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Nels johnson's Blog (64)

Second blog about Des Moines Art Festival

Des Moines ArtsFestival—the nuts and bolts

This info will be helpful when considering applying for the show.

A few salient facts.

This is a biggie show.  Well respected,hard to get in, but a real money-maker.…


Added by Nels johnson on July 5, 2021 at 10:52am — No Comments

DesMoines ArtsFestival—Another Killer “Winner,Winner, Chicken Dinner

This was my first summer show.

I am writing two blogs about it.

This one will be about my insights and observations.

My second will be about the nuts and bolts of the show.



Added by Nels johnson on July 1, 2021 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival— Winner,Winner,Chicken Dinner!

Well, it was my best art show, in Florida, for the last 41 years.  That is saying a lot.

This is a very hard show to jury in.  For example, I got in 1983 and 1984.  Thought I had it made.  Well, I got juried out the next 27 years. Got in in 2012 and finally got back in in 2020, then rolled over to this year.

That is a hell of a lot of rejections.  And, I always sent new…


Added by Nels johnson on May 24, 2021 at 2:20pm — 2 Comments

Melbourne Art Festival—Winner,winner chicken dinner...for most

I decided to go bold again, like the old days. (Talking type style)

This show was last weekend, it is held at a county park about 10 miles north of downtown Melbourne.

It used to be right downtown…


Added by Nels johnson on April 26, 2021 at 2:00pm — 4 Comments

Covid Strategy—keeping safe social distancing while at a bar

Well Covid times demand new thinking.

Here is one strategy that I use when sitting at a bar and wanting my social distance

This works for a single or a couple.

I live in Florida on the beach below Daytona

It is the wild, wild, west in Florida.  People are shoulder to shoulder at bars…


Added by Nels johnson on April 5, 2021 at 1:18pm — 8 Comments

Under the Oaks ArtShow—A Rough Camel Ride Home a Year Ago—Read On

Well, this show marked a special one year anniversary for most of us in the biz.

It was the last show, we almost got to do, due to Covid.

Last year, Friday the 13th, The Vero Fire Dept. showed up and declared the show done and over at 4:15 due to Covid.…


Added by Nels johnson on March 17, 2021 at 11:00am — No Comments

Bonita Springs National Art Show— Steady sales all show long, for most

This is the third show of the season produced by the Art Center of Bonita Springs.

They do one in early January, which I blogged, one in February,which I did not do, and one in March, which was my first time…


Added by Nels johnson on March 9, 2021 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

Art Fiesta New Smyrna Beach—Winner,Winner Chicken Dinner

It is always great to do a show in your hometown and have it profitable.

No hotels, no travel, no restaurants.

In NSB you have two annual art/craft shows.One is Images but it was cancelled this year.…


Added by Nels johnson on March 2, 2021 at 2:00pm — 1 Comment

Once Upon a Time in America...My First Art Show..Waimea Falls Craftfair, Oahu,Hawaii 1974

It has been 46 years ago that I did my first art fair.

It has been a fabulous journey, so let me take you there and get your minds off Covid.

In 1973 I lucked out and joined the US Army and got sent to Hawaii for four years with the 25th…


Added by Nels johnson on February 15, 2021 at 1:20pm — 6 Comments

Naples Uptown Artfair, Jan. 23-24–HAE Inaugural Event—Yes! A Success! yummy ...

This was a new Howard Alan Show in downtown Naples.

Usually, I stay away from new events, but, I trust Howard to advertise and bring in the monied, and he did.

We got to set up after 6pm on Friday which beats doing it early in the morn like at 4AM.

The Show was one block off Highway 41 and just a short block off from South 5th Avenue where all the restaurants and retail are located.

It had great visibility, cars driving 41 could see the two rows of tents parallel…


Added by Nels johnson on January 28, 2021 at 1:30pm — 3 Comments

Plop,plop...fizz,fizz..oh what a joy it first show in nine months—Bonita Springs, Jan 9-10, 2021

Well, it has been a while.

Now I have a show report, and it is all positive.

This year marks my 46th year in the business. And it has all been good.

I approached going to the show with lots of apprehension.

Did not want to come down with Covid and come home and give it to my wife.

