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Barry Bernstein's Blog (25)

What Happened to the South Florida Shows?

I've been reading reviews and comments about both ArtiGras and Coconut Grove. I'm disappointed by what I am reading because at one time South Florida was the premier place to sell your work in February and March. So, I started thinking about it and all the things that made Coconut Grove great started coming back to me. Here it is:

I have an emotional attachment to the Coconut Grove…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 23, 2017 at 11:08am — 8 Comments

Temple Beth El Review and Award Winners

I did the Temple Beth El fund raiser Art Fair for the first time this year. This event has a stellar reputation among career artists because they bring in the money. Their members do a pre-buy in the form of purchase awards and they support the event. The week before the show I talked to one of the committee members who told me they had $145,000 in money spent in purchase awards. They take 35% of your sales, less than a gallery. It is set up as a gallery. I'm not…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 1, 2017 at 12:00pm — 4 Comments

Royal Oak Farmers Market Holiday Show Potentially a Great Show

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing the Royal Oak Farmers Market Holiday Show. It was a winner for a first time event and it has the potential to be one of the better shows in the Metro Detroit area. This show is put on by the Guild. This is the same group that has its own Ann Arbor Show, the two Birmingham shows and a few others within a hundred miles of Ann Arbor.

First a little history. This show was started a couple of years ago as the Ann Arbor Holiday Show. It was…


Added by Barry Bernstein on December 5, 2016 at 5:30pm — 11 Comments

HAE Sarasota, A Pleasant Surprise

Over the years, I have been as critical as anyone regarding the Howard Alan Shows. I think he has too many shows and has diluted the market, at least here in Florida. This is exacerbated by the fact that many other promoters saw HAE's success and have copied his business model leading to a further dilution of the market. No show is special now because there are so many of them.

To compound the problem, all the big…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 18, 2016 at 5:30pm — 5 Comments

St Louis, The Perfect Show or We Partied Like It's 1999

OK!! So maybe it wasn't the perfect show. The perfect show would pay us to be there because of all the money artists generate by coming. That's not going to happen any time soon. However, there were so many things to like about this show that it is as close to being perfect, in 2014, as a show can get. I complain a lot that shows are not like they were in the 1980's and 90's. Most of you don't know what that means because you started doing shows after 2000.

The whole time during this…


Added by Barry Bernstein on September 13, 2014 at 2:30pm — 16 Comments

Peace River--Punta Gorda Friendly

Every year, I do at least one Richard Sullivan show. Richard got his reputation running the Naples National show after Barry Witt stepped down as director. I never did Naples Nat in those days when there was only one show in Naples. Everyone still talks fondly about that show when Richard ran it. These days he runs small boutique shows, 50-90 artists, in upscale areas. Some don't work and they are quickly discarded. Some can be really, really good, like Boca Grande this weekend and Peace…


Added by Barry Bernstein on March 19, 2014 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

Barry Goes Back to College: Life in the Twilight Zone Part 3

Don't you dare read this until you read Part 2.




Just when I think the whole thing is going away, I am called into the Dean of Students office. I mention this to two of my friends from class and they can’t believe it. So, after a sleepless night I go the Deans office the next day. I’m thinking they are going to have campus security…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 10, 2014 at 4:00pm — 15 Comments

Barry Goes Back to College: Life in the Twilight Zone Part 2

OK!! In the first part of this adventure I explained the circumstances leading up to the class itself.  I show up on the first day and Brian hands out the 30 page syllabus, introductions are made, and he explains the studio ground rules. Of course, they all know each other and the rules, so, this is for me, which is good because of my encounter with that senior ceramic student, I want to not give them a reason to give me a hard…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 10, 2014 at 2:30pm — 13 Comments

Barry Goes Back to College: Life in the Twilight Zone Part 1

Over the years, at AFI, there has been some talk and friction between those who have art degrees from college and those who do not. I am one who believes that art is not subjective, that there are definite constructs that define art and what denotes good art. That's why there are museums and libraries that are dedicated to the subject. Art classes, while being a relatively new phenomenon attempts to teach people what is art, art history, etc. I decided…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 6, 2014 at 2:49pm — 22 Comments

Bonnie Blandford's Garage Sale Art Fair or Out With the Old

I've got to tell you, this is something I wouldn't normally do except that I have all this stuff in my studio gathering clay dust. I thought this would be a good thing to try because I won't throw anything out and I need the shelf space. However, after being on the road for 6 weeks, I did not feel up to driving the 400 miles back to Marquette to get these pieces and then back down to Kalamazoo, where this show was held. So, I just reduced the prices of my normal work and did this…


Added by Barry Bernstein on March 6, 2013 at 10:15am — 12 Comments

Why Can't They All Be Like KRASL?

