Art Fair Insiders

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

Artigras, Jupiter,Fl—-Requiem for an Art Show, long past it’s glory

I have done this show more than 25 times since the early 90’s.

But, it is time to say aloha.  It no longer works for me, and also does not work for many others.

The attendees pay a $13 entrance fee and then walk down the middle of the road without looking or going into many booths.  Go figure.

I guess they are easily entertained in Jupiter.

In it’s day this was a major show with sales easily in The &5K-$7k range.

Sadly those days are long gone.

I have reviewed this show many times so you can check my previous blogs for basic info about this threeday show.

Basically, the main flaw for this $500 booth fee show is that there are way too many exhibitors for too few of buyers.

That is it in a nutshell.

Artists who sell big ticket items can make out ok at this show.  Three or four sales and they have a great show.

Guys like me with lower price points (mine are $30-$500) need 30-50 customers to have a good show.

Sadly they are not there for me.

There are always exceptions to this.

My good friend John Leben, a talented digital artist, kills there, and he has modest price points.

He is a very lucky man.

Frankly, paying a high booth fee, having to spend big bucks for lodging, plus pricey restaurants does not  work when I only yield way less than $2k in sales.

This Show has been sliding for years

It is time to cut it loose.

I realize there are probably five people waiting to take my space.

God bless them, but we will see how long they last before cutting it loose.

Trouble is the show does not care.  Bigger is better, no way they will reduce the number of artists.

Sorry to end on a negative note, but I am just telling it like it is.

Feel free to weigh in with relative comments, pro and con.

On a final positive note, if you go and then are looking for a great place to eat seafood at reasonable prices, do not overlook Old Florida Tavern restaurant on the Main Street in downtown Jupiter.

Double shots of Tito’s for $7, woo-hoo!

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Comment by Paul Flack on March 15, 2019 at 10:45am

Nels my friends, speaking truth to power, my experience with the FLA shows for Jan.-March is the same. Way down from past years. The statement of artists packing up at 4:30 says it all. I respect your honesty. I hope the nasty trend in FLA isn't shared throughout the country otherwise there are going to be a lot of family emergencies in 2019. Artists need to learn to vote with their feet, it is the only voice we have. 

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 22, 2019 at 12:02pm

Good for you, John. One of the puzzles of this business, who makes the sales and where. From reading I'd guess that more high end sellers should be applying to the show. If your final tally needs to be volume, not so good.

I visited and shopped this show last year. We used to do it way back. It was never a great show for us, but backup for the Grove. After seeing it last year I'd have to agree that it could use 25-50 fewer booths. I think the people who like to shop at the show wouldn't even notice. Who would notice? The organizers. It is a lot of real estate to cover in a day. What I did notice was their emerging artist section and it had several people whose work was better than at least half of the juried section. 

Comment by Nels johnson on February 22, 2019 at 6:39am

You were one of the very lucky ones.

Comment by John Leben on February 21, 2019 at 9:35am

My experience at this show demonstrates how different the experience can be among artists. I had a GREAT show, as my friend, Nels has already stated in his review. I sold $7800... twice my take from last year, and I won an award that seemed to impress a few people.  I've done this show for the past five years, so I don't have the history that Nels has, but I love this show. Its always been good to me. I think it's well run, it is easy to get in and out, parking is close, and it brings real buyers to the show. It costs $13 just to get in, and $22 for a weekend pass, so, a lot of those people are coming to buy art. 

My booth was close to the middle, and the other exhibitors around me seemed to be pretty satisfied. Another digital artist I admire, Dewey James, had a good show as well. So... it varies... maybe because of location... who knows... 

Anyway, Nels and I usually have similar experiences at shows, so I don't know what happened at this one, but, for me, and for a lot of other artists, this was a good show, and I would recommend it to others. 

Comment by Linda McGurn on February 21, 2019 at 9:13am

I agree with everyone, this use to be a good show for me, now too many booths plus the pricee of the booth fee just isn't worth it. I was able to stay with a friend, so no motel bills, but still don't think that I will be back.

Comment by Nels johnson on February 20, 2019 at 6:43pm

It is because the show sucks royal canalwater

Comment by Barry Bernstein on February 20, 2019 at 11:21am

One last thing Nels, everyone around me started packing up at 4:30. I've never seen that before. Usually, people would wait til the end because there is always a chance that someone would come back at the last minute. It happens all the time. Exhibitors couldn't wait to get out of there.

Comment by Nels johnson on February 20, 2019 at 9:45am

THe bottom line is this.

I give useful info about the show so that newbies who are considering doing it can make an informed decision.

And frankly, I do not see many people out there doing it.

Thanks for your input Barry.

You are a pro and your insights are crucial.

We all will live to fight another day.

Comment by Nels johnson on February 20, 2019 at 9:22am

Patti, God love ya.

Go make something yummy in the kitchen and chill out.

Do not speak for me.


Comment by Barry Bernstein on February 20, 2019 at 9:16am

Patti, I kind of agree with Nels. There are too many exhibitors and a lot of god awful crap. Cutting out 50 booths would be a start. $625 is too high a booth fee. I had a decent first day and won an award on the second morning and thought that this was going to be a solid weekend. Then I did a total of $200 the last two days. Shouldn't winning a prize increase ones sales? The guy across from me won an award and he sold nothing after that. Go figure. One of the directors was asking me how to upgrade the quality of the exhibitors. My suggestion is going to be give all the exhibitors a cut of the gate. 10% would be good. People would be standing in line to get in if they did that.

I'll probably go back next year. I was invited back. I'll try and have larger higher end work that appeals to the group that Patti talked about.

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