Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Before too much more time has passed, I wanted to share my experience at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival which took place from 6/9 through 6/11 2017. Having been in St. Louis the weekend before and travelling north to central Illinois for a family visit for a couple of days, it was a short 400 mile drive to Omaha. I meandered along the back roads of northern Missouri taking in scenery that I had not previously experienced. It was a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed the ride immensely. Load in…Continue
For the past three weeks we have been traversing the Midwest, and in the process, doing three shows: Webster Art Fair in Webster Groves just outside of St. Louis, the Omaha Summer Art Festival, and finally Talbot Street in Indianapolis. It was our first experience at each event so I cannot make year to year comparisons. But for what it is worth, here are our experiences starting with the Webster Art Fair.
Webster Groves is a small city of approximately 23,000 residents about 10 miles…
We were excited to be called off the wait list for this show. It is run by the Decatur Arts Alliance with a large dedicated staff of volunteers. Decatur is a city of about 20,000 on the east side of Atlanta within the 285 beltway. The show is situated in the very beautiful downtown on streets surrounding the historic courthouse which is now a history center. There are any number of trendy restaurants, bars and shops in the area. No vacant real estate..always a good sign.
Last weekend we were in Florence, Alabama for Arts Alive. It was a positive experience for us and our sales exceeded our expectations going in. Florence is a city of about 40,000 in the northwest corner of the state. It is located on the Tennessee River and is adjacent to Muscle Shoals. There is a rich musical heritage here. This show was recommended to us by a couple of artists friends familiar with our work. We were somewhat skeptical since it is a relatively small city and we tend to do…Continue
The Magic City Art Connection (MCAC) was held in Linn Park in Birmingham, Alabama last weekend. It is a local show for us and was our best grossing show last year. We were looking forward to a repeat. It was not to be. The show is a three day event, Friday and Saturday from 10 - 6 and Sunday from 10 - 5. You have to dolly in from one of the streets bordering the park on a staggered schedule. Load in was non eventful. There was plenty of room for our trailer. We paid for a premium…Continue
Last weekend we participated in the 4 Bridges Art Festival in Chattanooga, Tn., a city of about 180,000 people at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Tennessee River. The Association for the Visual Arts runs the show and supports a very vibrant arts community.
There is a lot of civic pride in Chattanooga. The downtown has been totally transformed since our last visit about 10 years ago. There are new condos and apartments going up everywhere you look to the point…Continue
Margaret covered most of the essentials in her post but we wanted to provide a little more information about our experience. At the outset, I want to make it clear I do not intend to be bitchy or disagreeable in any way. My intent on writing these reviews is to provide specific information about shows that we do in order to assist others in deciding if they want to apply in the future. I try to do so in an entertaining way. But I am so upset at what happened at this show that I might seem…Continue
Well, the truck has been unloaded, the bills have been tallied, and the verdict is in on our first time participating in the St. Stephens Art and Craft Festival in Coconut Grove. It has taken us two days to drive home so I have had a lot of time to reflect on our experience. Fair warning, this post will be long as I want to give detailed information for anyone thinking about doing this show. First, I want to say that this show is run by the nicest group of people you would ever want to…Continue
This was a show of firsts for us, our first show of 2017, our first show in Florida, and our first show pulling our new trailer.
