Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Now that Cottonwood is done and on the books and I'm semi-recumbant I'll put in the details.
This was not a first time show for me as I've done it a few times now and generally, it's been trending upwards. So, it was with some thoughts of hope and trying I returned to the DFW metroplex and after all Nels had such a glowing report about FW last week I was feeling pretty positive! The weather the weekend prior to this show was pretty bad in the Dallas area and I figured people would want to get out and see the art. They did get out in big numbers but maybe they were only there to see the art and not buy so much. So, first the facts:
Show Hours and Dates: Cottonwood Arts Festival, Richardson, TX. May 2 - 3. 10-7 Sat, 10-5 Sun,
The show is set up in Cottonwood Park in Richardson, TX, a NE suburban area of Dallas. They started allowing artists to come in and set-up on Thursdays which is a big help as the one road into the park gets exceedingly congested if you wait till Friday. They let "big rigs" in around 11 or 12 and others at 3. I showed up too early at 3 and waited in line till 5. I usually show up at 5 on Thursday and get in with very little wait time. I also noted that on Friday they now have parking on BeltLine road which is something new. This is not a show for type "A's" as far as load-in and load-out is concerned. You need to be patient and play well with others!
Lots of water, snacks and volunteer booth sitters for the occasional break. Additionally, the show hosted a great dinner on Friday night. The snacks seem to be something they didn't have before and it is growing! The local Boy Scouts 1001 come out to help by donation with loading and they are well supervised.
Storage, Booth Space, Load-In/Out:
Booths are a generous 13 x 13 so there is plenty of space on the sides if you cooperate with your neighbor for a side opening and plenty of space behind for storage. Tip: Good idea to keep your boxes, etc. in back of the tent for quicker pack-up!
This was a slow show. I had noticed that the show was trending upwards for me over the last several years but did not continue that trend this year. Not to say there weren't lots of people. This show has, in my experience, always had a good turn out, except for the first year I did it when a large cold front moved in and the weather hovered around 50! People seemed to be buying my low end ($25) and mid range ($85-95) but not enough to make this even an "average" show.
Quality/Range of Art:
This was a very tight show in terms of quality. Maybe a few booths were not up to the same level as the rest but those were the exceptions. The quality of art at this show has always been pretty consistent. I hope it stays that way!
Lots of variety; the usual "fair" food and some nicer food trucks. It seems to be a newer thing that these gourmet food trucks are at the shows now. They offer a much nicer selection then the usual gyro or foot long corn dog.
This was not a first time show for me and although it didn't go so well this year I'd still consider doing it as the quality is good and they take good care of the artists. It is a nice validation of ones work to be selected for this show as the quality is so good.
Okay, now for the Dave Piper star rating! I'd give this show ✩✩✩✩ out of 5 and that is because of the nice job of logistics by the volunteers, great amenities, booth sitting, etc. As far as the buying goes, I'd give it half ✩. This was the fifth show I have done this year, the first three were stinkers and Bayou was not so great either!