Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
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…Continue
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…Continue
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…
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…Continue
This was my first show of the year and the first since having rotator cuff surgery four months ago. I learned some things on this go around, among which was the need to organize the way I hang pieces better and to next time take a decent step stool so I can reach the top of the panels to hang stuff instead of standing tippy-toe on the top of a two-step stool.
Load-in is on Friday morning starting at 9:00 AM and it is strongly suggested to be there early if your set up takes…Continue
This was the 49th edition of this show, named after a Booth Tarkington character, Penrod Schofield, a sort of Tom Sawyer type character set around 1900. I've done this show since 1988 and watched it become smoother and smoother each year. It has about 300 artists arranged around the grounds of the old Eli Lilly estate, now home to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, which is a beautiful setting. There are several groups of artists in different sections, each with their own entertainment, such as…Continue
Two things stand out as good about this trip; I had a good time seeing the town and I didn't have a park bench located inside my booth space like some of the artists. Everything else went downhill and went to Hell in a hand basket. The old adage about not attending any art festival with either a food or fruit in its name applies to this misbegotten show.
Set up allowed plenty of time and it was needed to fight with the wind off the river. Chicago has less problems with the…Continue
This was a surprisingly nice small show in the dead of winter. I was cautioned about the show by another artist who had a bad experience there. It's a Friday evening and Saturday show, and while it wasn't gang-busters, it did turn a nice small profit.
Move-in is done by a schedule, and several museum workers were standing by to help unload vehicles with their carts. The van was unloaded in about ten minutes and the workers took your materials to the booth spot and unloaded for…Continue
This was a first time show for me. I had heard of it for the last several years and thought incorrectly it was a continuation of the Chautauqua of the Arts shows held in Columbus for several years. No connection as I found out later, this is a fifth year show started by a local photographer. The previous 4 years this has been a one day show, and this was the first year for it to go two days.
Set up is a little rough on this one, starting on Saturday morning at 6:00 AM. Things…Continue
This show is a hard one to get into. The last time I was in this one was four years ago, and was one of my highest grossing shows in a very long time. I kept getting rejected after that, and decided to make some significant changes on the jury images. It worked :-)
Set up was on Friday starting at noon. I managed to get there in mid afternoon, and went off from home without the map and the check-in point, of which there were two. We found the most obvious one, and of course it…Continue
My wife is tolerant, otherwise my head would be off after this one. I did Loring Park two years ago and did badly. I did it again, thinking that I had newer work and I had finally gone to canvas prints for my photography. It wasn't working and I lost my shorts once again. She was right, I was wrong, and I won't be back just like the patrons who say they will. Maybe it will work for some, but there will not be a third time looking for a charm. Outside of the lousy sales, I did have a fun time…Continue
This is a long running show in Indianapolis that has been around since the mid 1950s. it's one of only two large shows in Indianapolis that doesn't charge a gate fee. It's in a revitalized neighborhood that is only sixteen blocks from Downtown. The show is ran by a small cohesive group of volunteers that have the operation down to a T.
Set up starts on Friday at 2:00PM, although I keep forgetting that many show up early, and when I pulled in at 2:00 about 1/3 or more of the…Continue
First off, this show is not held on a farm ;-) It's held on the campus of Midway College in Midway, Kentucky which is a lovely campus. The show has had a high reputation, and was much larger at one time with almost 300 artists. The Lexington Art League ran it for a few years and had moved it somewhere else, and it had suffered. A local volunteer group has taken it over, and the show is a smaller and more intimate one now with a little over a hundred artists. It is a gem of a show, and more…Continue
Oh, what can I say? Much was touted and little came through except disappointment. Maybe it was a fluke with the poor sales, but the weather gods smiled, there were crowds at one time, but still at the end was much gnashing of teeth and wailing. More on that later, but let's get the logistics out of the way first.
The Kalamazoo Institute of Art has had this show for many years and it has a high reputagtion for a quality show and for being organized and well run. No complaints…Continue
Okay, I was warned about this one, but oh-no, I had to try it anyway. It had one thing going for it; cheap booth space at $110. If you're local, give it a shot, otherwise stay away.
Booth space was unusual at 15x10, so the prospect of having two extra sides available to hang work sounded good, so I sprung for it. Sort of like a mouse going for the cheese. My neck still hurts.
Okay, so I get the usual acceptance letter, and given that it looked like some…Continue
This long running neighborhood show was held April 26-27, always the weekend before the Kentucky Derby. It's in the middle of the area called the Highlands, just a couple blocks off a very busy area known for it's eclectic shops, restaurants, and night life in an older section of Louisville with beautiful homes that is well maintained. Parking is an issue so the smart ones arrive early to make sure they can find a parking spot.
I've done this show for about 20 years and…Continue
It’s been a lousy couple of weekends in a row. Riverfront in Columbus, Ohio, was pretty bad with only $175 in sales, and who would have thought St. James would get worse? Hell, not only was it worse, the damn thing spiraled down in flames right through the rain and into the soggy ground. It was one of the worst shows for me in 25 years.
We’ll get the “Nels Stats” out of the way first, though. Set up would have been easy if you showed up early at 11:00 on Thursday morning. I…Continue
It has been a rough couple of years, and I'm hoping the last few shows are the turning point. What would have have been bad shows a few years ago are now looking good and this was the best I've done since the economy got flushed down the crapper. Not spectacular but not to be sneezed at either. What was good to hear is that everyone around me in my green section of the show was reporting better than expected sales.
After last year's dismal sales and losing money, I decided to…Continue
The Levis Commons art fair was held on Saturday and Sunday, August 17 and 18 in the middle of an outdoor shopping mall in the Toledo metro area. It was put on by The Guild out of Michigan.
Set up was on Friday afternoon and early evening with a nicely organized and managed move in. While the show organizers had their act together, the mall security folks had mixed signals and a few things in error, but nothing that some common sense couldn’t take care of. The booths were…Continue
This was a show I declined last year. In retrospect, I should have declined it again.
For some artists, this show worked out well for them, as by the end of the show I heard reports of one painter doing $5K, a potter doing about $2500, and some others doing between $1,500 and $2,500. There were also several who zeroed out, including one painter who had beautiful panoramic landscape paintings in a light impressionistic style. At least one photographer, one who does wildlife, was…Continue