Art Fair Insiders

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

Congratulations to these members of who make this online community the face of the art fair business for artists! Your votes from the blogs and private emails to me have been counted and the winners are:


Member of the Year: Larry Berman
Prompt, efficient, strategic answers to questions. Larry is the backbone of the site helping newcomers and veterans with the nuances of jury preparation: booth display, image quality and presentation and application tips.

Most Generous & Helpful: Elle Heiligenstein

"As a beginner rookie, Elle Heiligenstein has done more for my confidence than anyone. She possesses all of the qualities you mention." I miss her presence.

Runner up: Jim Parker

Other finalists: Robert Wallis, Larry Berman, Nels Johnson, Geoff Coe, Jim Parker

"Nels and Geoff are always available to provide helpful hints."


Best 2013 Post: "St. Louis Art Fair Mock Jury & Image Workshop 2013, Part 1", Robert Wallis

Runner up: A tie - Nels Johnson's "Why we do Art Shows (besides the money)- - Englewood, FL - - Its a Goodie" and Nels' 3 Part Series "The Grand Scheme Finally Revealed -- Everybody Gets Rich, Even Barry Bernstein"


Best Discussion: Booth Shots to show examples to newbies

Started by Shannon Blosser-Salisbury - 21,423 views and 13 pages of comments

Other favorites in general:

  • Show reviews & jury/booth displays
  • Discussions on jurying
  • Questions about individual shows which helps me with making choices


Judges' Choice: All a Newbie Needs to Know ... And More

Jim Parker - a useful digest with great links to give new artists a headstart in the business

Runners up:

  • Ouch - the ZERO show, Mary Johnston. This candid post explores the why we choose the shows we do and the sometimes discouraging results. It resonated with many artists. The resulting discussion is worth reading.
  • Erica Wagner, a newcomer to the business, posted about "A Rough Weekend in the Burbs." Her experience was universal for artists and the discussion was full of good advice as veterans weighed in.


Which member's commentary do you always read?

Nels Johnson

Runners up: Geoff Coe, Larry Berman

  • I always want to read Nels' Post they are always well written and informative. He always seems to be right on on most post.
  • I read them all. I read all of them. I read all of the blogs.


Which Member You Would Most like to Meet: Nels Johnson

"I would love to meet the trifecta: Nels, Barry and Geoff...I feel like I know them already. I have learned so much information from them."

"I'd love to sit down and share some beers with Nels."

Other finalists: Annette Piper, Richard Sherer, Barry Bernstein, Scott Pakulski, Melanie Rolfes


In case you missed it, John Leben brought a film crew to an art fair in 1984 and produced a documentary about our business that is a real treat to watch:


Does all of this talk get results? A few highlights:

By keeping AFI open for all to read (artists and show directors) the show organizers receive the feedback they need to understand the artists' needs and improve their shows.


Why did you join

  • Because I became a member of the has been worth it although the initiation is a bitch.
  • For the show poop
  • To get more familiar with the art fair community as I start my business, to learn from others' mistakes, and to be a part of a good thing!
  • To meet girls.
  • The helpful posts with many ideas, the comments to the posts. It seems as though everyone is ready to participate in discussions and the comments are from experienced art show participants
  • I LOVE being a part of the art circuit and I am so glad that AFI has come in to bring us together!
  • I love keeping up with what my art fair neighbors are doing. Also enjoy the insider humor.
  • to find better shows and find out the honest truth about ones I'm interested in doing! :D


I know this site is helpful to many of you, for which I am grateful. Consider as you are discussing the art fair business who is reading the site. Over and over I hear from art fair directors how the information you share on the site is affecting how they put together their events and they are reading, learning and changing their shows to make them places where artists want to be. You may not notice it but, bit by bit, you are changing this marketplace by your participation.

Many people keep this site alive and full of information, in addition to the people mentioned above thanks to Pat Finney who helps behind the scenes, Scott Pakulski, Oscar Matos Linares,  Alison Thomas, Bill McLauchlan, Linnea Lahlum, Geri Wegner, Greg Little, Brian Billings, Carrie Jacobson, Suzanne Ens and so many more, including everyone who participated in the Secret Santa project.

Thank you to my assistants, Jacki Bilsborrow who participates at AFI and keeps up to date, Sabrina Aughenbaugh who puts together the calls for artists and Tina Towell who keeps the discussion flowing.

Many thanks to all of you who have made this community flourish, not only those listed above but to all of you who taken the time to care, comment and share with one another.  Thanks for all your support to one another in this exciting art fair business. Community is what makes us strong.

May 2014 bring you all the blessings you deserve. See you at the show! Connie

Views: 304

Comment by Barry Bernstein on March 27, 2014 at 11:01pm

I want to call attention to Jim Parker, who should get a special reward for his contribution this past year. He did a little of everything and what he wrote was always honest, informative, and right to the point. He had two articles to pick from, so his vote got divided between the two. I related more to his trifecta article, so, that's the one I voted for. And, knowing Geoff, Nels, and me, I would pick Jim as the one member you should most like to meet. To me, he is the member of the year.

Btw, go Spartans!!

Comment by Geoff Coe on March 27, 2014 at 11:34pm

I second Barry's comment: Jim is the smartest guy in the room. And one of the nicest!

Comment by Christina L. Towell on March 28, 2014 at 9:25am

Congrats to the all rock!

Comment by Annette Piper on March 29, 2014 at 10:15pm

Congratulations one and all!   Every member is a winner in my opinion :D


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