Art Fair Insiders

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

(photo by Melanie Maxwell,

It was hot. It was cold. It was windy. It was rainy and windy. It was great weather. Typical Michigan summer days and the veterans, artists and shoppers were ready.

It was crowded. The streets were empty. The sales were "best ever". The sales made others say, "I'll never return." Or, "it was a good two day show, but actually four days." Nonetheless, it is a very big deal and worth a try at least once, imho. 

I attended the show every year from 1976 until 2015 and exhibited there from 1978 to 2006. You might say I've learned a lot. Hope you like these photos from and I look forward to hearing more from you:

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Comment by Connie Mettler on August 7, 2017 at 5:33pm

Okay, I'll remember that, Greg, the next time I see you at an art fair.

Comment by Greg Little on August 7, 2017 at 10:54am

I'm not sure I really want to know where they keep their credit cards...and I don't think i would want to accept one if the pulled it out

Comment by Christina L. Towell on August 7, 2017 at 9:43am

Well, it's usually so hot that one would consider disrobing but I think I'd leave my shoes on...yeesh, and like Donald said, where do you keep your credit cards?  Ha,ha...

Comment by Barry Bernstein on July 31, 2017 at 2:10pm

I talked to a number of people who did the original Ann Arbor show and they all said the same thing. It was sparsely attended and sales were the worst ever. As long as they keep deluding themselves into thinking their show is the greatest, nothing is going to change for the better. Your title should have read "Ann Arbor lives down to expectations.

Those shots you are referring too were taken on North University at the original show in front of Hill Auditorium.

Comment by Connie Mettler on July 31, 2017 at 10:12am

I'd say, Barry, that it is like any other show, some great sales, some slow sales. How about a report from Main St. You are such a good writer. Be brave.

Greg, it is a tradition. If you clicked on the link for the photographer you'd get more info. Matthew Hatala some years ago posted photos here from his booth at AA. They're pretty sneaky and fast ... I recognize the location of this particular shot. It is on State Street in the heart of many closed streets at the fair. I think that is usually where he stages these "shoots."

Comment by Greg Little on July 29, 2017 at 10:36am

Does AnnArbor have any laws about all these people Flaunting the Flab?

Comment by Barry Bernstein on July 27, 2017 at 10:48pm

Does anyone think that Maureen Riley is going to say anything bad about the show she runs? Someone I trust, who has done the original for many years, told me it was the worst ever for serious buyers. Btw, the weather was great. The forecast called for thundershowers every day. There were none. It rained for about 5 minutes. The only gust of wind was at take down. There was some damage to a few booths because it hit during that time where people were taking their tent down and had removed their weights.

Comment by Donald Golden on July 26, 2017 at 12:04pm
Absolutely no way I would stand for any of these people to come in to my booth at Ann Arbor.......not a place to stash a credit card or wad of cash on any of them!!! Lol
Comment by Connie Mettler on July 26, 2017 at 9:45am

Ever curious about the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, here is a link for more stories about this show, not only a quote from Maureen Riley and her take on the Original but other stories also:

And did you know that Harvey Drouillard has been taking photos of nudes strolling through the crowds at Ann Arbor since 1994 ... here are some cool shots:

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