Well, it is always nice to do a hometown show and sleep in your own bed. Plus make moola money.
Images is my hometown show in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, on the Atlantic coast.
A three day show with a Friday morn setup. Not easy to get into. Many are called, few are chosen.
It was held on the last weekend of January. The weather forcast for the weekend was horrible.
Big front coming thru with rain, really cold temps and heavy winds, some as high as 30-40 mph.
Accordingly, about 20 percent of exhibitors cancelled.
Oh well, less competition and more money for the rest of us.
I have done this show since early eighties. NSB has grown and the sales have grown.
I moved to NSB in 1982 to attend the Photography Program at Daytona Beach Community College. I did art shows while attending college. In those days if I made $1500 in sales I was ecstatic.
Now,I do that easily, each day.
Oceanfront condos and houses on the Atlantic go for $650,00 and up.
Serious money has moved in. Lot of it buys very conservative and traditional.
There are a few daredevils who buy modern, we need lots more.
Lots of northerners from Canada and US east coast reside here for 3-6 months.
They have big walls to fill.
The show is well advertised and well attended. They have a great Patrons program
which the artists benefit from, big time.
Now, I will tell you about the show layout.
The show runs west to east down Canal Street, the main downtown route.
Two story buildings line the street and block heavy winds. But they also block ample sunlight. Canal booths have backs against the curb with ample rear storage.
Patrons walk down the middle eyeing the art.
At east end the show turns right (south) and runs along the river. Booths line both sides with their rear to the curb. Plenty of rear storage.
Frankly, the show has too many booths for this size community. But, they call it a fundraiser, you know how that goes. The "no-shows" made it better for sales.
They allow corner booths, but sparingly. If you want one put your request in pronto.
Setup and teardown are very mellow.No hassles.
NSB offers lots of great eating venues, plus bars. And beachside, there are ample choices. I will do a Tequila Reportafter this blog.
Tell us about this year's show, will ya, Nels.
Thought you would never ask.
Well, being a local, I had my van in place Thursday nite.
Showed up 8am Friday,checked in, got my packet,and ambled down to my site.
We had to dodge pissy little rain while setting up, temps were in the low sixties.
I had a corner booth with plenty of room from my wonderful neighbor.
Iwas setup by noon and ambled down to Riverpark Terrace for lunch, show opened at 1pm.
We opened with clear skies, temps around 61 and 15 mph breezes.
People were out in numbers and buying.
I sold a $1300 photo on metal to start the show. And then, we were off to the races.
Usually, Friday's I am lucky to sell $1K, this day was different.
Around 3pm my first judge came around. This show uses an antiquated system to judge.
You must be silent, no talking to the juror. His assistant has a stopwatch, at 60 seconds he tells the juror to move onto the next booth. We call this the "Sleznek Method". Named after retired photographer Les Sleznek. Enjoy your retirement, Les.
Dumb system but it still lives on.
Oh well, live and let live.
At teardown, I took all my metal photos off the walls. Maybe, 30-40 mph winds were predicted for the night.
Saturday morn, it was very chilly and windy, thank God, not at the predicted mph.
I dressed with a cotton tee shirt, then a long sleeve cashmere collared sweater.
Over that, I put on a zippered vest. Then a zippered bulky coat liner, then the heavy jacket.
Then a wool scarve that my mother gave me as a 14 year old birthday present.
I had my cool European wool hat to top this.
Of course, I had on my usual shorts.
I do not own any long pants, have not worn any after getting out of the Army in 1978. Which was the last time I ever shaved with a razor ( I use an electric razor to trim my beard).
I have Nordic genes, grandpa was from Norway, me, I am just a Florida Cracker.
I never feel the cold in my legs, go figure.
I was about the only guy in the show wearing shorts.
The five layers kept me warm, plus, I had a little stash of 100 proof Knob Creek bourbon to sip on occasions. And I did.
Sales were super, for me. I did not see many packages in Patrons hands. Very slim.
You can sign up for a booth sitter, and I did. The show provides artists with a bag of snacks for lunch. I passed.
I ambled down to Riverpark Terrace for lunch. Squeezed my way into a stool at the bar, inhaled the day's chili and fortified with Makers Mark.
I was ready for whatever came next.
People kept buying from me. Maybe they felt sorry for me because I was in shorts.
Closed up at five, this time left my art on the walls.
Had a great warm meal with my honey, Ellen Marshall, retired pastel artist, phenomenol.
Sunday dawned with the best weather of the tree days. Down to two layers and temps in the high 50 ties--a spring day in Wisconsin.
Sales always start slow, no sales til noon. Show ends at 4pm, thank God.
Again, not a lot of packages in people's hands.
Sundays,tend to be "Tire-Kickers" day. Lots of lookers, few buyers.
Surprisingly, I had my best Images in 42 years.
Must have been the shorts.
Gonna post a cool pic of a brave cat leaping thru a ring of fire,
Tell ya about it later along with a Tequila Report, time for a nap, this blogging is very tiring.
Hope you enjoyed, let's see some comments, have not been many compared to all of you who read my blogs.
my cats would never do that!! Glad you had a good show. I'm so looking forward to spring here in the Frozen North so I can go to a show. It's been too long.
So cool! Another reason to love art fairs.
I was Thinking today about the photos we all used to share the strange people we met at Ark first. remembering cats and strollers, and it's at Miami Beach first of the art women in bikinis, etc.
I shot Dominique and his cat act in Key West around 1996.
He came by my booth at Images.
His girlfriend bought my pic of him and the cat for a birthday present. Pretty cool.
I saw the photos from the show of the challenging weather, Nels. Good report on that and so helpful to others who may think the art fair business is all fun and games. It is work -- but is that a bad thing? Geez, nothing good comes along just by chance, you got to go for it and if the weather is a game changer for you, this is not the business for you.
I'd say one of the good things about this show is the very nice prize money ... also, that setting isn't at all bad. AND you had your best NSB?? Good for you. Again, another lesson for people new to the business. Resilience, continuous seeking growth and paying attention to the small details that can add up.
What is that image? Did you take it?
I love reading your blog. It's interesting facts & funny, too. I'm a new member & learning about the shows, which I first participated in 2019, just before pandemic shutdowns. I'm in Orlando & have applied 2x to NSB but not accepted. I'll keep trying. It's a beautiful venue. I'm glad you did well & that the weather wasn't terrible as predicted.