Art Fair Insiders

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

Bonita Springs National Art Show— Steady sales all show long, for most

This is the third show of the season produced by the Art Center of Bonita Springs.

They do one in early January, which I blogged, one in February,which I did not do, and one in March, which was my first time doing.

I was invited to their first one over 20 years ago which was held at a different location.

Now it is held on Old Highway 41 right in the heart of Bonita Springs. Booths are mostly on pavement with others on grass in a beautiful park setting, about 200 exhibitors.

This is a trendy area with lots of people with disposable income.Many are midwesterners who we see in the summer.

This year, after being shut off by Covid, they were out eagerly buying big statement pieces in all media.

I saw numerous six foot plus pieces go by me both days.  Saw lots of big sculpture and glass go by.

My potter neighbors from Colorado wrapped pieces continuously both days.

The Photographer across from me sold two huge framed pieces on Sunday, they were elated.

I had a strong January show here, selling over 20 framed pieces.

This Show more sales came out of the print bins and only sold small frames, 16x20.

Had an equally great show and ate well all three nights at my favorite restaurant there.

The only negative I can say about this show is their lack of spacing between booths.  There was none, I just do not get that in this time of Covid. Every other show I have done this year had six foot spacing.

Luckily, over 95 per cent of the patrons wore masks.  Thank God.

All exhibitors were masked and armed with sanitizers.

Every time I took a credit card, I sanitized afterwards. Every sale I sanitized and offered all my patrons the same.  Most took me up on it.

At restaurants and bars it was a different deal. Almost nobody came in masked before sitting.  Most ignored social distancing. It was like they could not be bothered.

I got my first vaccine last Tuesday, the Moderna. I still mask, socially distance and wash my hands constantly. I feel safe, I just wish more others would do the same.

It is a real problem all over Florida.

Still, after all the shows that have gone on this season, I do not know of one artist who has caught the Covid, so we must be doing a real good job.

This is a great time for us artists out there.  We do not have all the usual competition from all the great talent on the circuit.

People are tired of being cooped up and they are coming out to shows and buying big.

Here is my one example.

A couple came into my booth and were hooked on my one photo showing mileage distances from exotic locations that was done in Key West.

The wife liked my 16x20 matted photo which was priced at $90.00.

Then, the husband responded, “Honey isn’t that a little small for the space?”

She said, “Yeah.”

So he pointed to my 20”x30” same photo printed on metal, priced at $500.00.

He said, “Doesn’t this look better.”

She said, “Hell, yes.”

They took it within a blink of the eye.

And that has been how it is going all season long.

It is a great time to be an artist.

This weekend I venture off to Vero Beach, which ironically was my last show in 2020. It was cancelled at the end of the first day.

I plan on making up for lost time.

When I had no shows last summer, I started a new body of handcolored work.

It is strongly selling, and I am so grateful.

So keep your heads up, stay real healthy and get out and do some shows, this is a rare opportunity to make some heavy moola.

People are hungry for art.

Later, gators.

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Comment by Nels johnson on March 9, 2021 at 5:54pm

The photo at the top is one of my oldie Goldie’s.  

Titled “Grandpa and Paris.”I did it in Hawaii in 1974 when I was in the Army there.  Lived right across from Sunset Beach.

Grandpa Takaki lived in his bathrobe all the time.  He would come out once a day to feed the 20 feral cats that lived on the roof.

This one time he just sat down like a royal emperor and my neighbor Paris sat beside him.  I t was grab shot and it came out great.

I recently had a black and white slide scanned of this, I Then output it and handcolored it.

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