Weighing in #1 for the Best Fine Art Fair and Fine Craft Show is La Quinta Arts Festival in La Quinta, CA. Average sales are the main determinant for the Art Fair Sourcebook's ratings. La Quinta set a new event record for art sales, exceeding $2.8 million! Divide that up by 234 artists and almost everyone is taking home a very nice check. Congratulations to Christi Salamone, Executive Director and Kathleen Hughes, event director.
#2 is another sweet show, a complete contrast to the tony location near the golf courses and tennis courts of La Quinta, a small town in southern Illinois across from St. Louis, Belleville, IL's, Art on the Square. This town really turns out the crowds who cherish it as just about the biggest thing that happens there all year. A completely volunteer-run event, headed by Patty Gregory, it hosts 100 artists who are devoted to the show.
Last summer I hosted a podcast with these three women titled "Bringing Buyers to the Art Fairs." You can listen to it here. Show directors should be particularly interested in this podcast as it explains nuts and bolts of taking care of sponsors, promotion, and fundraising that are applicable to just about any show.
Who else made the list? Can anyone help us out here?