Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I know next to nothing about the Arizona shows, but came across this article from AZCentral.com about Fountain Hills. I'm linking to it here because the organizer not only talks about the attractions of the event but has something to say about the economy, the number of artists applying and how she sees the economy changing.
Read on to find out about artist Robert Shields and his art career.
Okay -- the AZCentral site doesn't want to stay open or even reopen, so I'm going to do something that is frowned upon - copy the entire article here because it has useful info for you:
The link if you can get it to work for yourself: http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/events/2015/02/17/foun...
Robert Shields of Clarkdale is ready to talk about his art this weekend at the Fountain Hills Great Fair, which is expected to draw as many as 200,000 people.
Shields, who paints, sculpts and makes jewelry and glicee prints, knows they'll have plenty of questions.
"They ask, 'Can this be hung outside? Do you have this in green and blue? Where are you from? I love your work. This would be great for my sister. Where's your studio?' '' he said. "Then there are people who just look at you. It's all part of theater. Some people are very friendly. Others sort of look, and you know when not to talk."
Sheilds knows about theater, because he was half of the popular Shields and Yarnell comedy mime duo in the 1970s and '80s. Now he's an Arizona artist.
Shields and the other 500 artists at the 27th annual Great Fair will need their schmoozing skills. Sharon Morgan, events planner for the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, described the setup as a "huge, huge mall" of art, with four rows of booths lining the Avenue of the Fountains.
"It's like going to the mall," she said. "You see something, maybe you buy it and maybe you don't. You walk around and look at the artists' work."
If you work up an appetite, 20 types of food will be available, she said, as well as a beer garden. Hot-air balloons also will be part of the festivities.
Returning this year is the Native American music group Brulé, which last played at the Great Fair in 2011.
"They are a big crowd favorite," Morgan said, and fairgoers had noted the group's absence.
Eight hundred artists applied to be part of the Great Fair this year, which is an indication of the toll the Great Recession took on the arts. Morgan said that before the recession began in late 2007, the fair received more than 1,000 applications in some years.
Now the number of applications is on the rise, "which tells us, evidently, the artists are happy because they see a reason to get back into their fields of art," Morgan said.
Shields know well that the economy has been tough for artists. In 2006, he had four galleries in Sedona and one at Paradise Valley Mall in Phoenix. They all closed, and today he sells at fairs and through his website (robertshields.com). He started selling at the Great Fair in 2008.
"I lost my world and it's just me doing it all. I decided to sell my art directly to the people," Shields said. "I make everything myself.
"I think Fountain Hills is phenomenal, and it's a beautiful venue. Sharon brings in new and interesting people."