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First Year for Amdur's New Third Ward Art Fair

Sorry, first of all for being ten days post event to share a new Art Fair. My new hip has been acting up.

That aside, this was the first Amdur event in my home town of Milwaukee, WI. I was excited. The weather proved to be stunning, with cool breezes off Lake michigan three blocks away and the sun had taken on an autumn brilliance.

The setting was the Historic Third Ward. Originally a manufacturing district due to its proximity to the waterways, the buildings were all originally fine brick with striking architecture. The roads were meant for horses and were faceted with red rick patterns.

This once bustling area became abandoned when it became more economical to manufacture overseas. Due to its location it was never vandalized but remained a pristine reminder of Milwaukee's past.

I can not pin point the years, but suddenly the yuppies were building fabulous condos on those vacant floors with their 12 foot ceilings and small, smart restaurtants, bistros and boutiques became the places to invest in and be seen..

The "new" Third Ward had become a happening place.

I was thrilled to see the white tents amid the late summers lush profusion of huge flowering tubs.

We checked in at 7:30 pm and set up to a full moon. We were the second Flight and half the tents were secured for the night. Since we lived a half hour away, we were home and sleeping early.

I will tell you something about my fellow statesmen:they work very hard for a buck and I knew they parted with it reluctantly. So Ill tell you the so-so news first: cash was not rolling out of our pockets on Sunday night. I made $1200. The great painter next door sold nothing.

One of the things I heard a lot was, "Gee, I didn't know you were having a Fair." And yet my husband heard advertisements on two radio stations.

It was the first year.

I walked the show from end to end: no buy/sell and some great artists! Hope they give us a second chance.

I loved every minute of being back!

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Comment by Sherry Scharschmidt on December 12, 2012 at 3:46pm

sorry - I meant Summerfest 2013  won't be the same weekend as the show..

Comment by Sherry Scharschmidt on December 12, 2012 at 3:44pm

I was not in the show last year, but I WAS at the 105th Harley Anniversary which overlapped with Summerfest that year. We were there to see Bruce Springsteen and paid RIDICULOUS hotel rates on the far south end of town. Hotels were booked all the way to Gurnee.  There were probably 10 bikes for every car we saw.Since Summerfest 2012 is not the same weekend it may be less crazy, but i'm not applying til 2014.

Comment by Annette Piper on September 16, 2012 at 6:58pm

Thanks for the review Linda.  Advertising (extensive) is the key to successful shows.  Did you see signage on your way in, adverts in papers etc?

Comment by Elizabeth Tivol on September 14, 2012 at 10:50pm

I was at the Third Ward show as well, but was a little hesitant to review it as it was my first Amdur show and I could not compare it to the others.  Overall I am quite glad I gave it a try.  Load in was delayed for a little while they cleared the area of cars, but it was no big deal.  Parking was in a garage only a block or so away, and trailers could be left on the side streets directly adjacent to the fair.  Saturday's attendance was steady right through the end of the day, I think we benefited from the early Saturday evening restaurant crowd.  Sunday started out very slowly, I didn't even make my first sale until noon, but then it picked up to close to Saturday's level.  I grossed about $1100, about what I figured from a new show.  One of my neighbors was very lucky, her pretty little handmade books and paper products were selling like hotcakes.  By Sunday afternoon she was actually very concerned about how she was going to be able to make more in time for her three remaining shows this month.

I too am hoping this show is back next year, I think it has great potential.  That said, there was a rumor going about (WARNING: unsubstantiated rumor, please take with a grain of salt) that they might change the date.  Apparently next year Harley Davidson is having their big 110th anniversary shindig that weekend.  Some years back when I lived in the Milwaukee area I experienced one of these events first-hand, basically it means that traffic is insane for about a week, and every hotel room within 50 miles is booked a year in advance.  Since the show isn't really established yet I think changing the date is absolutely the way to go, after all, these Harley events happen every five or ten years.  It will be interesting to see what happens!

Comment by Linda A Shields on September 14, 2012 at 7:14pm

Colin is such a great guy!

I would love to be near the man.

Unfortunately, we have a serious family commitment......a baby is coming and 47 people are due at my house for a shower!!!!

One of these days, Colin, you wait.......

Comment by Connie Mettler on September 14, 2012 at 6:53pm

Linda, getting art fair reports out in a timely manner or not is nothing to be apologizing for. Everyone appreciates the reports whenever they get here. Thanks for this one as I know a lot of people were wondering what would happen at this show. I heard from a patron from the Chicago area that they attended, the show looked nice but it was pretty quiet, low attendance. Another person reported to me that they thought this was a great location for a new show as it was a "hot" area with money being spent to make it cool and that there was solid potential.

It's always good to hear about shows in neighborhoods like this. Hope there was enough encouragement for it to happen again. Milwaukee could use another classy event.

Yes, check out Colin's show in Waukesha -- let's support those artists who are trying to make a difference for us by starting their own shows. I think the fees are very reasonable and especially if you are nearby why not support it?

Comment by Colin Murray on September 14, 2012 at 8:35am

Space is still available at the October 27 show at the Waukasha Expo show with ArtWorks. Go to: www.artworksmadison.com for details.

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