Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Hello Art Family! Here's a quick run down of Beaux Arts Festival on the University of Miami Campus and my last minute avoidance of Islamorada.
Beaux-- I love this show. I've participated the last 5 or so years in jewelry or in sculpture. I've done it when they moved the dates to early in January and when they moved the dates back to Martin Luther King's Holiday weekend. I love the campus, the relaxed vibe, even the trailer port-o-let they drag in for the weekend. I find the students to be young, vibrant and the future of our industry. Performance wise, sales have declined significantly. This year I made half of what I did in my initial showing at Beaux. Saturday had great energy and pizzazz, leaving me hopeful for a solid Sunday and a meet's expectations. However, Sunday was slow, strollers and kettle corn littering the campus. Who knows if it's Art Deco Weekend or other Miami events dragging customers and their buying energy away, but Sunday would have been a good day to clean the grout in my booth floor if I had a tile booth floor.
Friday check in and set up weather was bad; sweeping lines of deluge Typhoon style rains and big, bad, black clouds. The volunteers were hunkered down in the organization's tent. Saturday morning was met with a Tornado watch on the drive into the show. Yikes! I saw 4 or 5 booths that had been smashed by the mature palm trees loosing their fronds in the high winds. Maintenance was working hard to remove additional questionable limbs, but for a few artists, it was much too late. Buying energy was good on Saturday- but not a frenzy. Sunday was a brilliantly sunny, sometimes windy day with no buying energy at all (for my work and in my opinion). The artist breakfast is really great-- love to snag a bagel to eat during the last minute jewelry set up-- and it's both days. The passing out of water seemed a bit anemic and I never did see a booth sitter.
Love you Beaux, but I think I'm breaking up with you.
Islmorada-- The revived show has all the right moves, with good potential, and an absolute failure to deliver. I was not a fan of the move to the beachfront, even if classic car shows are held there-- it's not great for glass jewelry cases. It's apparently also not great for terrible on shore winds and severe weather. Communication from the show was prolific, if not a bit arrogant and self serving, and got steadily worse as the storms barreled down on show weekend. Good meaning promoters don't mean professional- deliver what they promise promoters. They rearranged the show around the resort it was held on-- off the beach, but I'm a planner and I like to know where my booth is, what set up is going to be like, and what to expect. Last minute scrambling on a shows part isn't horrific-- it shows poor prior planning to me. (I'm ex-military and live by the 7P's: proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.) With the severe weather forecast on set up day (SEVERE), and 35 mph winds gusting to over 50 mph on Saturday, I decided to pull out. I don't mess with mother nature. The after action report from an artist friend said Saturday was indeed bad-- dangerous even. Sunday saw no buyers at all. Sad, it really is such a beautiful place to visit.