I was worried how many people show up to buy, would they be masked, would they be eager to buy.

Between booth fee, hotels, gas and food I had about a $1000 nut to break…


Added by Nels johnson on January 13, 2021 at 10:54am — 4 Comments

How I am surviving in these Covid Times...and how I spent my summer

Well, I went north to Saugatuck,Michigan in Late June.

I live there and have a studio, usually there about five months doing my midwest circuit of shows

In case you do not know me, I am a photographer who does both color and handcolored black and white images. I have been on the circuit for 45 years and do about 27 shows per year.  I actually earn a living from this, I…


Added by Nels johnson on October 26, 2020 at 9:18pm — 6 Comments

Part Three: Musing about the future of art shows—-Info on how to travel to shows

Since the virus and quarantine most of us have not done much traveling long distance like you would normally do to get to a show.

Ellen and I live in New Smyrna Beach, seven months, and Saugatuck,MI the rest.

So every  May we pack up stuff and do a 1400 mile trip using two vans and pulling a UHaul trailer with my van.

This year because of the virus we left a month later.

Also Ellen left her van behind and rode with me.l

So the situations we encountered…


Added by Nels johnson on June 24, 2020 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

Part 2: Looking ahead to future shows and musing about problems to overcome

I have thought seriously about what it is going to look like when they finally let us exhibit again in the Covid era.

I am a photographer. So presently I show my work in framed images on the wall and then a table with two matted print bins and a small table with a box for my 16x20 mats. 

The two bin table hold 8x10 mats and 11x14 mats.  I print on paper.

I have Lightdome tent with Propanels.

My booth usually has two skinny panels in the front where I display six,…


Added by Nels johnson on June 16, 2020 at 11:33am — 15 Comments

Looking ahead at the summer art shows and musing about what has happened since the shutdown in March

My last show was Vero Beach when they closed us down on Friday the 13th in March.

Since then I have had 12 shows cancelled, including Winter Park, DesMoines, Mainsail and Woodlands/Houston.

I figure I have lost more than $40K in sales.

Took me seven weeks to finally be eligible for unemployment in Florida.

I am about $2K in debt to companies I owe for materials like frames, matboard and photo papers which were bought in anticipation of the sales I expected to…


Added by Nels johnson on June 14, 2020 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

tequila report

60968236059__3B75065A-278D-40FA-B88E-A9D3839365F1.MOVthis is a test real one coming as soon as I master video.

Added by Nels johnson on April 27, 2020 at 8:15am — 2 Comments

Vero Beach Under the Oaks—Very sad story

When I left New Smyrna early Thursday morning, I waved Ellen a goodbye kiss and took a big breath.

So far as I knew this was about the only show to go on for the weekend in Florida.

Vero is a biggie, So was Winter Park the following weekend.

I had ordered and bought lots of inventory, printing papers, mat boards, frames and glass in anticipation.

My past history told me I had the potential to make $10k-$18k between the two shows.

That could hold me over…


Added by Nels johnson on March 16, 2020 at 3:30pm — 14 Comments

Gasparilla Art Festival—New site, needs parking bad!

I did this show the last weekend. In my former hometown.

Ironically, I have not been in G(gasparilla) for the last six years.  Then I sell my Ybor house and get in the next year.

Trouble is, now I had to stay in a hotel and pay $100 a nite.

I have done G 16 times since the early eighties. Always been a winner for me.

Thank God! This year too.  I needed a good show real bad.

Lots of booth fees to pay.

I can finally say, after seven shows this year, I…


Added by Nels johnson on March 3, 2020 at 5:00pm — 1 Comment

ArtFest Fort Myers— Finally, a really good show, my first This year.

Well, I just set up my booth at Gasparilla.  I am back in my old hometown of 20 years before moving to NSB.

So I am having a relaxing lunch at the Hall on Franklin Street in Tampa.

Eating a great poke bowl and chasing it with a great temponiollo wine.

So, I figured, what the hell, you got the rest of the day to fuck off.  Thus, my final behind the time blog of FM artfest which happened the first weekend of this month.

With this blog, I am officially caught…


Added by Nels johnson on February 28, 2020 at 1:30pm — No Comments

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