Art Fair Insiders

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

Howard Alan Events in FL - What's your feedback on them?

Does anyone have feedback, pro or con, on Howard Alan Shows? I'm trying to figure out what to expect and if I should look for alternatives. I create original copper overlay and etched art glass, and most of my work is in the $150 to $1000 range.

I'm looking to escape Michigan's winter for a month or so in Florida and have applied and been accepted into the 10th Annual Coconut Point (Bonita Springs) Feb 20,21; Stuart 26th Annual Downtown Festival of the Arts, Feb 27,28; and West Palm Beach 6th Annual CityPlace March 5,6. What are your thoughts on these or other Howard Alan shows? What FL shows do you recommend? Thanks!

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Comment by James A Veenstra on December 18, 2015 at 3:29pm

I need to decide between the HAE Annual Downtown Sarasota Festival of the Arts (Feb 13 & 14) or the South Miami Rotary Art Festival (Feb 20&21).  I work in glass and copper and subject matter is nature, wildlife, landscape, and sporting ($150-$2000 all originals). Any suggestions?

Comment by Marti Johnson on December 15, 2015 at 11:35am
I am new to the Florida market. So appreciate all the comments. May I ask which of the HA shows are the older, better established events? Thanks much
Comment by James A Veenstra on December 15, 2015 at 10:51am

Interesting detours to other shows Allan and Melanie. These thoughts you present are still useful for FL shows as well as others I think. I think overall, there probably is no hard and fast rule for exactly what to expect, considering the broad variety of art, media, markets and talent that are all part of the variables.  None the less, I'm gaining valuable insights and considerations that I would have missed had I not posted this blog.  Thanks.

Comment by Allan Tuttle on December 15, 2015 at 10:51am
Ugh. Just trying to be helpful and eek out general truth in the context of what makes a good show. So that it may be helpful to others. That's all.
Comment by Melanie Rolfes on December 15, 2015 at 10:38am
Allan this thread is suppose to be about Florida shows so maybe your question can be continued on another post. But no I don't like Old Town the party atmosphere doesn't work well in my favor for sales. Most of the big shows with all the extra bells and whistles turn out just ok With the exception of Cherry Creek but even that show was not my best for sales.
Comment by Allan Tuttle on December 14, 2015 at 10:19pm

Yes, quiet is nice.  I never liked it either to be honest, but Old Town has music, do you not prefer that show?  Ft Worth has Music and don't like that one?  My paintings are all original as well and not cheap either.....this thread is about synergy no?  Quiet art only strong shows are far and few between....but if you know of some please do dish!!!

Comment by Melanie Rolfes on December 14, 2015 at 10:02pm
Allan I much prefer shows that don't have music, kids stuff, alcohol. I love a show that is just about the art. I don't want any distraction for the patrons. That is what works best for me but I am original only and my price points start at over $1k. Again it comes down to what your market is.
Comment by Allan Tuttle on December 14, 2015 at 9:54pm


I was talking about consumer amenities like, music, food and wine in reference to getting more people to come to a show.  I was noting that the top rated sales shows have that in common.  Not that they cater to artist, although they do generally speaking.  I should qualify I get rejected from them often so I may just see you at the next C show!  

Comment by Cindy Welch on December 14, 2015 at 9:05pm

While the amenities of some shows are nice add on's (bottled water, booth sitters, hospitality tent/room, meals, etc.), having or not having is not a determining factor for me.  If doing without it means a lower booth fee, then I say do without it.  We usually bring our own beverages and snacks anyway.  I'd rather wait to eat a nice meal after the day is over and can sit in a nice restaurant in peace and quiet.  In reality I have only done one show that had a hospitality tent.  They provided continental breakfast and I think that is it.  We have never done one that offered bottled water, meals (even awards banquets), or booth sitters.  I guess to some artists/crafters, we are doomed to live on not even the "B" list but on the "C" list.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on December 14, 2015 at 12:16pm

Hi James,

We've been doing Boulderbrook shows for 3 or 4 years.  We started with the Sanibel Masters show, then added the Boca Grande show and last year added the Peace River show.  For us the most successful is Sanibel followed by Boca Grande, and Peace River.  We like Richard Sullivan a lot as a promoter.  He is on the spot during set-up and during the show, if you need help or have questions.  He advertises for the shows and has signs up in the area.  The Boca Grande show is more difficult the get to and has some competition in the area.  It is a smaller show, but is right on the main road in the area so passers-by can see it.  Some artists do quite well there, others not so.  We do jewelry, like so many people do.  In all of Richard's show that we have done there are patrons who seem to have money.  We still find it helpful to have a wide range of prices.  Also, we are priced fairly and that seems to help, too. Because there are so many vacationers in all of these places it is had to predict what will be most successful. The Boca Grande show can be pricey, with a toll to pay each time you drive in, or an expensive hotel on site.  We have been looking for less expensive lodging, and this year have a couple of new recommendations.  Let me know if you need other info.

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