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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

I hate to ask... but hey, that never stopped me before.

So, It's the first day of July and I am about to finalize my Fall schedule of shows and organize my whole life until Christmas. It certainly isn't a impetuous life we lead in this business....always thinking 6 months ahead and trying to make the funds to do that... while still making art and paying for that too. It's a roller coaster for me...I'll admit, with a great show, intermixed with some not so great and the wheel keeps spinning around.

I love it, it fits my temperament, but I always think I could be much smarter about it....that I could be doing more and doing it better. Which brings me to the question at hand.

I have really appreciated all the input that goes into this site and the wisdom of the many sages that populate it. So, I was wondering about your take on a couple of shows I have been juried into....if they are worth the drive and expense to do and if they are a proven good risk. I have done a few first time shows this year with some iffy results so I want to ask before I barge ahead and commit.

I am a contemporary mixed media artist, and I realize we all have pretty different experiences based on the local of a given show, booth spot and the economics of an area. I have looked up Peoria but I haven't seen all that much, what I have seen is good but I'd like to know if it's worth an 8 hours drive. I just got in off the wait list and if you could give some feedback about your experiences there it would be so helpful.

OK,  so now I'll just dump all these at your feet...what the heck, I'm already in too deep. I am wondering about Greater Gulfcoast in Florida and Centerfest in Durham and while I'm asking, might as well ask about the Covington Art Festival.  

I hate to throw this out there to the group (been done so often) but I have looked up the available info (thanks Connie) and haven't found any recent reviews and was wondering if these shows are still good choices, although I know a lot goes into that assumption for every different artist. Thanks in advance and I hope your Fall Schedule is wonderful and carries you through to your spring schedule....as that wheel keeps turning.

Views: 2179

Comment by margaret luttrell on July 2, 2015 at 2:12pm

That's not good to hear Frances....I take it you are not going back. I did the Speleto Festival and it was a dust storm....It was not worth the clean up after...what a headache. For some reason I thought it was done in the streets. Something to consider for sure. Frances...can't wait to meet you! I think I might have been next to Laura at a show, can't be sure... jewelry maker? 

Comment by Frances Fontaine on July 2, 2015 at 2:47pm

Hi Margaret, I also did the show in Covington, but I hate to negative nellie! It was a nice show, nice little town, but I didn't sell much. Lots of people, but just looking. My best show is the Red River Revel in Shreveport, La. Have sold almost every painting I have for two years in a row. Most folks that I have talked to, jewelry, custom knives, pottery, etc. all have said it was a great show for them, also. Best of luck to you! 

Comment by margaret luttrell on July 2, 2015 at 4:32pm

Thanks Frances, learning about shows like RRR are really what this site is all about. It's too late for this year but I'll keep it in mind for next year. Here's one you might want to try....Tennessee Craft in Nashville-2 shows a year with the Fall show open to everyone and the Spring show for Tennessee Artists and neighboring States art guild members. It's a great show with a lot of buying energy. It's my favorite show of the year actually. So back at ya... and thanks for the tip!

Comment by Amy Fletcher on July 9, 2015 at 2:22pm

I live not far from Durham and have done CenterFest for the past two years and this will be my third upcoming. I do alright there as a painter.  The locals are fantastic and the city is a real place for foodies and the like.

As for business, I think it can be really hit or miss. I did ok my first year (wouldn't have if I had to travel and pay for hotel), while last year was a little better for me because there were some really great art lovers who had seen my work before and were interested in purchasing.

I'd say, have a good variety of price points. Durham is really up and coming and this year could turn out to be a banner year for artists there (fingers crossed).

Comment by jeannette Rowlett on July 24, 2015 at 10:46pm

What about the shows in Kentucky?  The Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen has been doing a Fall Fair in Berea, KY since 1967.  It takes place at the Indian Fort Theatre, which is a section of the National Forest owned by Berea College.  It is beautiful in October, with all the color in the trees.  The artist's tents are all through the woods and has a great feel, being out in nature.

They are now taking applications from outside their organization now and the application for guests is on their website.  Check it out.  www.kyguild.org

Comment by Pat Falk on June 5, 2018 at 4:20pm

Hi Margaret!  I see this post is 3 years old but can't find anything more recent. Wondered if you went to Centerfest and how it was for you?  I have been invited this year.  Any information you can share would be helpful. Thanks!

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