Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This was our first time showing at Cottonwood. The show is in a park surrounded by modest middle class homes and community. Richardson is a suburb of Dallas. We usually don’t do suburban shows especially in a park but Cottonwood has a great reputation and many well established artist do this show both in fall and in spring and continue to return year after year. Cottonwood lined up perfectly with Houston so we decided it was time to try the show.
Serri the show director communicates very well with everyone. All the info you need is on the website. I love when shows do this instead of having to dig through past email. The advertising and social media for Cottonwood is very well done. There are a lot of volunteers and they are well informed. The Boy Scouts and parents are there to help you load and unload. All day artist hospitality tent. Friday night there is an artist dinner but we didn’t go so not sure how it was but I was told there were margaritas. There is a great artist hotel, Courtyard for around $70 a night about 2 miles from the show.
The show runs Saturday 10-7 Sunday 10-5. Set up is Thursday and Friday. The show takes place at Cottonwood Park. There is no entrance fee but the show is fenced off and you had to go through a bag security search. I really like this. The people who attended the show were there for the show not just walking through the park. The booths are set up in rows, back to back with plenty of room. Most spaces are 13x13 roughly and on the grass in the park. You can not drive on the grass and there is one narrow road into the park. The majority of booths will need to dolly and some quiet far. Getting into the park and near your booth to unload requires time and patience.
You check in along a street adjacent to the park and get in line with your vehicle. Vehicles are allowed in as space opens up. You are given one hour to unload. They actually mark your windshield with booth space and time in. We decided to set up on Thursday. We got in line at 1 pm and got in at 3:10. Our booth was not far from the street so easy unload.
The boy scouts are there and volunteer to help dolly your work to your spot. Unfortunately on Thursday the 1 hour load in time limit was not enforced. There were 3 booths setting up around us and all three of those vehicles were there before we arrived and were still parked there after we had unloaded, gone and parked and completely set up.
We left at 6, so that means at least 3 prime parking spots were blocked for over 3 hours as artists sat for hours in line to get in. I am not sure how Friday load in goes, hopefully the time limit was enforced. Parking for this show is easy and close. Plenty of street parking on Thursday and Friday. Saturday and Sunday you park at the high school across the street. They have a shuttle if you need it but the lot is just across the street so we always walked.
The weather was very nice all weekend. If you had shade you were comfortable. If you didn’t then you were warm but the show set up extra shade tents in the middle of the aisle. There is a kids area, beer garden, music stage and food area. All of these areas were placed conviently to the art show but far enough away as to not interfere with the art booths. I was impressed with the layout.
The crowds were steady all weekend. Cottonwood loves their dogs and I overheard a patron commenting that their were more dogs then kids at the show and yes this was very true.
Now the important part, sales. Where our booth was we couldn’t see other parts of the show except for our aisle. We saw smaller work walk by and yard art on sticks leave. On Sunday I saw one 24x36 framed piece walk out. My art friends who have more traditional work reported a solid show, enough to return. The booth next to me had drawings of Texas stuff, rodeo, cows, etc and she was happy with her show. We had a lot of interest and were constantly talking to people but industrial abstract art is not what this area is looking for. We solid one big piece so we “made a paycheck” as Nels would say.
Load out. Break down get a pass and get ready to wait in line. Patience is a must. It is a park, dolly one lane road break down. Enough said, not much you can do about it.
This weekend is Bayou City Houston. We are looking forward to that and enjoying a mini vacation with our artists friends on Lake Athens in between the two shows. Love the artist life.