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Alison Thomas's Blog (30)

Digital Art vs. Photography Categories

Is the digital art vs. photography line moving and isn’t it time the shows updated their categories?  I do heavily digitally modified photography.  Recently I was faced with this choice:

Digital art - Two-dimensional work created by the artist using computer technologies. May include scanned images, from the artist or other sources that have been non-trivially modified through the use of computer programs.

Photography - Two-dimensional work created by the artist that includes…


Added by Alison Thomas on August 30, 2015 at 8:15am — 32 Comments

Crozet Spring Arts and Crafts Festival (Virginia)

What a difference a new director can make.  The paint your own picture people were gone.  The dye your own scarf people that had been heavily advertised for last year’s fall show were gone.  It was better organized this year, as in the booth spaces were marked when I arrived at the appointed set up time.  Any artwork used in advertising was credited.  They have come a long way from a few years back when they used the artwork of an artist who wasn’t even in the show on their website.  I don’t…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 13, 2014 at 9:52am — 3 Comments

Richmond Arts in the Park 2014

I've done previous reviews on this show so I'm not going to rehash what I've already written.  Do a search for my previous blogs if you want to get further information.

This is a jury by check show and at first glance looks like it is not going to be very profitable for fine art.  But there is a lot of fine art here and most of it is segregated in what is fondly or not so fondly called the dust bowl.  Booths in the dust bowl are on grass which quickly succumbs to the many feet of the…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 7, 2014 at 7:46am — 8 Comments

Longs Park - so sad

I was really excited to get into this show. I had high hopes.  I even bought a double booth space and put up the 15' for the first time.

First of all the show is a joy to do from almost every aspect.  Unfortunately that missing aspect was sales.  Setup is easy and leisurely.  Staff support is wonderful.  When I first go to my space there was supposed to be someone next to me but a bush in the area made it impossible for both of us to set up in the space and the staff…


Added by Alison Thomas on September 5, 2013 at 5:47pm — 10 Comments

Blowing Rock Review

This show is not for sissies.  It is a one day show held once a month from May – October.  I did July.  It was good for me.  The people were great.  They didn’t say “I’ll be back.”  They bought on the spot.  They didn’t glance around the booth, grab a card, and say “beautiful work” while exiting the booth.  They had insightful comments.  It was an incredibly enjoyable show to do.  The people putting on the show are kind and helpful and very organized.  The logistics are another…


Added by Alison Thomas on July 16, 2013 at 9:33am — 3 Comments

Crozet Spring Arts and Crafts show

At first glance Crozet Art Festival looks like a county fair where someone stole the Ferris wheel.  It has a train and bouncy house for the kiddies and last year there was a roving guy doing card tricks. There’s also some sort of wine tasting going on. There’s a little something for everyone and the art can be described that way too.  Bonsai trees, hand made marbles, and some kind of herbs to large abstract paintings.  I did not see any Nerf bow and arrows though.  This is a local show for…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 14, 2012 at 4:02pm — 9 Comments

Arts in the Park - Richmond, VA

As I said last year, everything bad they say about this show is true.  It is huge and there is serious junk here from air plants to nerf bow and arrows.  Load in and load out are difficult.  If you are in the treed area, which seems like the best spot to me, you will be dollying across uneven grass and big tree roots.  And those huge beautiful trees are all sweet gum trees.  If you know sweet gum trees I don’t need to say any more. If you don’t know sweet gum trees well, it’s best to wear…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 8, 2012 at 7:10am — 5 Comments

Paragon Fairfax Fine Art Festival

I did the Fairfax Paragon show last fall and was not really happy with the results so I was hoping for better this spring.  And I did do better, a little more than double what I did in the fall and I came out just a little above average for shows in this area.  As usual I don’t get around much but the artists near me were happy with their sales. 


This is a fairly small show with around 120 artists held in an upscale outdoor mall.  Booths are on either side of the street with…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 1, 2012 at 5:26pm — 9 Comments

When is it proper to break down early (or not set up at all)

I have had too many shows turn around on Sunday afternoon to break down early because of poor sales.  It bugs the hell out of me when other people do that as well.  I think it is incredibly disruptive to the people who are staying and maybe trying to eke out some sort of profit from a bad show.


However, there are valid reasons to break down early.  My general standard is if I feel my work or I am in danger.  That is a call that each person has to make for themselves.  And…


Added by Alison Thomas on March 22, 2012 at 3:48pm — 19 Comments

Deland, etc.

I’m finally home and glad to be here.  This is how I figured the shows would stack up for profit on this trip – Deland, Dunedin, Disney.  This is how it ended up Disney, Deland, Dunedin and if it hadn’t been for a sale at 4:45 on Sunday, Deland would have ended up at the bottom.  Here’s another fact I did not expect – 75% of my sales (by item, not cost) were northern scenes.  It’s a strange world in Florida these days.


