Art Fair Insiders
Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Remembering the days and really, really wondering when they will return. This image is from not too long ago. Do you have a better one?
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I'm hoping too, Richard. Yes, it will be interesting to see who decides they've had enough and has made life changes leaving art fairs behind. This has gone on so long that I'd think even those who are dedicated to the art fair life will have begun looking at other streams of income.
I'm optimistically hoping for a vaccine before Memorial Days shows get started in CO mountain. areas. I wonder who I won't see because they dropped out and who hung in there.
A good idea, Layl. I have learned, and I am sure you have also, not to give into hopelessness, taking some action helps get past the current moment of despair. When we'd be doing an art fair and I was tired of wishing and hoping for a sale I'd leave the booth and do a little shopping myself. It always helped. When some current political things took a turn that made me very worried I sent some $$ to candidates that I liked. But, it isn't all about the $$. I've finally given into YouTube videos to do some yoga. Made more phone calls to friends to stay in touch , etc. I'm looking for the perfect non-profit that I can handle with a very peripatetic schedule and finally going to take some classes. Let's talk about the Minnesota winters ... I'm waiting for some blog posts from Nels Johnson to report on this summers (non) shows and then we need to do a podcast to share ideas.
That is a scary thought that you aren't applying for any shows for 2021, what that can mean for arts groups balancing their budgets. I've talked with lots of show directors and somehow they are not focusing on that scary prospect, just talking about going forward. Thanks for always being here for me.
I too miss the camaraderie of all my art fair friends! It's not just about making the sales but seeing each other and meeting new artist friends.
I seem to continually move the date in my mind that I hope to return to shows. I had been settled on June of next year but I now have told myself not get my heart set on that. I am not applying to any new shows for next year just hoping to get to do the ones that carried over my acceptance to 2021.
In the meantime it's going to be how to survive the Minnesota winter for me. I'm lucky to have enough online sales to cover my expenses so I am mostly focused on mental health. I've gotten involved with a non-profit arts organization that keeps me engaged and I hope this will make this time feel more productive and meaningful in a positive way.
I'd love to hear how others are planning to get through this winter.
Thank you, How ... and Sandy, how I miss you and all of our adventures around the country. My thoughts on the future of the business are way too bleak to to add here. Perhaps it is like a class reunion, despite what we see in front of us today, we remember the unique culture of our tribe and what we brought to the parks and streets of our country and to one another.
I think it's going to be awhile before we get back to the days like that image above depicts. Here's my two cents worth. I've invested 44 years in this business... 22 as a gallery owner and 22 on the road doing shows. We all took a big hit after 9/11 and a larger setback after 2008, but this pandemic might make both of those tragedies look manageable. I'm an abstract painter and much of my work carries a price tag with it. I don't sell items in the 20-50 dollar range, so my perspective is slightly different than some. That crowd might survive on a different level or in a different kind of event. I'm thinking about "art shows" in this post... not street fairs.
While there are a few art shows running, I don't think the buying public feels safe enough to take the gamble and attend... and after reading a mountain of thoughts and ideas from various artists on how they're prepared to mitigate the physical nature of touching and buying art, some of which are great ideas... you still need a well heeled crowd of interested patrons who can afford your work.
Forty million people are recently out of work. Art requires disposal income, and a fair amount of it. It also requires a sense of normalcy and hope for the future, in order for someone to spend a few hundred or a few grand on a painting. Yet Congress has just raised the middle finger and proudly pointed it at those who depended on them for compassion and dignity. What we are getting is the exact opposite.
Our country has become politically polarized to the point where people are being assaulted for asking someone to wear a mask... or pull it up. Am I really prepared to handle those types of situations in my booth? Am I ready to look the other way and ignore common sense and put my health at risk because some covidiot wants to rummage thru my stuff?
Bottom line... We need a safe vaccine that the public can trust, and one that has the staying power to provide immunity for at least a year or longer, yet the trust between the public and the administration has never been at a lower level. One who has lied to you 20K times during his tenure and then tells you the three year vaccine trials are finished and safe in three months... sure, go ahead and get your shot and reelect me for the great job I've done... really? Are you suddenly going to trust his word or the words of those who spinelessly cower under his desk?
Well, I'm guessing a fair number of educated people with common sense will wait and see how this all plays out before extending their arm and possibly their lives. This skepticism will extend the safety period that many people will continue to shelter under.
The administration could have simply told us the truth from the beginning. We could have ALL masked up in early February. If we knew what to expect and what sacrifices we had to make, maybe we could have pulled together in a more cohesive and unified way to ride this out... maybe countless lives would have been saved... but continuing to gaslight the public into believing this virus will magically disappear or that children are virtually immune... or any number of the few dozen other idiotic medically unproven ideas touted by the ones in charge... only sows confusion, chaos and distrust. This perpetual BS leads to the unfortunate and temporary end to the majority of our careers as artists.
I feel bad for all of us in this field who have poured our souls into our work on so many levels of intense commitment and dedication. There will be a day when things will reopen and slowly recover on many levels, but it will be a new normal and it may take another year or two. Be patient and create something wonderful while you wait... and don't forget, be hopeful.
right now, it's probably in the "See that flying pig?" category.
Best wishes to everyone in this difficult time. Staying safe and staying well are priorities.
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