Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This show was last weekend, second weekend of July.
A two day show with Friday setup.
Held on the lake bluff in downtown St. Joseph.
200 exhibitors setup on both sides of the sidewalk, the show extends about eight city blocks.
Most can pull right into the curb and setup. Pretty easy setup and teardown.
The Show has been going on more than 25 years and attracts a good crowd. A lot of Chicago money here with a mix of Michiganders and folks from northern Indiana.
Pretty conservative and traditional sales for artwork. New stuff does not play well here.
In my humble estimation, this is the best show for sales in Michigan for fine art.
I will take it over Arts n Apples, Birmingham, Ann Arbor or any other Lake Michigan coastal cities shows.
The middle class in Michigan has little disposable income. They will spend it on good drinks and food but not so much on art.
Mainly small pieces out of the bins sell best here.
Every once and a while somebody hooks a big whake for a big sale. But there are not enough of them around.
The Show is on Zapp and run by the art center. Lots of volunteers to help everybody. Free water, free Saturday breakfest, and plenty of booth sitters.
The one big disconnect with this show is the location of the artist lounge and snacks. It is all the way at the south end of the show. It is a long trek that most do not make if they are at the north end. Even the middle.
That should be improved, Krasl are you listening?
This is not an easy show to get in. Tough jurors and lots of competition. But it is worth vying for.
This is the same weekend as Madison, Cain Park and Corn Hill and in some years, State College.
If you are waitlisted there are good chances of being called. Lots of people playing off one show from another. Vets know what I mean.
I have gotten in more then 15 times over the last 25 years. Most times this is a 5K-plus show for me.
But this year, all shows have been off by 30-40% in sales, that even includes Fort Worth.
People are holding back big time on art. And this being felt industrywide, it is not just me.
So, I was not expecting to do nearly as well when I prepared for this show,luckily it turned out better.
I think it helped that I debuted three new images and one made me killer sales.
This year like most in the past was a mix of hot, humid July heat mixed with soothing cool air off the lake.
If you were in shade it was almost 15 degrees different.
Temps were in the mid high eighties both days.
But hell, it is Michigan. If you do not get it now, when do think you are going to get it. This is not Florida.
FLASH. FLASH. TEQUILA. REPORT
I am sitting at a great restaurant in Saugatuck while writing this blog.
It is going to hit 87degrees plus today, good time to be inside with A/C.
Sorry for the folks suffering on the asphalts of Ann Arbor.
Anyways, this place is called the Southerner. Located just out of the north side of downtown Saugatuck.
The place sits right on the river with awesome views.
I am at the bar facing 50 varieties of bourbon I could order. They have an Evan Williams on the rocks for $4. You can chase it with a $2 Hamms beer in a can.
Then eat the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich on a big toasted homemade biscuit. Chase it down with some tasty homemade baked beans. Sandwich for $8 and beans for $2.50.
Um, um, um. Life is good.
If you go to Saugatuck, my home base for the summer, you gotta come here. They are the berries.
OK, actually this was a bourbon and biscuit report.
Back to Krasl.
So Saturday was hot, humid with cooling lake effect breezes. The crowd slowly built.
I started off with a $500 sale. I was happy, considering the last two shows I did, I did not gross $3K total.
Sales came along regularly, mostly out of the bins.
People were buying everywhere. About 12:30 sales ground to a halt.
Til 6pm, show close, I did maybe another $500.
I was sleeping in my own bed, forty five minutes away.
Oh! I forgot to tell. The show will put up artists for free with patrons here. That can be a big saving. More money for margaritas.
Sunday weather same as Saturday with a little more cloud cover, kept it a little cooler, then the fricking sun burned thru about noon, and it was hot, hot, hot.
Crowds were smaller and not buying as much. Couple of artists hit home runs, but for most it was ho-hum.
Show ended at 5pm and I was home buy by 6:30.
A good time was had by all.
Oh, and my little dear retiring wife, Ellen, bought a Beamer, and we are flying at the speed of sound down the interstate.
It it accelerates way faster than my Ford van.