So about Deland – Deland in the past has either been my…


Added by Alison Thomas on November 24, 2011 at 11:18am — 3 Comments

Disney 2011

Doing Disney is not always good for the pocketbook but it is always good for the soul.  There are, of course, issues but Disney is one show where I feel respected as an artist and treated like a person, not just a cash cow.

I don’t have to tell them on Friday what time I think I’m going to want to run to the restroom on Sunday.  My section had a block captain who called me by name.  If I needed a break I just went over to the info tent and asked for a booth sitter.  And if I wanted a…


Added by Alison Thomas on November 14, 2011 at 11:17am — 11 Comments

Dunedin - 2011

Dunedin was okay, just that, okay.  Of the three shows in central Florida for this weekend (Halifax, Lake Mary, Dunedin) it is probably the best.  But not by much.  The layout is confusing.  Buying energy was almost non-existent and if a potential customer walked away to “think about it” they would have a hard time finding you again.  My space sucked.  I bought a corner.  My first thought upon seeing my space was “I can’t believe I paid extra for this”.  It should not have been a space at…


Added by Alison Thomas on November 10, 2011 at 6:35pm — 9 Comments

An Occasion for the Arts - Williamsburg, VA - Good show, weekend from hell

First the show – This is a fairly small show that went from one day to two days this year.  It is setup on the streets of colonial Williamsburg and is part of a month log celebration of the arts.  Setup is on Saturday morning.  Warning it is dark in some places especially in section D.  It is also “tree lined” streets, which means look up before you start setting up.  I had to be moved over one space because I would have been lifting my tent directly into a tree.  As with most show setups…


Added by Alison Thomas on October 3, 2011 at 11:34am — 5 Comments

Maryland Festival of the Arts, Silver Spring, MD

The bottom line (profit) - it was not as good as I hoped but better than I expected given the cold rainy weather. 

Disclaimer – I work alone and don’t get away from my tent much so all of this is observation from my tent at space 48 and a couple walks early in the morning.  YMMV   This is a relatively small show with two sections separated by a very busy road.  One section, where I was, is surrounded by stores that, with the exception of the closed Borders, look open and healthy.  The…


Added by Alison Thomas on September 20, 2011 at 12:32pm — 5 Comments

Crozet Spring Festival, Virginia

Well I’m now two weeks into the saga of getting used to shows outside of Florida.  This show is definitely different from anything I encountered in Florida.  There are three distinct locations, in the building, in a pole barn, and in the big tent.  In the pole barn, where I was, there are two different locations, inside pole barn, and outside pole barn, which mean exactly what they say, inside is facing inside and outside is facing outside.  I had an outside pole barn location.  Outside pole…


Added by Alison Thomas on May 9, 2011 at 9:22am — 14 Comments

Arts in the Park - Richmond, VA

Let me start by saying that almost everything AFSB says about this show is true. It is dusty, very dusty. Not so much at first but once the grass, struggling to survive under the onslaught of many, many feet, gets beaten down it gets really bad. And it has stuff in it that even the most forgiving of definitions couldn't be called art. I'm talking rubber welcome mats in different colors and air plants. The directions provided by the show suck. They tell you to take the Douglasdale Rd. exit off… Continue

Added by Alison Thomas on May 2, 2011 at 8:20am — 4 Comments

Serving two masters

I remember exactly when this particular journey started.  I pulled into the parking lot for a particular Florida wetlands where I was participating in a photo workshop.  I had brought my car.  So there I was in the parking lot in the dark with my expensive sports car when other participants start to pull in.  I began to feel really, really out of place.  Everyone else was driving some kind of Jeep or SUV, high clearance, 4 wheel drive and here is Alison with an immaculate 350Z.  I wanted to…


Added by Alison Thomas on April 20, 2011 at 5:44am — 7 Comments

What about those other rules?

I remember it well.  It was Ocala, either 2007 or 2008.  It had rained all Friday, all Saturday, and sporadically on Sunday.  At about 4:00 on Sunday the sky turned black, the thunder started to rumble in the distance and it looked like it was going to get really nasty.  People started to break down and about 4:30 an army of vans started coming on the field.  The rules said you MUST wait for the go-ahead to bring your van on the field, no earlier than 5:30.  There was this poor volunteer…


Added by Alison Thomas on April 2, 2011 at 6:47am — 22 Comments

I'm here

Over the past few years in Florida the idea of moving back to Virginia came up a few times. Each time I have said, among other things, “I have spent x number of years building up my art show business and that does not transfer well”. But when faced with imminent financial disaster due to my husband getting laid off I had to consider it. Then faced with the carrot of being close to my daughter and her family, and acreage in one of my favorite parts of the state, well here I am. And I am happy… Continue

Added by Alison Thomas on March 23, 2011 at 8:21am — 6 Comments

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