But Of Course, We Just Don't Have Enough Art Fairs

Good grief.  Look what just hit our inboxes.

Plus Two NEW Festivals in Milwaukee, WI and New Buffalo, MI

Wouldn't you expect that a national level art fair director would know by now that there are too many art fairs?  That patrons are really becoming ambivalent about whether they attend or not, because it'll be  crazy easy to find one to go to next weekend instead?

How many artists have lamented the problematic nature of this fact (too many art fairs) right here on the pages of artfairinsider?  And that hour before the fair starts up again on Sunday morning, all summer long--what do artists talk about?  Too many art fairs.

But of course, the art fair director's money rolls in whether the patrons show or not.  If you plan on being the artist at all 17 of this director's shows, start prepping your checkbook--$465 in jury fees, $8220 in exhibitor fees.  Add another $425 if you're late.

I think artists by nature, are optimistic folks.  We KNOW, just absolutely KNOW, that if we get into those shows, the patrons will flock to our booth, we will sell tons of paintings/sculpture/photos/whatever, and it will never rain/hail/or hit us with a tornado during the entire show weekend.  Oh, and the police wont shut the show down early even IF the Cubs are playing in town that Saturday.

I don't want to tramp on your optimism.  But I do want to encourage you to sandwich your optimism with wisdom.

A phrase from my Nebraska-growing-up-days:  tight fisted.  I encourage you to use that approach with your jury dollars and exhibitor fees during 2012.   Less is more.  And that might just be an answer to the problem.

Thanks for reading.


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  • I'm looking for shows just a little further away from my 'hood to get away from the glut of shows, back to areas where the public isn't so bombarded by an overwhelming number of shows. I've been looking for shows that are special events within the community. I don't mind doing smaller less established shows, where the public is more appreciative. I talk to other artists at every show I attend, I've started my next summer list. It'll be interesting to see if this tactic pays off.

    zzzzzzz so la

  • Lynda--are you in the Chicago area?  Being an Iowegian (yeah, from Iowa) I am rapidly losing my desire to drive across the river for a Chicagoland show.  It used to be special to be included in a Chicago show--now--I'm doubting.

    Interestingly, isn't it happening in a parallel event?  Think college football and bowl games.  How many more hokie bowl game names can they come up with to send teams too that have six - six records?  The pin stripe bowl.  Really?  Sheesh.

    Promoters of all persuasion are apparently going to have to learn to say enough already---one of these days---but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen day after tomorrow.  It's going to take longer than that.

  • WAAAAYYYY TOOOOOO MAAAANNNYYY shows here in the Chicagoland area....aarrggghh! Some one pointed out there is no real good reason for the public to make a special effort to go to one show over another because there are so many of them here in Chicagoland. The public knows there will be another show just down this road and that road and four next weekend and six the weekend after that...and on and on and on....

  • Excuse me, I was looking for the Nels has issues thread...

  • Steph - the next art show we do together, let's have those face to face drinks!!! Spring Best of the NW????


  • What do you know, this is just like a real, face-to-face conversation. Well, a conversation over drinks, anyway. I love the meandering, personally.

  • MY FAULT -- I took the opportunity to go off topic -- sorry, guys. What a bad example I am.

    Too many art fairs -- carry on....

  • Nels, actually Geri is pretty much on target:

    "Are there too many of them, a big hell yes."

    I don't know that anyone else said it better!

  • Oh good grief!  Seems to me the title of the blog was  - 

    But Of Course, We Just Don't Have Enough Art Fairs

    Amdur wasn't even mentioned in the original post only hinted at.  And posts about push-ups and tequila are not off topic?  Speaking of negative reinforcement....

  • Threads, like conversations, have a tendency to drift to the areas in which people have common interests. As Geri says, the thread is about over-saturation of shows, not about Milwaukee and New Buffalo. The subhead is misleading, for sure, but the title defines the thread.

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