Sanibel Island is a big tourist draw in SW Florida for its beautiful beaches, natural setting, absence of "big box" retailers and grocery chains, superb shell collecting, locally-owned restaurants, and expansive bike paths. It's accessible by land only by a three-mile-long causeway that connects it to the mainland (you've got to pony up a $6.00 toll when you leave the mainland; the return trip is free).…
Added by Geoff Coe on February 21, 2011 at 10:30am —
As I loaded up to the van for the arduous 12-mile trek down US 41 from my home to the 5th Annual Coconut Point Art Festival, I had a little bit of anxiety. Howard Alan's last three February Coconut Point shows had treated me well, but I'd had a brutal time at the "Fall" show in November, so I couldn't help but wonder: Was that swan dive the result of snowbirds heading north for Thanksgiving? Or was it a sign that even winter visitors couldn't breathe life into the local SW Fla.… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on February 14, 2011 at 1:30pm —
The smiling, well-dressed lady in the bright blue bib strode into my booth, extended her hand, and said: "Hi, I'm Sharon. I'm a Rotarian. How can I serve you today?"
A Dr. Seuss couplet begins to spring to mind, but never mind that: Let's talk about this long-running show, held at the Venice Municipal Airport about 2 hours north of the Bonita Springs show.
This local event with the hometown-y feel has been running for years, and deserves to. Venice is a long-established… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on January 17, 2011 at 1:00pm —
I'll keep one a little shorter than usual, since I've reviewed previous editions of this show.
Produced by Patty Narozny's Hotworks LLC, this was billed as the "seventh biennial" edition--it made a quick return following the successful November 2010 event. It was blessed with beautiful weather and solid, if not spectacular crowds. Even better, folks on Saturday were… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on January 10, 2011 at 12:00pm —
In an apparent attempt to boost artist participation at this 3rd-year show, promoter Howard Alan lowered the fine-artist booth fee to $250 and invited crafters as well. And the weather was sunny/partly cloudy and warm, with a refreshing breeze all weekend.
Unfortunately, those things didn't help: there were only 90 booths this year, compared with about 100 in 2010 (according to my 2010 notes). And whereas the show was crowded with patrons in 2010 despite chilly weather, there was a… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on January 3, 2011 at 11:30am —
If visitors were largely keeping their hands in their pockets at Howard Alan's Thanksgiving Weekend Art Fair in Delray Beach, you could hardly blame them. After all, they're going to have a lot of buying opportunities in the next couple of months.
This was the first of three winter-season Howard Alan shows in Delray, an Atlantic coast community just north of tony Boca Raton. HA will be back for two days right after Christmas (Dec. 26-27), in Boca on January 8-9, and back in Delray the… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on November 30, 2010 at 8:00am —
Well, so much for the home-field advantage.
I didn't think I could ask for more: A venue only 10 miles from my south Fort Myers home. Sunny skies, warm (but not oppressively hot) temperatures, and a jewel of a location: Coconut Point mall, the upscale "lifestyle center" on US 41, the heavily-traveled lifeblood of SW Florida retail. And, to top it all, Howard Alan's first fall foray into the area this snowbird season (with a welcome all-day-Friday setup option, to boot)! Surely Howard's… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on November 22, 2010 at 10:30am —
This young but growing show marks the kickoff of the SW Florida show season, and for me, at least, it couldn't have gone better. In fact, I set a personal best for my photography sales at a Florida show.
Now that I have your attention , I'll mention that other artists' results varied: some of the 2-D artists I spoke with who sold only original works, with no reproductions at lower price points, suffered. But there's no question about the uniformly high quality of the art, the nice… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on November 8, 2010 at 12:30pm —
I love doing this Tampa-area event and blogged extensively about it last spring. Hyde Park is a tree-lined neighborhood of '50s and '60s-era housing with a small upscale shopping area (Restoration Hardware, Williams & Sonoma, Bang & Olufsen) that serves as host venue for this long-running Howard Alan show.
Hyde Park has a hip urban sensibility and a little younger vibe than what you'll typically see in many Florida shows. Lots of younger couples, runners, dogs, baby strollers… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on November 2, 2010 at 1:00pm —
I'll follow up Alison's nice report on Maitland Art Under the Stars with a quick take on the Melbourne Main Street festival 50 miles to the southeast.
