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Geoff Coe's Blog (98)

Downtown Sarasota Craft Festival (Oct. 28-29, 2017): "Soft Launch" to FL season is DOA

Review: Downtown Sarasota Craft Show

Promoter: American Craft Endeavors (ACE; part of Howard Alan events)

Dates: Sat/Sun, Oct 28-29

Location: Five Points Park, downtown Sarasota

Booth Fee; $275

Setup: 5:30 AM Saturday

My medium: Fine art bird and "cloudscape"/seascape scenic photography on canvas and metal ($350-$1200); matted prints ($35-149)

I don't normally review craft shows, but among South Florida artists, this event serves as a "soft launch"…


Added by Geoff Coe on October 30, 2017 at 1:00pm — 12 Comments

Hurricane Irma Recovery Tips

This is terrific information, and not just for artists! Copy and paste anywhere you think it will be seen by those impacted by the storm.  (Note: My home and property and family are all safe, unaffected by the storm.) 

1. File with FEMA and get your FEMA number ASAP! You will need it for everything. Download the FEMA app now. They now prefer that you register online rather than the phone.

2. File a claim with BOTH your homeowner's and flood insurance. Even…


Added by Geoff Coe on September 14, 2017 at 11:55am — 3 Comments

Who are your customers? And who are YOU, for THEM?

Recently, on a private Facebook artist group, an artist asked for advice on dealing with a challenging customer on a custom order.  (The details aren't important here, and I don't have permission to share them, anyway.) 

I read the comments already posted.  Some were helpful, some (a bit snarky) maybe not so much.  And I was about to weigh in with my own two cents, and then I remembered a quote (from Albert Einstein, I think), along the lines of: "To solve a problem, don't engage…


Added by Geoff Coe on June 30, 2016 at 11:30am — 12 Comments

Juno Beach Art Fest by the Sea (Mar. 12-13, 2016)

This is one of Howard Alan's largest shows, stretching along A1A from Marcinski Rd. (on the north) to the south entrance of Loggerhead Rd. (on the south) in Juno Beach, FL--close to Jupiter on Florida's east coast. I don't cite the distance in "blocks" because there aren't any: These are the only two access points for the show. Setup began at a leisurely 10 AM on Friday and…


Added by Geoff Coe on March 15, 2016 at 2:00pm — 6 Comments

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Arts & Crafts Fair: Feb. 13-14, 2016


Setup: Friday after 12 noon; show 10-5 Saturday and 9-4 (yes, you read that right) on Sunday. This is the third of four shows at the Community Center grounds, the only place on Sanibel that hosts an outdoor art show (Richard Sullivan of Boulderbrook Productions does shows on Thanksgiving weekend and--new this year--January; the local Lions Club has one coming up in exactly one month.) 

We got a break from the weather, and although it was a little crisp in early morning…


Added by Geoff Coe on February 15, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Not a Chamber-of-Commerce weekend on Sanibel: Tornado Tales, and more

A friend tipped me off that Nels Johnson, in his Sanibel post, was accusing me of consorting with ponies or some such, on Sanibel. So I figured I had better weigh in, in case authorities were alerted. ;-)

It was a rough weekend, but as Nels points out, other shows had it far worse.  Of course, if you were one of the four artists whose tents flipped on Sanibel, your viewpoint probably differs.

We spent Friday morning huddled in the solidly-built community center, drank coffee,…


Added by Geoff Coe on January 23, 2016 at 11:00am — 12 Comments

Show Review: Seawall Art Show (Portsmouth, VA 2015)

Winners from the 2015 Seawall Art Show, held Aug 22-23 (left to right):

Kristine Kennedy, Savannah, GA,  Jewelry (4th place)

Michael LaRoche, Christiansburg, VA, Clay  (J. Howard Johnson Award for Clay)

Jacob Pollock, Williamsburg, VA, Mixed Media (Best in Show)

Susan Wolf, Toms Brook, VA, Gourd Art (5th place)

Elise Iglio, Prince…


Added by Geoff Coe on August 25, 2015 at 9:00am — 8 Comments

Bonita Springs (II): Moderate attendance, but strong sales for me. Just sayin'!

I mentioned when I checked in to the Bonita Springs Art Festival on Friday that "doing this show is like going to grandma's house.  It's warm, comfortable, and you know just what to expect." 

Nothing I experienced in the next two days shook me from that state of mind.  I found the second installment of Barry Witt's 3-show event to be just about everything I could hope for:  Beautiful weather, knowledgeable crowds (tainted only by the see-'em-at-every-show Sunday morning…


Added by Geoff Coe on February 3, 2015 at 9:55pm — 8 Comments

Paragon's Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival (Jan. 2015): Strong, strong show

With a weekend off and dreary skies over SW Florida, it's a great morning for little except sipping coffee  (Note to self: Develop more hobbies!) So, let's give a shout out to Bill Kinney and his crew at Paragon, and also to the Weather Gods, for delivering a superb show at Sarasota last weekend (1/17-18/2015). (Note to readers: Paragon uses this same venue for shows held in November and March.)

