Art Fair Insiders

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

22nd Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival

Just got back from the first weekend of the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival in Albuquerque, NM. I had been looking forward to the show as I was wait-listed and then called three weeks prior to the show. The promoter, Ruth, and her staff were very helpful and always pleasant. Most of the artists were set up inside a huge tent while additional artists and food were outside. The weather was pleasant and warm with nary a drop of rain until we were packed up and ready to go on Sunday. The show is held in parallel with the Balloon Fiesta, a huge annual event. Crowds at the festival were good with people lined up at the entrance before opening. Unfortunately, I can't say that there was a lot of buying going on. Friday was a good day for me, I show black and white photography. There were no additional sales after that! The booth across from me featured functional ceramics, he sold in the $7-25 range but not a lot either. The booth next to mine was selling fire starters at a regular pace but they were in the $12-20 range and he had to hustle every minute. One metal sculpture sold several pieces to another exhibitor on Friday and that was it. He left early to fill online orders that he had pending. It does not specifically say that the artist must be present during the show and indeed at least one artist had a representative booth there without his presence. Some items looked like buy/sell. Exhibitors inside the tent did as poorly as those outside the tent. Overall, this show did not live up to the expectations that I had for it. ;-(

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Comment by steve appel on October 8, 2010 at 9:47pm
Thanks for you review. i sure it will help me decide what to do next year. i will be doing the rio grande show on thanksgiving and am looking forward to it. i have an xmas item and did quite well last year. i am sure you will see a report from that show in two months.
Comment by S. Travis Lindenbaum on October 8, 2010 at 8:38pm
What are fire starters? Is this a craft?

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