Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
The Naples Art Association has listened to your concerns and read your comments about the 2012 Mercato Fine Arts Festival earlier this month. Thank you for your professionalism and understanding in what was a challenging weekend for all involved. The decision to cancel the second day of the festival was made with the best interests of everyone in mind, and we are sorry if any artist felt put off. I assure you it was not the intent of any member of our staff. Rather, we recognize the impact this had on you and want to offer you a special reduced rate on next year’s show.
Looking back on the festival and regarding our decision, we considered the severe weather forecast, the potential risk to the artists, customers and the Mercato complex as a whole, the damage that had already occurred and the potential for further damage.
The forecast for the day called for gale force winds of 35 - 40 plus miles per hour. The wind was more of a factor along some parts of the show lay out than others given the directionality of the gusts and the position of the buildings. Some areas were like a wind tunnel while others were not affected as severely. Many artists lost inventory on Saturday, and we did not want to put artists at risk for further loss when the weather was forecasted to be much worse on Sunday. Early Sunday, artists’ tents were blowing over – into other artists’ tents and to the ground – and staff members and volunteers were rushing around helping artists protect their art and equipment. Some artists still lost valuable property. We made the call to close and began helping artists load out.
When the rain stopped and the sun came out, the weather seemed to clear up. Unfortunately the winds were still very strong and continued to be so for the rest of the day. Once the decision to close the festival was made, Mercato officials requested that the street be cleared as quickly as possible.
A decision in the midst of a situation like this has many considerations. Please know we made the call with broad perspective and with you in mind. We understand the hardship an artist feels when you’ve planned for a weekend of selling opportunity and half of that potential is cancelled. As professional artists in the festival business, I’m sure that inclement weather is a familiar risk to you.
The 2013 Mercato Fine Arts Festival will be a growing year. We’re offering 2012 Mercato artists an extra incentive to be a part of it. The jury process will stay in place because it helps keep the balance of artwork and is a fair way to continue allowing other artists the opportunity to participate. If you decide to apply and are juried into the 2013 Mercato Fine Arts Festival, the Naples Art Association will reduce your booth fee by $100.
The Naples Art Association wants you to succeed at our festivals. We’re a nonprofit organization driven by our mission to support the arts and help connect our community with top quality artists. Looking to the future, we have a renewed focus on building Mercato. Located in a high-traffic, affluent shopping area during the height of season, we feel this festival, having just finished its third year, has not reached its full potential. Thank you for your art, your talent and your constructive conversation; it helps us better see things from an artist’s point of view. With improved festival planning, new marketing ideas and taking your ideas into account, this show can grow.
If you choose to comment, we appreciate your keeping all notes civil, constructive and on topic. If you would like to speak privately or share additional ideas you are welcome to email PR Director Kathleen Taylor at Kathleen.Taylor@naplesart.org.
To your future success and future festivals with us,
The Naples Art Association