I've reviewed the January installment of this show several…


Added by Geoff Coe on January 24, 2015 at 11:30am — 8 Comments

Spirits and artwork dampened in Coconut Point (Bonita Springs FL , Dec 27-28, 2014)

For those of you--no, wait, make it BOTH of you!--who have been wondering "What the heck happened to Geoff?", here's the scoop:  After seven years in the art fair biz, my show schedule has a lot of repetition in it now, and it seemed silly to keep reviewing the same events year after year.  But I promised the esteemed Connie Mettler that I'd re-review a show if I felt that the old reviews were no longer a valid barometer for readers.  And that may be the case with Howard Alan Events' Coconut…


Added by Geoff Coe on December 30, 2014 at 1:00pm — 22 Comments

Glynn Art Association (Spring Show), St. Simons Island, GA: April 12-13, 2014

I'm going to write a VERY brief review of this show, for reasons that will be revealed in a paragraph or two.  This was my first visit to beautiful St. Simons Island, GA.  Although the state has less than 200 miles of coastline, it boasts beautiful wide barrier islands teeming with birdlife.  I've driven past their exits countless times on I-95 but never had time to stop.  So after Connie posted a call to artists a few months back, I jumped at the chance to apply and was…


Added by Geoff Coe on April 15, 2014 at 3:00pm — 4 Comments

The Good Times Roll--for most of us--in Englewood (March 29-30, 2014)

(I reviewed this show last year and Nels Johnson gave an entertaining recap of the local restaurants here

Not much has changed, so I'm keeping this one short!)

Englewood, FL's unofficial nickname might as well…


Added by Geoff Coe on April 1, 2014 at 1:00pm — 12 Comments

Sanibel's "Other Show": Lions Arts & Crafts Festival (Mar. 21-22, 2014)

(Wow, I reviewed this show four long years ago! And it's still valid on the show particulars.  Check it out for more details.)

As perhaps the only artist in Florida who has never even applied to Winter Park, much less exhibited, I headed to Sanibel Island this weekend for its third, and last, show of the winter season: the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Arts &…


Added by Geoff Coe on March 23, 2014 at 7:00pm — 8 Comments

Bonita Springs National: The New Venue, (re-) Considered

The third and final installment of Barry Witt's Bonita Springs National wrapped up yesterday.  A beautiful, cloud-free weekend with a fine stable of artists at a show where (in delightful contrast to what we find so many other places) A-R-T is the focus, not the music, the munchies, or the dog-walkers.

And yet...attendance was moderate on Saturday and--perhaps due to the aftereffects of the Insidious Daylight Time Change--lighter still on Sunday, with a two-hour mid-afternoon…


Added by Geoff Coe on March 10, 2014 at 9:30pm — 14 Comments

Got Show Help Here?: Pay It Forward!

It occurred to me (while reading a very nice 'thank-you' response from an AFI member who found one of my comments helpful) to make a request of the AFI community.  Here it is:

The vast majority of readers on this site are "lurkers": Folks who visit and read, but don't write.  And God bless ya, I'm not here to criticize this: It's true of just about every other blog site on the Internet (including the ones that specialize in serving writers and bloggers!).

But I do have…


Added by Geoff Coe on January 29, 2014 at 6:00pm — 15 Comments

Cape Coral Festival of the Arts (Jan. 11-12, 2014)

(I've reviewed the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts in detail for several years.  The logistics and background for this show are unchanged.  You can read last year's review here.) 

This was my fifth, and surely my last, visit to Cape Coral Festival of the Arts.  Featuring 300+ artists, craftspersons, and buy-sellers, it's certainly the…


Added by Geoff Coe on January 13, 2014 at 11:00am — 6 Comments

Downtown Naples New Year's Art Fair (Jan. 4-5, 2014)

The first cold of the new year, symptoms of which I'd been pounding with Zicam since Christmas Day, finally took root on New Year's Eve and made the first two days of 2014 pretty miserable.  But one of the advantages of age is that you know pretty much how well you are going to throw off illnesses, and I knew I'd be OK to participate in the Naples New Year show.

Which was a good thing.  I hadn't done the show since 2010, and lots had changed with my work since then.  Plus, I'd seen…


Added by Geoff Coe on January 6, 2014 at 1:30pm — 9 Comments

Coconut Point "New Year's Weekend" Show (Dec. 28-29, 2013)

Note: I reviewed this show a year ago.  Rather than rewrite half of the review, I'm providing a link here.

Howard Alan Events' Coconut Point "New Year's Weekend" art festival is a traditional kickoff to the winter season for Florida-based and snowbird artists alike.  In contrast with last year's show, which seemed to encounter some buying doldrums among the…


Added by Geoff Coe on December 30, 2013 at 3:30pm — 12 Comments

Good art, small crowds at Miromar Outlets: Estero FA Show, Nov. 16-17, 2013

I've reviewed Patty Narozny's HotWorks "Estero Fine Art Shows"at Miromar Outlets extensively in the past.  You can read the most recent review (of the January 2013) here. It contains a link to even more reviews.

I spent this past weekend at HotWorks' annual fall show at Miromar Outlet, one of the three largest malls in SW Florida, halfway…


Added by Geoff Coe on November 18, 2013 at 1:30pm — 6 Comments

Loosening the purse strings in Venice (Nov. 2-3, 2013)

The Venice Art Festival has been my launchpad for the winter season since I got in the business six years ago.  The crowds that visit this Howard Alan show are good sized, they come year after year, and many of them are newly-arrived snowbirds from the upper midwest and Canada who are looking to decorate the winter homes. 

I've never had a bad show here, but in most years the visitors buy small.  That wasn't the case this year: it wound up as the best Venice show I've ever had.   The…


Added by Geoff Coe on November 5, 2013 at 12:06pm — 3 Comments

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