Art Fair Insiders

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

Downtown Sarasota (Paragon) Show--nice but we needed more people

This was held last weekend in a charming Five Points Park in downtown Sarasota. Bill Kinney produces the show and does a good job of it. About 130 artists setup on the street and sidewalk with the park as a charming backdrop.

This time of the year you see mostly locals, the winter people have not arrived yet. You are selling to a mostly older, monied crowd. They are very traditional and conservative in their tastes for art. They love the birds, beaches and flowers.

My sales were barely acceptable. I made a little money because I slept in my own bed and did the commute from Ybor City where I live. I need a younger more hip crowd, Sarasota is not my market, but hell, I gave it a try. Many others did quite well. The bird photographer was a happy camper. A well known wood artist hit it big when Jerry Springer bought two of his pieces. The traditional clay artist across from me sold steadily all show long.

Bill crunched the numbers from the feedback from the artists about their sales. He was happy, he called the show a success. I would have liked to have seen more people. It got pretty lonely out there after 2 pm both days.

Hey, November in Florida, show sales are pretty slim, you take what you can get. Personally, I would not drive a long distance to do this one, but for local artists it will do just fine. This weekend I will be at the Sanibel show.

Later, gators.

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Comment by Christina L. Towell on November 28, 2016 at 9:12am

Thanks, Nels...good luck in Sanibel!

Comment by Connie Mettler on November 28, 2016 at 10:17am

The filler shows keep us going, don't they, Nels? It is good to sleep in your own bed and get up on Monday morning with enough to pay some bills. Not ideal, but one of the reasons you live in Florida, lots of choices most weekends and it enables you to live the art fair lifestyle. Heading to the links this week?

I'd guess that lots of us do these near by shows and they keep us going. i attended a very nice show in Ft. Wayne, IN (indoors) this weekend and in chatting with one of the exhibitors who had nice functional weaving suggested that she try For the Love of Art in S. Bend in March. She replied that she had heard good things but every weekend she usually does an indoor farmers market in S. Bend, 10-20,000 people come through each weekend, giving her a regular income to make it through the winter very well. Surely a challenge for a lot of us.

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