Art Fair Insiders

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

Annual Report - 2014 AFI Community Art Stars

You've been busy, telling tales, giving advice, and sharing images of life on the road. As Barrie Lynn Bryant would say, "WOO HOO!" They will win the coveted "Community Star" award.

The votes for our survey have been tallied and the winners are: 

  1. Choose your favorite post.
    Who will be Writer of the Year? There were 13 "Post of the Month" nominated and the winner is: Barry Bernstein for Barry Goes Back to College: Life in the Twilight Zone

  2. Which Member would you most like to meet?
    This was an open-ended question with no nominations. The best answer:
    "All of them - preferably over cocktails", with many votes for wanting to meet everyone.
    The winner: Nels Johnson (he narrowly edged me out)

  3. Who is the most helpful person on Generous, kind, knowledgeable and helpful?
    This was an open-ended question with no nominations.
    The winner: Larry Berman

  4. What discussion has been the most helpful to you?
    The most popular answers:
    --1st person accounts about shows done or visited & the reviews
    --Booth set ups and critiquing
    --Staging a booth and photographing for the jury
    --Larry Berman's jury process explanations
    --Jennifer Ivory's blog about Bayou City
    --Credit Card machine podcast
    --Tent discussions, what to buy, how to set up, weights, handling the wind
    --Greg Strachov's Intellectual Property Theft
    --Podcast about booth shots
    --All the business side of shows discussions
    --just knowing there are others in the same boat

    In other words: the reviews, the tech tips, the equipment info, the business info all contribute. It is the variety and the depth of the information that brings people to the site.

  5. Which member's commentary do you always read?

    --Barry Bernstein, Larry Berman, Nels Johnson, and Jim Parker (sorry, but it's a boys club)
    --of course....Nels- it's in caps for god sake......pulls you right in.
    --All who remark about specific shows and their experiences at them
    --Nels Johnson, though he often ticks me off
    And the winner is: Nels Johnson

  6. Why did you join

    -- "I originally joined to get info about which Art Fairs to apply to. What I received was that and much more! I have learned so much about how to apply, what to look for in choosing a fair, how to photograph my jewelry and booth, how to stay upbeat at a bad show, and more!"
    -- "To gain perspective and insight from others"

    and why I think AFI has been successful: "
    For the company, the information and the fun of it."

  7. Honorable mention to these members in particular who hang in there and add interesting content and comments: Jim Parker, Richard Sherer, Robert Wallis, Greg Little, Geoff Coe, Oscar M Linares, Chris Hoyt, Barrie Lynn Bryant, Melanie Rolfes, Carrie Jacobson. Please tell me who I missed ...

In January 2014 we crossed the 10,000 member mark. If you're a history lover you might enjoy this background post: 10,000 Artists and Counting. 

Some of my favorite posts on the site are the ones where we really touch and share one another's day to day lives.

Our most popular 2014 podcast was: Taxes! Artists and Bookkeeping with members Alison Thomas and Leo Charette sharing their expertise.

You can always find the podcasts at either, or at iTunes, where you can download them and listen while you work. 

The most popular video was "How to Profit when the Booth Fee is High", featuring Christina and Mikel Robinson's tips. You can find our videos here on AFI in the video channel or in our YouTube channel, Art Fairs.

In Memoriam:
People well loved in the art fair business died in 2014, among them my very dear friend photographer Bill Coleman, show producer Tim Reilly, Marc Duke's wife Linda Duke, sculptor Jim Myford, JoAnne Hauser-Warren as she was traveling to fellow artist Kae Taylor's memorial service, caricaturist Walt Majewski, Joan Morro died and her husband Frank was severely injured as they traveled to an art fair, Rebecca Teilhet killed while hiking in Colorado after Cherry Creek, potter Jim Barbagallo and Leslie Jensen, partner of painter Brian Jensen. Visit In Memoriam on this site for more information.

My personal thank you to everyone who participates on this site. Your kindnesses to me are very much appreciated. I wish I could thank each and everyone who has generously shared their time to help others here, the list is endless.

Please know that even if you are not mentioned above I watch for your name to pop up on the site and am always glad to see you.

P.S. Things would not run so smoothly without the excellent help of Jacki Bilsborrow, Tina Towell and Larry Berman. Thanks, guys. And thanks to the show organizers who advertise with us and make this all possible. Love you, everyone!

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Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on February 2, 2015 at 11:00pm

Is this your "State of the Art Fair Insider Address?"  It seems like everybody is trying to do a "State of the___________" to mirror the State of the Union Address.  This is a very nice 2014 wrap up.

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 30, 2015 at 2:33pm

Thanks for not calling me on misspelling your name, Barrie -- just saw that error and it has been corrected.

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on January 30, 2015 at 1:26pm

And I think Oscar's post about prejudice was TOPS since that's a universal problem relating to every person on the planet every minute of every day. At the time he posted it, there had recently been a discussion on AFI wherein many members commented about how certain artists dress and even mentioned how they wouldn't buy merchandise from someone based upon their clothing (but I bet they would sell to anyone regardless of clothing.) I enjoyed (for lack of a better word) Gregory Strachov's blog about photography somewhat, but I'm not really that concerned with someone photographing my art and then trying to copy it--good luck.

I did read mostly those in the boys club. The BB Goes to College thread got pretty serious. Those kind of accusations are serious. People can go to jail for that stuff. So the situation was absurd and I'd be happy to never see that professor or those students ever again.

I want to meet Robert Wallis--hello, Bob! And re-meet Connie (we sorta met in Leeper Park in '08 or '09, apparently. I met Jim Parker (and his wife) and Nels and Greg Little (and his wife) this year. Glad I got to do so and I look forward to seeing them again soon at the shows. I am the outgoing type. WOOHOO!

Comment by Connie Mettler on January 30, 2015 at 11:17am

Right, on all counts, Barry. There was so much wonderful information from Jim, Richard Sherer, Robert Wallis, Greg Little, Geoff Coe, Oscar M Linares, Chris Hoyt, Barrie Lynn Bryant, Melanie Rolfes, ETC (even hate to list names because I know I'm missing some wonderful people). I was hard pressed to present this wrap up in a format that was short enough that people would read it. Could have gone on and on ... all the good questions, all the good answers. Posts that get overlooked that are full of helpful information.

Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 30, 2015 at 10:23am

Some of this I would have chosen differently. By far, the best post of the year should have gone to Greg Strakov. My posts were entertaining and mostly a psychological release. I still think about how I went into it with preconceived notions and came out a fan of Professor Kakas, who reminded me of the importance of being professional. Greg's post was extremely well written and had the most substance of any post here. Also, because of his low key manor, he will not win a popularity contest, but, the person I like the most of anyone here, is Jim Parker. You want to meet Nels for the laughs and the great fun and energy he brings. You want to meet Jim Parker for his warmth and his great attitude. And, he gives a lot of good photography advice to the photographers. He should get a special award. Then there is Larry Berman, who everyone should read and take his advice about images and booth shots and everything related. He is a real service to this web site.

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