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June 26-27, Park Point Art Fair, Duluth, MN

This was my first time at this show. Thought it was a good idea to go north after the very hot weather south. Park Point is a long penninsula from Duluth into Lake Superior and you must go over a lift bridge to get there. The show location is a park at the end of the penninsula. This show has a Friday setup which was great. We could drive right up to our booth and even park behind it all weekend. Sat was very cool and cloudy with a breeze coming off the lake. The crowd was good early, but one customer told us they had to wait an hour while the bridge was up. People come from many parts of MN to to spend the weekend at their cabins along the lake shore. Sun. brought a few rain drops early, but for the most part it was sunny and much warmer with a breeze---a perfect day for an art show. The Park Point Community Club is the promoter and this was the 40th year for the show. Impressive! They offer coffee and donuts both mornings and a burritto dinner on Sat. after the show. The volunteers were around often if you needed a break, but there are two of us so we don't use this service. They were all very pleasant to work with. My art is a fine quality kiln-fired glass and this was definitely NOT my market. I did get many compliments, but then they would go to the booth next to me, you know the one---from Elk River, MN---with mass produced rock birds and ducks, and buy two or three pieces. Those birds were flying out of that booth! Gotta admit, those people know how to sell them, and they are sorta cute with with the mommas and babies. My question is whether they belong in an art show??? There was some great art here, but also much poor quality art and displays. My observation was...if you have rock birds, garden art on a stick or pottery, this is a show for you. If you have fine art or fine craft, find another show. Needless to say, my sales were a disappointment! :(

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Comment by Michelle Sholund on June 29, 2010 at 10:02pm
Whoa! I have been to this show about 2 years ago I think now and was really impressed. My husband is from Duluth and I know the area well. My mother in-law - at that show bought a very nice jacket (I think it was a sweater jacket) and the artist had a fantastic display and bent over backwards to make the sale - saying how she can do a custom piece for her or resize the jacket. I bought and still love a 2D piece from that show for a lovely husband and wife from FL. I was impressed with the displays and how well the show was run and the beautiful setting it was in. I am surprised that it could have gone down hill. My question to you is are you reviewing this show with your emotions or based on pure facts. Would you say others had the same experience you did too? Just curious - not trying to side with anyone, just trying to get a little more info from you. Thanks and I am sorry you didn't have a good show, it really doesn't make for a good time, now does it? - Michelle
Comment by Pat Falk on June 30, 2010 at 12:30am
Michelle,
I grew up in northern Minnesota, attended UMD and spent a fair amount of time at Park Point. Believe me, I have fond memories of these times. My booth was on the far end of the show, so I am speaking from my experience and observations at that location. I saw many items of garden art being carried. I did talk to a few other artists, some had been to this show previous years and were not doing well. I did say that there was some great art here, and I hope some of that was sold, I just didn't see it. I do art shows for the sales, and I had a few. We had a 4 hour drive and two nights in a hotel (which are spendy in Duluth). If you live in the area, one wouldn't have these expenses. We always make the most of each show, and this was no different. We made some new artist friends, had some laughs, enjoyed the park and being outdoors.

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