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

Lake Forest, IL Art on the Square, 9/1-2, 2013 Better Every Year

This Sunday, Monday show over Labor Day weekend has shown improvement yearly for the last 5 years.

It is run by the local art league and used to feature mostly local artists of varying abilities so it was a very uneven show.  It also had a central purchasing point which killed impulse buying.  Then, someone saw the light and opened it up to artists everywhere and got rid of the central cashier area.

Lake Forest is a combination of very old money and current corporate executives.  As a result, all types of art work will sell there.  It still seems as if there is more 2d than at most festivals but I think that is a result more of booth placement.  There were very few questionable booths from a talent standpoint,

There is no music, no smelly food, very few corporate booths (and they don't yell as you pass by), an out of the way children's area and an over all good atmosphere.

This is basically the last of the Chicago-area festivals in the northern suburbs and it is a great way to end the season.  

I saw LOTS of big pieces going by and lots of activity at a lot of booths.  

It is a great show to end the summer season.

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Comment by kanchana Nerato on September 11, 2013 at 10:44pm

Thanks again Geri, you made my day! :)

Comment by geri a. wegner on September 11, 2013 at 9:16pm

I didn't realize that you were here either.  I wore the earrings I just got from you today and they hang perfectly.  I can tell they will be my new "go-to" pair.    I try to always coordinate my jewelry with my shirts and I have to wear white this week so it is pearls every day!!

Comment by kanchana Nerato on September 11, 2013 at 8:28pm

@geri, now it makes sense! I've been reading your posts here and there on AFI and when we met again at the show, I was thinking your name is so familiar, but thought it must be because you have been supporting my work for several years now! :D 

Comment by geri a. wegner on September 9, 2013 at 7:22pm

They better keep inviting Kanchana because I have bought earrings from her at every show I have seen her--cedarburg, south miami (i think) as well as Lake Forest.  The best pearl earrings anywhere.  Wonderful designs and craftsmanship.

Comment by kanchana Nerato on September 9, 2013 at 12:15pm

Agree with Geri about everything! My neighbors around me reported a very successful weekend as well. I love how easy set up and tear down system they have and not to mention student volunteers that come around asking if we need help. I love that the show organizers&committees are totally just focusing on making the show,THE show...not music or beer or other things. It was very nice to have a goodies bag at check in as well, I know it's just a goodies bag but it reminds me of the old days when more shows used to be more caring about us, and sales for me is awesome! I love this show and will keep going there if they will have me.

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on September 9, 2013 at 11:31am

Erica, sorry about your lack of sales.  Hopefully, next year.

Comment by Ana Buzancic Petercic on September 9, 2013 at 10:19am

I have also been last weekend at this show, as I have for almost 15 years!! Few years I was not accepted, or wait listed, but I am doing this show for a long time.

This year it was better than last, but it is ok, altogether. I am bit spoiled, I am fine with 4 k, I made 3. But some times ago, when they used to have central cashier area, I made even more (?!). Go figure!! But, yes one more thing is changing; they are buying my items for many years and there is more and more fiber artist. I used to be one of 3-4!!

All in all, I love this show too, it is close to my home, I like people that are organizing it and my only complaint, or message to them is to advertise more. Chicago doesn't know about this show and I believe that a lot of people would come over the weekend to this far suburb, if not for any reason, but because they haven't been there for many, many years. Train station is just next to the show. The weekend of the show, ABC TV station was suggesting where to go over the Labor Day Weekend, and there was no mention of this show.

Comment by Erica Wagner on September 7, 2013 at 10:18am
I did this show as well, and agree 100% about the crowd, atmosphere, etc. However, I did not sell a single thing, but, I did have some people interested, just no one pulled the trigger. If I have the chance next year to do it again I would in a heart beat. Lots of buyers, big crowd, I think I just need to make my presence known
Comment by Scott Pakulski on September 6, 2013 at 4:29pm

Well, I am in Mundelein this weekend. Hope it's a good show!

Comment by Roxanne Coffelt on September 6, 2013 at 4:11pm

I haven't done any shows in the Chicago area, but I have come to the conclusion that I like shows that are just art shows and nothing more.  Those people want to buy art.  I quit doing "festivals" a few years back because the festival crowd isn't my market.

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