It seems so simple to get things right.  The thing about KRASL that makes this show stand out is the attention to the little things that make this show great.  It starts with the setup and ends with the breakdown.  This is one hassle free event.  Setup is painless. It starts at 10 AM Friday and you have all day until 10 PM to arrive, check in and set up.  And guess what kiddies?  The artists get to control the whole thing.  There are no committee members with ego problems bossing you around,…


Added by Barry Bernstein on July 16, 2012 at 11:17am — 12 Comments

Extremely High Winds and Devastation at Gasparilla

I visited the Gasparilla show yesterday and talked to some friends. I had a good time but it was windy but manageable. Not so this morning.  It rained overnight and booths got wiped out. It's noon now and I hear people are packing up. This pic is taken from Mathew Hatala's FB page:…


Added by Barry Bernstein on March 4, 2012 at 12:30pm — 11 Comments

The No Holds Barred Coconut Grove Arts Festival Review


Up until 2005 or 2006, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival was, by far, the best show in the country.  From the minute you got there you were treated warmly, with respect. AND, the show was a dream.  Everyone sold well.  They used to bring in the supporters/sponsors on a trolly at 8 AM on Saturday morning and those people had pre-committed dollars to buy work and they used tickets to purchase the work.  They got to see the work in a slide show and they would race to the people…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 23, 2012 at 2:55pm — 33 Comments

Ann Arbor Revisited

I needed to wait a week to write my comments about Ann Arbor.  A friend of mine called me last Thursday and she said she still hadn't recovered from the grueling 4 day show. I was feeling the same, except that I had another setup on Friday and then 2 more days of direct sunlight. So, it's taken me another week to get it together. 


I think I am uniquely qualified to talk about Ann Arbor because I have watched this show for 45 years from different perspectives.  When I was 15…


Added by Barry Bernstein on August 4, 2011 at 11:22am — 10 Comments


This is not a show for everyone.  First of all, it lasts 6 days, from Tuesday thru Sunday.  Day 1 goes from 7:30 AM until 9PM.  The next…


Added by Barry Bernstein on May 4, 2011 at 11:30am — 11 Comments

Richard Sullivan Shows--I Like What He's Doing

Last weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Sullivan.  Richard, who is a veteran promoter is trying something different and it is something I really like.  He runs small shows in wealthier areas in Florida. There are 12 in all.  If you have high quality work you may want to try one of these.  The crowds aren't large, but, the people who come are knowledgeable and sophisticated.  They are the direct opposite of the large corporate sponsored "bloatware" shows that we all do and aspire…


Added by Barry Bernstein on March 10, 2011 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

The Chat Function That No One Uses

A year ago Connie asked me to explain all the features of the chat function and I'm finally getting around to doing that.  I wonder how many of you even realized there was a chat feature to AFI?


First of all, the chat feature is either open on your screen or it's closed in your status bar at the bottom of the page.  It's labeled "Art Fair Insiders Chat and next to it it tells you how many people are on this web site. If you click it, the Chat dialogue box will open.  It's…


Added by Barry Bernstein on March 9, 2011 at 2:00pm — 8 Comments

Life After Art Fairs-- John Long's New Venture

I had the distinct pleasure of running into John Long at Naples Notional.  All the old timers know John, who did art fairs for over 30 years with his 2D illustrations.  He claims to have shown Norm Darwish, Connie Mettler's husband, how to hand color photographs when they started doing art fairs.  Some of you may know John from his syndicated cartoons "Long Overdue" and "Lumpy Gravy." Three years ago, after John's first wife Janet died, he quit the art fair scene and moved to Naples. John… Continue

Added by Barry Bernstein on March 2, 2011 at 2:30pm — 2 Comments

Naples National or The Dust In the Park-- Cough, Cough, Wheeze, Wheeze

Well, I just brushed the dust from my teeth and can now write this review.  Unfortunately, getting the dust off my clothes, booth, pedestals, and, pots is another story.  It's time to buy a case of canned air.  Maybe my next show will be windy and it will blow it all into the next booth.  This show is divided into 4 sections, but really it breaks down into 2 sections.  The lucky ones get to display on the street and the rest of us poor slobs have to be in the park, where they put down some…


Added by Barry Bernstein on February 28, 2011 at 11:04am — 14 Comments

Arts, Beats, and Eats Review or Fun, Fun, Fun

You have to be aware of 2 things about this show. 1) Although it's in its' 13th year, this is the first year in Royal Oak having moved from Pontiac to Royal Oak. I was never a fan of Pontiac because it is an ugly crime ridden suburb of Detroit. Royal Oak reinvented itself about 10 years ago with upscale stores and a really fun nightlife. So, moving the show to Royal Oak was a big plus, and, from my experience here, it was the right move. 2)AB&E is unique in that it isn't just an art fair,… Continue

Added by Barry Bernstein on September 12, 2010 at 11:32am — 12 Comments

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