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Nels johnson's Blog (62)

Sebastian Riverfront Music And Art Festival—Winner,winner...Chicken Dinner

I attended this wonderful festival last weekend.  It is a mellow, little gem of a show.

Sebastian is perched right on the Intercoastal River about 24 miles south of Melbourne on Florida’s Atlantic Coast.

It has slowly developed over the years with lots of condo communities lining its roads, but it manages to keep its small village charm.  Not…


Added by Nels johnson on January 21, 2020 at 6:30pm — 6 Comments

Cape Coral Rotary Art Festival— My first one this year—YAWN!

Well, this is my 46th year in the biz.

I have done more than 1500 of these art soirées.

This one I have done off and on since the 1980s.  Usually this is a decent show, can usually turn $1500-$2K but not this year.

I will say right up front that this is a perfect show for Lowend crafters and art on the stick people.

Fine artists…


Added by Nels johnson on January 14, 2020 at 2:30pm — 9 Comments

St. Petersburg Festival of the Arts, December 14-15.....What if they gave an Art Show and almost nobody came?

First, only do this show because you can get by with a hit or two from a Whale.

If you need 30-40 customers,like me, forget about this.

That said, here are the particulars.

The big thing that hurt was a change in the venue.  That always spells disaster.

For years this show has been held in a waterside Park, South Straub Park, right…


Added by Nels johnson on December 24, 2019 at 1:30pm — 4 Comments

Great Gulfcoast Art Festival—Pensacola,Fl—A mighty show for November shows some frightening cracks

I hate to write like this about a show.

But you know, I tell it like it is.

Also for all you fearful newbies who think you can never say something negative about a show..because they will blackball you.


I never have been balled yet in 45 years of doing shows and telling about them.

When a show is messing up, I tell…


Added by Nels johnson on December 19, 2019 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

The Shaw Art Festival— Saint Louis—Small Show, big bucks, for somei

 Well, it is my birthday, approaching three quarters of a century, and I am back in NSB (New Smyrna), drinking tequila at my favorite beach bar and writing my blog.

I am working for ya.

So, the Shaw was My last summer show.

It is a small show in a historic neighborhood in downtown southwest St. Louis.

Only 140 booths, and they are all good.

Show is held the first weekend in October and has been going on for years.

It is run by a neighborhood…


Added by Nels johnson on October 25, 2019 at 1:30pm — 7 Comments

Saint Louis Art Fair, Clayton, Missouri—A Biggie

This happened on September 6-7-8 on the streets of Clayton. This is where the government center buildings are for St. Louis.  It is a three day show—and is very difficult to get into.

I got in this year and previous to that back in 2013.  Besides that, I have only gotten in three other times in 26 years.

This is a biggie, I put it right up there with KC Plaza, Des Moines, Artisphere and Main Street Fort Worth.

Notice I did not include Winter Park in that…


Added by Nels johnson on September 20, 2019 at 12:30pm — 9 Comments

Lake Forest Labor Day weekend art fair—Fair but not great for most

I have been on the road for 10 days doing this show plus St. Louis.

So I will start with a blog about LF. St. Louis later.

This is a long-standing show on the lake north of Chicago.

Very wealthy people live here, and many attend the show which is on Sunday and Labor Day Monday.

It has an early morn setup, no night before.  There are more than 200 artists.  There is a smaller show going on by them at the same time.

Held right downtown right by the commuter…


Added by Nels johnson on September 13, 2019 at 1:00pm — 5 Comments

Woodland Park Art Festival, Lexington, KY.—Hot temps with hot Lowend sales

This Show is held in a lovely trees park right in downtown Lexington.  Always the third weekend in August.

Lexington is a thriving town.  You have the University there. Then you have all the horse biz.  They raise them, they race them there.  Lot of dinero flowing the town.

Everywhere you look you see new apartments going up.

Not many shuttered stores.

The locals dress up for the show.  This is not a Walmart crowd.

That said, this is not an easy show to…


Added by Nels johnson on August 21, 2019 at 10:53am — 2 Comments

Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, Minnesota— Hit and Miss for Many

Uptown was held on first weekend of August in a very trendy shopping,eating, and partying area of Minneapolis.

It is a theee day show with setup the day before except for those on Hennepin Ave.

The Show is held in two distinct sections: booths are setup on the street and grass of a mall that runs about five blocks long.  Those booths setup in staggered times on Thursday.  The second section sets up on Friday on Hennepin Avenue which runs across the top of the mall.



Added by Nels johnson on August 16, 2019 at 11:08am — 4 Comments

South Haven Art Fair— A mellow affair in a park by the lake.

 As I set at a table across from Lake Michigan, munching a great breakfest bagel and reading The NY Times, I reflected on my time doing this show for the past 25 years.

You cannot beat the location.

South Haven is a Lakefront town about 35 miles above the Indiana border.

It is a big vacation destination for Chicago and northern Indiana folks.  Also nearby Kakamazoo claims this as their beach town.

It is held in tree-shrouded Stanley Johnson and can easily hold 150…


Added by Nels johnson on July 22, 2019 at 12:41pm — 3 Comments

Krasl Art Festival, St. Joseph, Michigan—Finally, a good show

This show was last weekend, second weekend of July.

