Art Fair Insiders

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

I just completed a review on this show for which I have done twice now. I loved where this show was done. It is on the courthouse square which has a huge grassy area with nice walks all around so set up is nice with wide sidewalks for people to meander though the shows in mostly shaded area.

The hitch to all of this was that during setup of our booths on Friday all the walks around the outside were blocked with picnic tables and no one could use them to get access to their booth. This made for an uneasy way of getting your booth walls or any larger items to your booth area on any kind of wheeled cart. I have a furniture cart and it would in no way go over the grass area, thus I had to carry them by myself across the way to my booth.

That being said, it was my only negative about this show other than my sales, it was a great show. I was surprised three times with one, a visit from two of the gentleman who voted me into the upcoming St. James show in Louisville, KY. They were very encouraging. Two the visit from the whole panel of judges who were considering me for Best in Show. It was fun getting to tell them about the process I used to create the piece the were considering and Third, a return visit from the ribbon bearing team bringing me a !st Place in my category for that piece that they were looking at for the prior ribbon. No, I did not get the Best in Show but it was an honor to even be considered.

The committee hosting the show provided an breakfast both morning of the show. It was filled with fruits and homemade goodies and a wonderful egg casserole, coffee and juice.

I really enjoyed the neighboring artist and we all learned much about other shows as we had time to visit one another.  

The real downer about this show again this year was my sales margin. I did not have one. Really, I sold a greeting card on Saturday. The 1st place got me enough to cover booth and entry fees so I did not drown but it was a little discouraging. Sunday was better but not great. This has happened two years in a role now so I will have to think hard about going back.

The work of loading and unloading, setup and tear down, loading and unloading again being careful to not damage my art is a lot to consider when it comes to not making sales that make it worth my efforts. Not to mention all the work that goes into making your art.

I am a christian. I believe things happen for a reason. I am confident that all that I walk through is being filtered by the Lord for my good. After I left the show, and now rested for several days, I am believing that my art is not selling because I will need it for St James Art Show.  It will be my first year and I am being told by all who know much about the show that I will be overwhelmed by sales there so I guess I will just be happy for that and move on to the next show believing that the Lord is in control and I will walk in that and see what happens. I have up to this point made enough to cover my expenses and only sold my smaller pieces which should not effect the bigger show at St James. 

The number of people attending was great. Continual flow all the time both days. I was busy talking to people much of the time. Everyone was very encouraging of my pieces. 

The jurors from St James did say that this show is always filled with  high ranking art and a great variety. I would agree with this even though this is only my second year to this show. I have been very impressed with the quality of art that is in it. 

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Comment by Paula Decker Haynes on June 11, 2016 at 12:10pm

Thanks Christina L. Towell and Kathleen J. Clausen. I am not sorry that I did this show at all. It is such a good one and yes I did receive so much in other ways. 

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on June 10, 2016 at 12:52pm

What a great positive attitude!  Congratulations on your award!  That is always so exciting and a great boost in confidence.  Ditto Christina's take on St. James.  Also what an honor for the St. James judges to have paid you a visit and voted you in!

Comment by Christina L. Towell on June 10, 2016 at 9:55am

I enjoyed reading your recap of the La Grange Show, Paula, and although you didn't do as well as expected, financially, you did win a prize and you met and networked with other artists which is a benefit that can't be measured monetarily.  I think you're right about looking forward to St. James, you'll have so much more to sell there now and if the jurors are correct about it, you should do very well. Thanks and wishing you future success.

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