Melbourne is a friendly Atlantic coast town near the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. This festival is part of a weekend celebration where Main St. is cordoned off so folks can grab a streetside cup of Budweiser and stroll the local shops, restaurants, and music venues, It's a nice idea, and there are lots of fun restaurants in… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on October 4, 2010 at 9:00am —
Sunny skies and great sales were all around at this long-running (32 years) under-the-radar art festival in Bethany Beach, DE. In keeping with the town's low-key approach (the town has long been billed as "The Quiet Resort"), the show doesn't advertise extensively in the trade show mags. But it doesn't need to. Many artists and volunteers I spoke with have been involved with this the show consistently for 10 years or more.
Those of us who grew up in the Northeast and summered at one of… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on September 13, 2010 at 2:00am —
This is my second go-round at this long-running fair (I did my first in October 2009). Promoted by Howard Alan Events, the show is held on the tree-lined blocks of a small, trendy, upscale shopping area (Restoration Hardware, Bang & Olufsen, bistros and coffee shops) in the Hyde Park section of Tampa. It's an older, established neighborhood that reminds me of Cherry Creek or Washington Park in Denver, my old hometpwn. Couples in their 20s, 30s and 40s visit the show, bring their dogs and/or… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on April 12, 2010 at 3:31pm —
I was really looking forward to this Jacksonville show, which promised to make some money for my annual photography trip to St. Augustine Alligator Farm, less than an hour's drive south of JAX. The show is in its 42nd year, but has fallen on hard times recently. So this year, the organizers brought in Howard Alan Events to run the show and hopefully reverse its fortunes.
The show is in a picturesque park in the lovely, established, Mandarin area of Jacksonville--one of the area's… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on April 4, 2010 at 11:00pm —
If you work the Art Show circuit in Florida, you no doubt know about Sanibel Island. Located across a 3-mile long, $6-toll causeway from Fort Myers, Sanibel owes much of its charm (not to mention its high cost of living) to its relentless commitment to preserving an island paradise without big-box retailers, development, and asphalt.
As a result, there are few big outdoor shows on the island, The Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club holds one at the same location--the Sanibel Community Center… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on March 29, 2010 at 11:00am —
After a 10-week slog through wintry cold fronts, pelting rain, and howling winds, "Springfest" on Anna Maria Island delivered a Florida-postcard weekend--and some decent sales for most of the 95 artists who made the drive to this charming barrier island west of Bradenton.
"Springfest" is a low-cost, low-key, and well-established arts and fine crafts festival put on in Holmes Beach by the Anna Maria Art League (which also produces "Winterfest" each November). The entry fee was only… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on March 15, 2010 at 12:00pm —
"Snowbird Season" is in full swing here in SW Florida, and thankfully for our checkbooks, visitors and residents alike swarmed this show with their wallets open. This is the third February show at Miromar Outlets for Patty Narozny and HotWorks LLC (they have also done two fall shows). It's well advertised in both print and TV, and Patty always makes sure to send glossy-stock postcards touting the show to artists well in advance of the show date. Plus, Patty and her staff are very professional,… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on March 1, 2010 at 4:00pm —
Since I didn't apply to Naples National and a raft of expensive shows loomed in March, I decided that Fort Myers' downtown "Crafts on the River" would be a low-cost alternative. This non-juried, 3-day show had a booth fee of only $150, and is geared toward country craft artists and (easy, now!) buy/sell vendors. It's situated on the banks of the mighty Caloosahatchee River in downtown (or, as the Fort Myers powers-that-be are determined to call it: "The River District"). The event is an adjunct… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on February 22, 2010 at 1:30pm —
Finally, a show where I can honestly say I was too busy to walk around and talk with artists about how well they were doing (or not)!
Howard Alan is clearly targeting this show to be a new "flagship" show to replace his Naples 5th Avenue show, and from what I saw and experienced it just may do that in a few years. This was my strongest show of the year to date, and crowds were steady throughout the weekend. And except for the early morning hours each day, when it seemed customers… Continue
Added by Geoff Coe on February 15, 2010 at 11:30am —