The artists have spoken and the Art Fair SourceBook has announced its Top art fairs for 2010 chosen on the basis of reported artist sales at the year's art festivals. Hundreds of art fairs receive from Art Fair Sourcebook pre paid green postcards that the event organizers pass out to their participating artists. In turn, if an artist feels like reporting their sales they can fill it out and mail it in. Some artists make it a practice to fill them out and others never do this.
When you are trying to determine whether or not to apply to an art fair what is your main criteria? I hope it is MAKING MONEY. Therefore, Greg Lawler, originator and owner of AFSB, decided that would be the main criteria of his list. Smart thinking.
Here are Greg Lawler's 2011 Art Fair SourceBook Top Shows:
Congratulations to these excellent events. These ten events range from the excellently well-run small town event in Belleville, IL, run by an entirely volunteer base to some lollapalooza big deal events such as the NO Jazz and Heritage Festival (a truly destination event that attracts international visitors) with a few other goodies thrown in. La Quinta is in a lovely setting in a wealthy area of Palm Springs with a $12 gate fee; Arts, Beats & Eats has resurrected the art fair business in Michigan with last year's blockbuster attendance; Long's Park is a favorite Labor Day weekend destination for people near the East Coast; Fort Worth's event is a big deal four day festival that brings visitors from seemingly recession-proof Texas; St. Louis is a purely art affair set in an affluent neighborhood "owned" by its community partners; Sausalito is a professionally run four-day event with $20 admission; Bonita Springs is set in an affluent neighborhood where the locals know they "need" to attend and collect the goods presented there.
Hmmm...three of these shows are on the same weekend! Five of the events are four days long giving artists longer to gather sales. Only two of them are two day events--got to make those days just lovely!
Art fairs love to boast about their ratings from AFSB. Here are a few recent articles:
Salem Art Fair, Salem, OR: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20110211/OPINION/102110331/1048/This-week-s-winners-losers-news