So, how did it go? OK actually mainly due to one customer who came in our booth and made the show for us. Towing a trailer definitely slowed us down on the road, but it allowed us to organize our stuff so much better and rolling items into the trailer is a lot better than lifting them into our pickup. We eventually got to Sarasota after over nighting in…Continue
Well, our first full year of shows is behind us. We had some great shows as well as some real dogs, but that is part of the business. We did 18 shows plus three small holiday markets locally mainly to get rid of old work that was not moving. The weather, crowds, buying energy, and logistics varied from show to show. The one thing that remained constant was the great people we met along the way who have chosen to do art shows for a living. We may not have much experience in the art world,…Continue
For those of you out there that pull a trailer we would appreciate your input as we decide which one might be best for us. We are currently using a Ram 1500 with a tri fold bed high cover for shows. Ever inch of space is accounted for which has limited us on the inventory we can carry and enhancements we can make to our display. I would prefer a van, but that is not financially in the cards right now. We looked into cab high fiberglass caps, but those are pricey as well. There are many…Continue
Last weekend we displayed our work at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Northport, Alabama. This show is difficult to get in to so we felt fortunate to be accepted on our first try. This show started as a Folk Art only event 45 years ago. Folk art is still the main focus of the show, but other mediums are now included. Our work is the antithesis of folk art so we were a little concerned about how it would be received. Our worries were unfounded as we had a great show.
Last weekend was the 2nd annual River Clay Fine Arts Festival in Decatur, Alabama. We were there for the first festival last year, making this our first repeat show. Decatur is located in north central Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, a part of the Tennessee River system. The site is the park surrounding city hall in the downtown area and adjacent to a new arts center located about a block away.
There were approximately 80 artists. From our observations the quality of the work…Continue
Before too much more time has passed I wanted to share our experience at Arts, Beats, and Eats this past Labor Day weekend. It was a good show for us in that we made pretty good money and we had a great time doing so. The event is in its 19th year and as the name suggests combines music, food and art in a community celebration. Its current venue is several blocks of downtown Royal Oak, a trendy community north of Detroit. There is a minimal charge to get in, $3.00 before 11am and $5.00…Continue
This is our first full year doing art fairs. Being new to this, our philosophy has been to take things as they come and try to learn from our experiences. Ann Arbor was our ninth show of the year. After the previous eight it was an easy call as to whether or not we wanted to come back. It was equally apparent what lessons we could take away from those experiences. Not so with Ann Arbor. I would like to relate what happened and ask those that have done the Ann Arbor shows if they can…Continue
We were excited to be called off the wait list for this show. Since it was going to be a long drive, we decided to pair it with a show over the 4th of July weekend in South Haven, Michigan and spend the time in between in Ann Arbor visiting family and friends mixed with some photo work in Detroit. It was a great plan.
Everything was going great until we hit the Ohio border. The expressway around Cincinnati and Dayton has been under construction for the 10 years we have lived in…Continue
Last weekend we were in Tupelo, Ms. for the Gumtree Festival. For those who do not know, Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, and as you might expect, there were Elvis references all over town. Our only previous experience with Tupelo was about 10 years ago when we were on our way to Memphis to catch a flight and spent a frustrating 30 minutes trying to locate the Starbucks. It was in Krogers. As we drove out of town with our coffee we were impressed with the new development we saw. It has…Continue
Last weekend we were in Birmingham, Michigan for the 33rd Art Birmingham Show. Birmingham, Michigan is an affluent city north of Detroit. The venue is Shain Park which is in the center of downtown. The show is set up on the wide park walkways and the adjacent streets. The show is run by the Guild of Artists and Artisans in conjunction with the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center.
This was a 700 mile drive for us and our first experience showing our work in the "North" as we say in…Continue
Last weekend we were in Huntsville, Alabama for Panoply, which is a community festival of the arts. There are three music stages, food vendors, arts activities for the kids, and an Arts Marketplace. The venue is Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. The Arts Marketplace is set up along a sidewalk the surrounds a small lake and on the street that runs between the park and a performing arts center. If your booth is on the street you can drive right up to your spot and…Continue
Last weekend we did the Magic City Art Connection which is held in Linn Park, Birmingham, Al. First of all, Birmingham is our adopted home town. We have lived in the area for 10 years and have attended to show in the past but this was our first year showing our work. Birmingham acquired the nick name "Magic City", not due to an over abundance of budding David Copperfield wannabes, but because of the rapid growth of the steel industry shortly after the civil war. The show was magic for…Continue