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Uptown, Mystic, Kimball, Asheville -- great art fairs for August??

It is always interesting to see the PR that comes from the shows from the local media. Here are a few from this past weekend:

Not sure if this headline would make me want to attend this show in the Cleveland area: Lakewood Arts Festival a Sweltering Success...


We all know that the real biggie this weekend (650 artists at the main event and even more at two smaller events) is taking place in Minneapolis this weekend at the Uptown Art Fair. Here's what the CBS affiliate says:  350,000 People Crowd into Minneapolis Weekend Art Fairs.


Not sure about this one. The Mystic Outdoor Art Fair (CT) used to be pretty highly regarded so what do you think about this headline: Outdoor Festival to feature Children's Art


Then there is this ominous headline for the Park City (UT) Kimball Arts Festival, "Economy paints a darkening picture as artists arrive in Park City"...

But here's a more positive spin on that event, "Art festival partnerships benefit Park City",


And why don't we hear more hear about the Asheville, NC, Village Art and Craft Fair? Is it strictly a regional event? It is held on the grounds of the Biltmore Estate and partly sponsored by the prestigious New Morning Gallery... here are more details on this one:


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Comment by Nancy Klotzle on August 8, 2011 at 7:59am
Mystic was once a great show for many artists . A lack of interest in creative  promotion and the local/regional economy have brought it to its knees .Some people still do well .The children's  Art area  idea won't help sales of art & crafts .These things may bring more people for a "festival" but what is needed is education for the public on what unique and beautiful  stuff is for sale there !
Comment by Marc & Wendy Zoschke on August 8, 2011 at 9:42am

Uptown ended up being a good show for us this last weekend.  It was hot but not miserable like in Ann Arbor this year.  Sunday though the heat broke and was wonderful.

I don't usually add my two cents worth but I though this time I felt compelled.  I have one huge compliment and one small complaint about Uptown.  My wife and I have always taken pride in making our work by hand, and by just the two of us.  A trait that I am sure is felt by most of us trying to sell work that is not only a "product" that we sell to make a modest living, but also something that is meaning because it is made by our own two hands.  Anyway, Sunday I had learned that a wooden watch artist had been kicked out of the show for selling work that was not made by them.  I have seen their work at other fine art festivals, and had a gut feeling that was true.  It is a shame that they got into such a good show, taking away a space that could have been used by an artist who is trying to make a living with his/her own two hands.  Not just buying a bunch of stuff from South America and selling it as their own.  I applaud Uptown for having the guts to take the steps they did.  I went online last night after the show to check out more about them.  They an international website this is a fickin' company not two guys selling their work.  If your interested check it out.

While talking to other artists I also heard that they are going to be at other high end shows including Bayou City in Houston in the fall.  One of the directors I talked to from the show said when they were checking out the work the watches even had barcodes on them.  What??????  No kidding.


Comment by karen cooper on August 8, 2011 at 11:03am
Connie--not a critique, probably just a typo alert:  350 artists at Uptown, right?  I think the 650 number is the three shows combined.
Comment by Connie Mettler on August 8, 2011 at 11:13am
I stand corrected, Karen. I believe you are right. When we used to do Uptown there were over 500 exhibitors, but believe there are fewer now. There are always good tales to tell about these Mpls shows -- waiting for reviews... hello out there
Comment by will connor on August 8, 2011 at 12:51pm

650 exhibitors over 3 shows.  Sounds like Ann Arbor or St James.  Show which are too big and unfocused for my liking.  I'm curious to hear how sales went at Uptown.  

I think it's kind of sad that Uptown chose to focus publicity on former NFL Viking turned art fair photographer, even making him the "Commemorative Print Artist".  (I dare say there were  quite a few other artists at this show, who don't happen to be former football stars, that would have been more deserving.)  Does Uptown really think this is the way to bring in art buyers to their show?  Or are they just trying to attract bodies so they can tell their sponsors they brought in 375 thousand? To me this exemplifies an overall trend at many shows of dumbing down, down, down...

Comment by Lynn Kvigne on August 8, 2011 at 1:06pm

Marc and Wendy, thanks for that link.   Good to know what is passing for "handcrafted" these days.  I wonder if it's sanctioned by the parent company, or if those two guys just thought it was a good idea?  And Kudos to Uptown for kicking them out!!!



Comment by Marina Terauds on August 8, 2011 at 4:05pm
This wooden watch "artist" was in Park City at Kimball also(double booth). The same weekend as Uptown.
Comment by Marc & Wendy Zoschke on August 8, 2011 at 10:18pm
I just hope other shows see this and take a second look at these two "Artists"???
Comment by Jay McDougall on August 8, 2011 at 10:44pm

Being a wood artist (from MN who does not apply to Uptown) I rolled my eyes when I saw the Mistura Boys listed at the show. Bravo Uptown! It's been no secret for quite some time that these guys are resellers, but it's good to see a show with the moxie to give them the Heave Ho. And yes, I did see them on the Houston list for this fall. This piqued my interest, as I too will be in Bayou City. Spread the word.

Comment by geri a. wegner on August 8, 2011 at 11:22pm
Mistura had a booth, double I think, at Boca Art Museum festival. Has anyone contacted TPTB at Bayou City?


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