A two day show with Friday setup.

Held on the lake bluff in downtown St. Joseph.

200 exhibitors setup on both sides of the sidewalk, the show extends about eight city blocks.

Most can pull right into the curb and setup.  Pretty easy setup and teardown.

The Show has been going on more than 25 years and attracts a good crowd.  A lot of Chicago money here with a mix of Michiganders and folks from northern…


Added by Nels johnson on July 19, 2019 at 2:05pm — 7 Comments

Mainsail Art Festival—Too bad Easter got in the way

Mainsail was last weekend in St. Petersburg, FL. So was Easter Sunday.  That is a killjoy for any art show.

Attendence sags and so do sales.

Even the attendence In Saturday was off from the usual Numbers we see.

St. Pete is my hometown, I was born in the 1940’s there and so I have seen it come a long way.

I have done the show more than 20 times and it has always been good.

Not this year.  It was down 50 percent.  That is a big down.

After Ft. Worth,…


Added by Nels johnson on April 24, 2019 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Main Street Fort Worth—Killer Show even though we lost one day

For me, this is the best show in the nation for sales.

It is a five figure show for the majority of artists.

They get about 1400 applications and only 250 are picked.

Luckily, I have been in five out of the last seven years.  For whatever reason, I jury really well here. And, I have gotten in with 2different bodies of work.

Here are some of the basics about the show.

  • It is held on Main Street in downtown—eight blocks long.
  • Seven of the blocks…

Added by Nels johnson on April 17, 2019 at 3:00pm — 8 Comments

Bayou City Art Festival-Good for some

Well, this happened at end of March, I am a little late, because I had to make 600 pieces of art for my next three shows, and Bayou is one.  Then I have Main Street Fort Worth and Mainsail.

I am blogging at a sushi bar, a good one, outside of Shreveport enroute to Ft. Worth, hereafter called FW.

Bayou is a tough show to call.

For many it can be a big winner.  Especially if you have high-priced items.

If you sell in the lower, $30-$300 price range, then this show…


Added by Nels johnson on April 8, 2019 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

SouthHaven Art Festival


I just remembered I never did a blog on this show that happened last July.

So here goes.

This Show is always held around the Fourth of July.

Last year it was the weekend after, this year it will be the weekend before.

This is a two day show held at a lakeside park in SoutHaven.

It is a small show due to the size of the park and that is a good thing, otherwise not many exhibitors would make a lot of moola.

Setup is the day before, very…


Added by Nels johnson on March 20, 2019 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

Juno ArtFest by the Sea—Well, I finally met Howard and Debbie

Juno was this past weekend and it is a Howard Alan Show.

The Show location is an artist’s dream. Booths are on a narrow two lane strip of Highway A1A right along the Atlantic Ocean.

Booths on the east side of the road are setup on grass with luscious trees and vegetation that are a barrier to the beach and the ocean which is about 30 yards away from booths.

 Booths on the west side are setup on the road with a sloping terrain behind which is surrounded by trees and…


Added by Nels johnson on March 11, 2019 at 1:42pm — 9 Comments

Images Art Show, New Smyrna Beach, Fl—Finally, a great show, and in my hometown

This was my second show of the year, on the last weekend of January.

This is a three day show with setup on the morn of the first day, which was Friday.

New Smyrna Beach, we call it NSB, is just south of Daytona Beach on the Atlantic.

It is a mellow beach town which has blossomed in the last 20 years.

There is lots of money here, and plenty of visitors come here.

Granted, they mostly buy Florida dreck art, the usual palm trees, shells on the beach.…


Added by Nels johnson on February 20, 2019 at 11:39am — No Comments

Bonita Springs Art Show—First one of 2019

Well, this is my 45th year in the biz.

2018 ended in a sad fizzle so I was looking for positive vibes to kickstart 2019.

I have done this show many times since its inception.

It moved a few years back from a location off Highway 41, a well travelled road,

to Old Highway 41 located in…


Added by Nels johnson on February 19, 2019 at 2:09pm — 2 Comments

Artigras, Jupiter,Fl—-Requiem for an Art Show, long past it’s glory

I have done this show more than 25 times since the early 90’s.

But, it is time to say aloha.  It no longer works for me, and also does not work for many others.

The attendees pay a $13 entrance fee and then walk down the middle of the road without looking or going into many booths.  Go figure.

I guess they are easily entertained in Jupiter.

In it’s day this was a major show with sales easily in The &5K-$7k range.

Sadly those days are long gone.



Added by Nels johnson on February 19, 2019 at 1:15pm — 13 Comments

Last show of the year: Coconut Point, Estero,FL

Thank God, 2018 has ended.

This year sucked, and this show was a perfect metaphor.

This is a Howard Alan Show.  He did his job perfectly. Except not many people showed up and bought any art.

The Show is held at a very contemporary shopping center.

Estero is slightly below Ft. Myers and just north of Bonita Springs.

It is a happening place with oodles of great retail stores and cool restaurants.

The Show is held on a parking lot, very…


Added by Nels johnson on January 3, 2019 at 5:30pm — 6 Comments

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