Art Fair Insiders

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

There has been a bit of negativity on the sight lately and I totally understand...a few bad shows in a row will rock you, make you wonder if it's all worth it and make you question your sanity-Ha! I find that most of the time when that happens I just wait it out and pack up and head out to the next show. It sort of becomes an addiction I think....If I'm home for a while I get antsy and crave a road trip...but give me a few shows that suck and I just want to hunker down with a good book and get off the grid for a while. 

This post is about something that happened to me a while back that I just want to share, maybe it will help your outlook, maybe it won't, but it recently made me realize why I love doing shows so much and why I keep doing them. Believe me I am no big moneymaker. 

Three years ago I was exhibiting at Coconut Grove. I had a pretty good show and on the last day an artist came up to me and said she liked my work, we talked for a while and she said she was exhibiting in a different area and I loved the work on her card, so I said yes. She said to come down and trade and then she would come back and get the piece she was eyeing. I said, just take it now, I trust you. I wrapped it and gave it to her. I was by myself with limited help and I put her card in my pocket. Later when I had a bit of a slag, I pulled it out and by mistake I think I pulled out another card from someone else or else I lost her card.. Long story short...I could never find this artist and I just chalked the loss up to my stupidity and guilelessness of handing over my work to someone I didn't really know.

There have been many posts about scams on here and I have often thought about writing about this one but I never did. I somehow felt that if someone did this then I deserve it and also I thought that my usually good instincts just didn't follow the path I thought that day.

Fast forward to Kentuck this year, which by the way,  I reviewed last year, and is one of my favorite shows for a myriad of reasons.Great people, nice atmosphere, great combination of folk and contemporary art. A great director and support system running the show...and besides all that....I won a Merit Award...what more could you ask for.

Sunday morning as usual, I go to get some coffee from the artist's tent and when I come back there is a note on my display table. It says " I owe you a two hundred dollar painting" .Well, for the life of me I couldn't figure what this was about. When I got a break I went to the number on the piece of paper. I recognized the work right away.  Leslie Peeples is a wonderful printmaker and she explained that she owed me a piece from Coconut Grove and wondered why I never came to get the one she owed me. She had hoped that we would meet up on the road but this was the first time she had seen my name at a show she had been at. I was blown away....totally blown. I had put this to bed long ago thinking it was my mistake and karma had turned it full circle and made it right.

And the piece of art...oh my god, it was like she did a piece of art that was completely directed at was a intaglio that said " I was blessed by cranes. I dreamed I had to train my replacement when I lost my job as an art teacher and decided to become an artist. They asked me to dance and we danced and I knew everything would be ok." There was a bit more to it than that... but that was my life on a piece of art. That happened to me five years know the drill...bring in a recent college grad, befriend and train her for a few years, she wants your're out -she's in (at a lower salary). You get the gist. And sometimes believe it or not, in hindsight-it's the best thing that has ever happened to you... but during the upheaval you are broken for a while. This piece of art will be precious to me forever. 

Anyway....I guess I just wanted to say thank you to the universe and to Leslie who was and is a kindred soul and Kentuck and to Connie and the AFi community and this life blood lovely site.  I hope this makes you smile and makes  you believe that everything works out in the end as it should. I hope this isn't too convoluted or's a bit personal and this is not what this site is for... but I hope it's ok to post and that you too will realize that magic in life still and always will happen. 

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Comment by Bill Coleman Entertainment on November 25, 2015 at 11:16am


Comment by Sandy Walker on November 15, 2015 at 8:46pm

Glad you decided to share this story Marge! Definitely not too personal for those of us who put our hearts and souls out there on the art show circuit. Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on November 8, 2015 at 7:53pm

Thanks for the story Marge.  We all need to hear some great inspirational positive stories.  It helps to keep us from becoming too cynical of people.  Enjoy your new piece of art work.

Comment by Joel Lockridge on November 6, 2015 at 10:53pm

Now that's just beautiful. I love a happy ending!

Comment by becky blair on November 6, 2015 at 4:34pm
That's a really beautiful story, Margaret! So glad the planets aligned for you and karma was kind! Thanks for sharing!
Comment by Christina L. Towell on November 6, 2015 at 8:21am

What an incredible story, Margaret, so happy you shared it with us...truly inspirational, will be thinking about it all day.

Comment by Camryn Forrest on November 5, 2015 at 3:24pm

Love this story. Thanks!

Comment by margaret luttrell on November 5, 2015 at 10:04am

Thanks so much Connie, and Annette and Carrie.....wondered if I went out too far on a limb here...glad it's ok. 

Comment by Connie Mettler on November 5, 2015 at 9:46am

Thank you, Marge, for this wonderful story. I also have a piece of someone's work that he never collected on the trade ... will likely never see him again.

This site is about personal too -- didn't you see all the posts when my husband died in the Spring? The personal is important, and I believe one of the reasons we do shows, all the kindred souls.

I have a piece of yours sitting here on my desk (think we are both literal learners because we choose work that has writing in it) that says, "Very great change starts from very small conversations, held among people who care." That's us! That's what makes this site work and be helpful to so many. 

Next year I have to go to Kentuck. 

Oh btw, hello Carrie and SO great to see you pop up, Annette. 

Comment by Annette Piper on November 5, 2015 at 7:01am

Restores your faith in humanity <3

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