Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This was the 27th annual Golden Fine Arts Festival and the 14th continuous year I have participated in the event. Golden, CO is at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It is home for the Colorado School of Mines, a top engineering school, and the Coor’s brewery. Students were returning to school the weekend of the show.
The show is set up for three blocks on 11th Street and over 130 artists from 20 states occupy 160 booth spaces. There was live music and beer in the food court at the east end of the show. There were also art activities for kids.
The Golden Chamber of Commerce manages the show, and there were new personnel for the show this year which resulted in some problems. The show is important to the business community and I feel confident that this year’s problems will be resolved.
Application to the show is through Zapp. The jury fee is $30 and single booth fee is $450. Acceptance to the show is competitive. Ribbon awards with cash ($1800 divided up) are given for Best of Show, and first and second places for each medium.
SET UP AND TAKE DOWN
Set up begins at midnight Thursday before the show, but most artists set up Friday. There was no “traffic czar” and consequently artists with large vans and trailers blocked access to other’s booths for hours on end. In past years, artists have unloaded and moved vehicles off the street.
The same situation existed at take down. It was stated in the information packet that vehicles would not be allowed on the street until 5:45pm, 45 minutes after the show closed. There were vehicles on the street at 5:05 while patrons were still on the street. This is a serious safety issue.
Friday and Sunday were in the mid 80’s. Saturday it got up to 92 and there was no cloud cover.
State and Jefferson County taxes are complicated for a
non-resident. They consist of State 2.9%, Jefferson County 0.5%, RTD (transportation)1% and CD (cultural) 0.1%. All of these combined with the city tax gives a combined 7.5% rate which was given in Zapp but not in the packet. Furthermore, the Colorado Department of Revenue site is not easy to navigate, even for residents (even I swear when I have to use it). Better shows provide a step by step description of how to access the tax reporting form for Special Events.
Port-a-Pots and hand washing stations were available. Volunteers provided water and booth sitting (the playing cards were for calling a booth sitter). Snacks were available before and during the show. There was an artist reception Friday night. I have attended in the past, but now I don’t go as we commute to the show and it is 1:10 drive home.
SALES & THE NUMBERS
Historically, Golden has grown from a $2-3K show to a consistent $4-5K show for me. This year sales were off from 2016 by $900, but it was still a good show. I had 59 sales and the average sale was $72. My net margin was 87%. The good numbers were the result of some $200+ holster, multiple belt and silver buckle sales.
The crowd was down from last year, I attribute this to many people going to Wyoming for the solar eclipse on Monday. The news reported 500,000 people for CO made the trip and one would expect most of them were from the Denver metro area.
I plan to return if I don’t get blackballed for complaining about Anderson Windows booth.
There are always lots of dogs, infants and toddlers at Golden. You will hear different languages spoken by foreign students and visitors. A man from China seemed really happy to have his picture taken with one of my saddles and a historic holster with model six shooter. Another man and I conversed in Spanish about a dog collar. I thanked him for allowing me to practice my Spanish. He thanked me for letting him practice his English. To top it off we always got to Woody’s for pizza after takedown around 9:00pm.