Art Fair Insiders

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

Gasparilla Art Festival—New site, needs parking bad!

I did this show the last weekend. In my former hometown.

Ironically, I have not been in G(gasparilla) for the last six years.  Then I sell my Ybor house and get in the next year.

Trouble is, now I had to stay in a hotel and pay $100 a nite.

I have done G 16 times since the early eighties. Always been a winner for me.

Thank God! This year too.  I needed a good show real bad.

Lots of booth fees to pay.

I can finally say, after seven shows this year, I had my first real, big show.

Felt like old times.  Had little scents of St. Louis in there. 


This year they moved the show across the river to a new location.

Well, you know how that goes when they move a show.

The location is on a beautiful landscaped Park, bigger then the former location.

Everybody had rear booth storage.  So essential.

You had Thursday or Friday option to setup for the two day show.

I chose Thursday. They gave you two hours to unload the van and move.

Friday people got one hour.

Thursday was real windy and chilly.  The 50-it’s and 20mph plus winds.  Very tenuous.

Got the booth, with walls up, secured inventory inside, and closed her up.

Had a great meal fifty yards from my hotel at the Edison.  An upscale eatery.  Food is awesome.

Had a red snapper dish done Mexican style with a great red.  The wine was good too.

Friday morn I strolled down to the booth.

We are located on the river right by the University of Tampa.

The Park has a beautiful green lawn that angles slightly down to the river.

Bring shims.  Bring extra weights, no trees very windy.

They gives us ample space side to side and to the rear for storage, at least six feet.

A little aside here.

My pet peeve with most reviews of shows is that nobody tells you about the logistics of the show.  Like I just referred to.

It is tantamount to most of us, with inventory, to know how much storage do you have behind.

It affects your whole setup.

So please.  When you blog, telll us about the setup.  It really is important.

My fish sandwich just arrived, and I have tequila to sip.

So we will take a short pause.

Ok. I am at my favorite bar/grille on the ocean in NSB, the Ocean Breeze.

Its Monday, so it is Man Day at the Grille. Guys get half off any food or booze on the menu.

I am eating a fresh snapper sandwich with frys.

I am chasing it with Patron anenjo tequila, on the rocks with a salted rim and a lime.  This lunch is going to be under $15.  Gotta love it, gotta love NSB.

OK, back to the blog.

This is an awesome show, hard to get into, everybody is fabulous, no slackers here, no buysell.

The $25K best In Show attracts heavy hitters.  I think a merit award is about $1500, boo hoo!

I once got one in 1989 and I think it was $500.

I was surroundered by heavy weights of the circuit.  The air was intoxicating with creativity.

I held my own, meekly.

The crowd never showed up strong until about 1 pm. After, it surged.

Here is the one giant flaw of the show.

They built this beautiful park but only really put in about 100 parking spaces.

The Park is surrounded by ethnic neighborhoods and parking is precious.

The committee figured people would park across the river and walk over.

Or use a water taxi or Urber it.


Imagine walking all those big pieces back to your car.

Oh, get this, for the artists, it was worst. 

The artist parking lot was across the river, you caught a shuttle, easy half hour or more.

For me, and many, Saturday was the strongest day for sales.

Bigger crowds on Sunday, but nearly as busy.

Teardown was orderly, I got out in less than two hours.

This is a good show, I eyed a lot more like this one.

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Comment by Carol Joy Shannon on March 5, 2020 at 9:30am

Glad you had a great show, Nels. 

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