Art Fair Insiders

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

How do you like this Booth? (I made it myself)

Attending the Krasl Art Fair in St. Joseph, MI, last weekend I gave myself a photo assignment: find booths where the artists are not using standardized setups such as Pro Panels and see if I can find some that were designed by the exhibitors. Frankly I had trouble getting good shots -- way too many people in these booths :)

Woodworker Peter Czuk's, booth. He made these interchangeable panels that adapt easily to different sites. I wouldn't like this if there was a storm, but Peter's been in the business a long time and I'm sure he would set them up differently if the weather forecast wasn't so benign. I like also that he can repaint them a new color any time and change the look.

John Gutoskey's mixed media assemblages -- he has the mesh panels on the outside but has used the velcro to add panels that really set off his work. The side walls are white and the accent walls are red.

Jewelry booth of Kara Aubin and Daniel Juzwiak -- I know jewelers are always looking for good ways to display. What I liked about this booth was the different levels of the cases and the shadow boxes on the walls. It felt like a boutique that you wanted to explore.

Fiber work by Ana Petercic - Another case where you could wander around and explore the different parts of her booth. Also, if you notice the gold panels they complement the work, plus have a function with the poles run through the tabs to display the hand painted work.

Wooden orbs from Daniel Keith - nothing manufactured here. Obviously Daniel has an advantage here since he is a fine woodworker, these are all finely milled wood panels. Nice presentation, isn't it?


Lou Michaels' mixed media work. I'm not pleased with this photo -- but basically Lou had this very tall booth with about five pieces of work. It is a standard tent but he had these huge pieces of white fabric covering each wall and doing his best to make the booth look like a gallery. It really worked and the presentation was excellent, no Pro Panels, just plain clean walls.  (The work is bronzes on a shelf attached to vintage photos that replicated the bronzes)

Metalworking by Jon Michael Route - a totally handmade booth, hollow core doors and pedestals that he made -- again paintable for when he wants to change his look.

Digital art by Joy Wallace. Joy told me that many years ago both she and her husband were traveling in one van to shows with two bodies of work so she devised this set up. She bought canvas, gessoed it and then painted it in complementary colors for her work. The panels just roll up and are easy to store and carry. It was very pretty. I have done this also when we needed an extra wall for a special display.

Donald Shelton - metals: clearly a blacksmith and woodworker, Donald made these panels which look great with his work from galvanized metal with weathered wood framing. A most unusual booth with the perfect look for his work.

Leroy Bayerl - Wood: all wood display that Leroy built to showcase his work, note all the levels, which lead the eye from piece to piece


Ceramics by Glynnis Lessing - really pretty display that showcases the work beautifully. All hand made at very little expense. They bought the galvanized pedestals at a nursery and figured that if they didn't make it at the art fairs they would have some nice pots for the garden! Don't you love that picture window (that has an actual screen it it!) that accentuates the view of Lake Michigan?

Candra Boggs - Mixed Media 2D: This work which is created on wood, looked pretty cool in the all wood paneled booth -- not something you'd want to haul around the country, as it would be pretty heavy, but it was a nice presentation.

Brian Jensen paintings - lightweight plywood panels set in metal frames. Brian said the metal frames are really easy and inexpensive. He designed them and had a welder put them together. He can paint the panels to work with his color palette.

But I am admitting that this display on Pro Panels was quite nice - photography by Chris Dahlquist

 

Do you have a booth that you have made yourself? I'd love to see it. Post it below.

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Comment by Cindy Welch on March 22, 2020 at 11:40am

Connie, I think this is the perfect time to rethink our booths, and to get very creative in funding any changes.  Look for displays and props that you already have around your home or shop.  Repurpose, reuse, upcycle ... it's the way of the world in many places and is perfect for artists and crafters, beginners and long term professionals.  I see this as a time to think outside the box, especially for those who have not made major changes in their booths in years.

Comment by Connie Mettler on March 17, 2020 at 1:06pm

Wow, Cindy. Thanks for resurrecting this. Would this be a good time for artists to rethink their displays? And I hope this is an inspiration to new artists to the business who are really stuck for the $$ for creating displays. 

Comment by Cindy Welch on March 16, 2020 at 2:19pm

Connie, I just wanted to thank you for starting this discussion, years ago!  I found it when you shared in Joe Lacy's post about a beach themed booth.  Great inspiration!

Comment by Matt Estrada on August 23, 2014 at 4:59pm

Here's my handmade display for my modern birdhomes. My middle panel has large 5" casters on the back so I can stack and roll my entire booth in one trip if I'm not able to drive up to my space. Feedback is always welcome! 

Comment by Greg Little on August 23, 2014 at 11:35am

Connie...some of us (specifically talking about me) can set up our booth in the yard and take hundreds, if not more photos and not come up with a jury booth photo that looks as appealing as many of these do. having a good display is as much of a creative art as we put into our work.

Thanks for posting these great booth design photos...at first I didn't realize this discussion was started back in 2011...but creativeness is times anyhoo..

Comment by Connie Mettler on August 23, 2014 at 8:09am

I hope you know, Greg, that these are not the "booth shots", but images I took with my iPhone as I went through this show. I chose these for their creativity. I'd guess though just about any one of these is ready for a booth shot. The booths are uncluttered and really show off the work nicely and are so inviting. They'd stand out as that last image in a jury presentation.

Comment by Greg Little on August 23, 2014 at 12:12am

These are some really amazing and creative booth designs. these re-emphasize the point of how important a good booth shot is.

Comment by Jacquelyn Zajac on June 27, 2012 at 1:14pm

Hi Connie, thank you so much! A big "wow" for the work you did in putting these pics together. There are some really great ides, maybe we will re-think what we are going to do. Again, thanks so much, quick other question to anyone out there. What is your feeling on tents, we had an EZ up tent and I know they are not good for rain, so I'm wondering what the best choice might be?  Trimline or Lightdome?  Any thoughts? Thanks again, Jackie

Comment by Laurie Russell on August 2, 2011 at 7:11am

I don't see my original post or photo, I saw the thread and shared my photo, I actually didn't ask for a critique, but it's o.k. I am fine with the observations.

It's o.k. Meagan not I didn't receive it as too harsh, it's what I expected from the back wall:)

Comment by Diane Wright on August 1, 2011 at 5:51pm
Your work is what sets you apart. That is what you want to be your focal point not your display.  For me as a jewler that means large format photos (Thanks Larry)  Be careful about busy print fabric taking away from the work.  In jury shots, the jury will focus on the print not you work and at a show, I fear that at a show your work might get lost in the fabric (which by itself, I love - just not for the booth).  IMO

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