and portrait classes. Students kept on asking for a figure photography class. I assumed since the classes were generally held in rented spaces in churches for the most part that was not going to fly.

I mentioned it to the school registrar, and he said try it anyhow. I wrote up a syllabus for the church board of trustees, outlined the sequence of the 6-week course (six meetings), stressing the fine art aspect of it using the appropriate language, and it was approved by a main stream denomination church.

So for several years I taught a nude photography class in a church.

Robert Wallis's Photos

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Robert Wallis's Blog

Round the Fountain, Lafayette, IN 5-27-2017

Posted on May 29, 2017 at 1:15pm 3 Comments

This is a mid size and very selective one day show in downtown Lafayette arranged around the courthouse. I've yet to see the fountain, but haven't gone looking for it. This year was a bit more problematic due to construction, and the booths were in different locations. For some that was a blessing as a bunch of spots required hauling stuff up a long set of steps. Those spots were eliminated this year.

I was located around the corner from last year's location. Two streets were able to…


Oldham Arts on CityPlace 2016 - Lagrange, Kentucky- November 12&13

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 12:30am 7 Comments

This was a small indoor show, for the most part, held in a civic center in Lagrange, Ky, about 22 miles north-east of Louisville just off I-71. It was divided across two civic buildings or small convention halls with about 72 artists there.

About ten artists were located outside on the portico of the buildings, where they were afforded free electricity and reduced booth fee. These locations required a tent. The weather was a bit iffy for the outside venues, fairly chilly on…


Art on the Commons, Kettering, Ohio 8/14/2016

Posted on August 16, 2016 at 6:00pm 10 Comments

Last year was the first time I tried this show. It wasn't spectacular but there was a decent return for the effort and sales were worthwhile enough to make a return trip.

It's a one day show put on by the local arts organization in conjunction with the city government. the show is arranged around a large fountain in a city park. You have to dolly in from the street, but there are two one way streets either side of the venue, so it's not difficult and it's on concrete all the…


Cherokee Triangle Art Fair, Louisville, KY, 4/30-5/1, 2016

Posted on May 8, 2016 at 8:41pm 12 Comments

This show has always been at the mercy of the springtime weather, being held the weekend before the Kentucky Derby. Some years the weather is balmy, sunny, and warm; sometimes cool and damp, sometime cold with frost on the grass in morning and needing space heaters. Sometimes, like this time around it was cool and rainy with the emphasis on rainy. Saturday was rainy most of the day with deserted aisles except for a few moments when the rain and drizzle stopped. Sunday had about half a day…


Comment Wall (23 comments)

At 8:36am on September 13, 2010, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Robert, what great advice about the booth set up! Thanks for being here and adding such useful information to the site. You are one of the people who make the site work. Many thanks.
At 8:04am on February 20, 2011, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Great job, Robert, on all that solid advice for Dolly Ramot. Thanks for your generous sharing and for being a member here.
At 6:28pm on March 05, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats, Robert, on winning the Blog Post of the Week (3/54/12).
At 12:12am on August 22, 2012, Shannon Blosser-Salisbury said…
Robert (or do you prefer a nickname?), you are too kind. I definitely have been having a great time making my art and I hope the fun continues doing shows. Hope to see you out there!
At 11:14am on October 25, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Stellar comment on earning a living at the shows, Robert. Thank you for this very useful exchange full of great information. AFI appreciates it ;)
At 5:48pm on November 05, 2012, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats on winning the Blog Post of the Week Award - 11/5/12.
At 11:58am on February 21, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Impressive! Robert, this is such a gift for everyone who is at all serious about the shows. A lot of this has not been presented before and is wonderful evergreen content that should help many.
At 4:01pm on February 25, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats Robert on the Post of the Week Award - 2/25/13.
At 4:44pm on March 22, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Congrats, Robert! Your wonderful series about the image workshop in St. Louis was voted best info on AFI for February. Thank you so much for all the time you spent on this.
At 10:04pm on June 10, 2013, Connie Mettler gave Robert Wallis a gift
Robert, thanks so much for all your support. It is appreciated!

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