2012 (13)

2012 Wrap-up: AFI Community Award Winners

Congratulations to these members of ArtFairInsiders.com who make this online community the 8869102858?profile=original"Facebook" for art fair artists! Your votes from the blogs and private emails to me have been counted and the winners are:

Member of the year: Geoff Coe

Most Helpful: Larry Berman

Personality: Nels Johnson

Author: Nels Johnson

Funniest: Barry Bernstein

Newcomer: Elle Heiligenstein

runner up: Richard Sherer

Special Recognition: Geri Wegner

Best Blog Post: Lots of votes all around, just proving that there is some excellent writing showing up at AFI.

Winner: Barry Bernstein, "The No-Holds Barred Coconut Grove Art Festival Review", 2564 views

Best Discussion: tie

"The Rejection Season Starts" - Jim Parker, 2534 views

and a repeater from 2011: "What's the Worst Question You've Been Asked at an Art Fair?" - Linda & Jim Dalton, 20809 views and 49 pages of comments. I'd say any artist or show director could learn a lot on this one. 

Find the "Art Star" on these members pages, plus Amazon gift cards are on their way to the winners above with thanks from all of us at AFI.


What is the Best Thing about ArtFairInsiders.com?

What members are saying about us:  BestThingAboutAFI-1.pdf


My personal honorable mentions in the blog posts:

"I'll take everything", from Pat Sorbini

"Don't Survive, Thrive!", from Marti McGinnis

"ideas for closing the sale", from Deborah Potash Brodie

"How low can you go?? When a customer wants to bargain", from Carla Bank

"Faking a Sale", from Brian Billings

John Leben's entire series of blog posts as he navigated the winter Florida shows. Here's the wrap-up for 7 of them. They were a real lesson for everyone.

And one that resonated with so many of us: Archie Smith's accident with the bandsaw, "It Finally Happened"

Honorable mention in the discussions:

Besides Archie's plight which generated a lot of support for him and his family I was really pleased at Robin Aronson's discussion: "Minnesota Art Shows - Beware". Robin's discussion got artists working together to capture a woman who was passing bad checks at the shows. She was apprehended as they worked together on AFI to share information. Great job to all of you!

the discussion that got the most feathers ruffled:
"Winter Park Artists to discuss fraud" - nearly 25,000 views and many pages of comment


The many helpful posts discussing and sharing booth shots in this category: Show Us Your Booth


Just for fun - Best artist application:
Marion Arts Festival, Marion, Iowa


In Memoriam 

We will surely miss these artists who we were used to meeting in the next booth for many years: Dean Lauderdale, Bob Black, Barry Cohen, Marla Fry, Don Nibert, Leslie Jensen, art promoter Sandi Jewell and Linda Anderson's husband Neil.


I know this site is helpful to many of you, for which I am grateful. Consider as you are discussing the art fair business who is reading the site. Over and over I hear from art fair directors how the information you share on the site is affecting how they put together their events and they are reading, learning and changing their shows to make them places where artists want to be. You may not notice it but, bit by bit, you are changing this marketplace by your participation.

Many people keep this site alive and full of information, in addition to the people mentioned above thanks to Pat Finney who helps behind the scenes, Melanie Rolfes, Pat Falk, Dave Hinde, Oscar Matos Linares, Paul Flack, Alison Thomas, Robert Wallis, Don Mabry, Lois Anderson, Warren Townsend, David Bjurstrom, John Leben and so many more, including everyone who participated in the Secret Santa project.

Thank you to my assistants, Jacki Bilsborrow who participates at AFI and keeps ArtFairCalendar.com 8869102871?profile=originalup to date, Sabrina Aughenbaugh who puts together the calls for artists and Julie Cottin who runs ArtShowReviews.com. Also to Larry Berman who keeps the spammers away and so very much more.

Many thanks to all of you who have made this community flourish, not only those listed above but to all of you who taken the time to care, comment and share with one another. We are looking forward to what will happen here in this ever evolving group. Thanks for all your support to one another in this exciting art fair business. Community is what makes us strong.

May 2013 bring you all the blessings you deserve. See you at the show! Connie


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ACC San Francisco Aug 3- 5, 2012


I was wait listed for this show. In my category, wearable fiber I was number 9 on the list. I was still on the list as I headed off to do the Bellevue Art Museum Show. Since my husband was working in  San Francisco I was already planning on heading there after the show for a little R & R. As, I was waiting  at Southwest Air for my position I got the call that there was a cancellation and if wanted it the space was mine. WELL, since I was already going to San Francisco I figured,  might as well, As they say no rest for the weary. 

This show takes place in Fort Warden in San Francisco. A really beautiful location, right on the water. You can see the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz. It being August, it is pretty cool in SF, so I figured my wool would be well received. The show is big but not huge, a little over 200 artists, so it is an easy show to walk. The lay out is great for the artists, everyone gets space behind their tent for storage. Load in, it couldn't have been easier. You could set up either Wednesday or Thursday all day or both days. No rush. You were not allowed to drive into the venue, but you could park within 10 feet to unload and they had dollies there for your use. Not a lot of amenities for the artists, though they did have a Scotch Whiskey tasting for us on Saturday night. They also did not have a lot of booth sitters so doing this show on my own was pretty tiring.

Friday was a long day, 10 - 8:30, but worth it. All my artwear ladies came out. I was really feeling and receiving the love. Saturday was another really good day, but on Sunday, it was if the plug was pulled. It did turn out to be profitable show for me but I could have napped all day Sunday.  Breakdown was equally as easy and the show ended at 5 and we were packed and gone by 7. It did help that I was renting pipe and drape, I shipped my fixtures and garments and then shipped them back.

This is a beautiful show, with a lot of really incredible artists. It is such and honor to be part of this tribe. No matter what show I have done, I have met some pretty amazing, talented and generous people. It is a lot of hard work and not always as profitable as I would like, but it is the best job I have ever had and am very grateful to be able to participate.

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8869091092?profile=original2:40 PM Saturday

Well, I made a public commitment to return to Long Beach Island Center for the Arts & Sciences in my  2011 review of this show, when it was 104 degrees on Saturday and no one in their right mind ventured out to an art show on white hot sandy gravel.

So here I was again, hoping that the nearly perfect show weather this year would bring out the buying crowds.  And sadly, they did not.  Attendance was very light at this show Saturday, under perfect show weather: cool, overcast, just a bit breezy, and low humidity.  Sunday was sunnier but still pleasant, and most of the folks flocked to the beach, not to the show.

Setup was scheduled for Friday 5-8 PM, and (if you needed it) 7-10 AM on Saturday.  Like most exhibitors I planned to do so on Friday, but a nasty storm with high winds and heavy rain developed offshore on Thursday night and stalled there, putting nearly all artists into Saturday-morning-setup mode. 

Which is a problem at this show.  It's a small venue with a twisting show layout and limited access.  (Those of you who have done shows on Sanibel know exactly the kind of layout I'm talking about.)  So the dance-with-chaos began not long after sunrise.  Luckily, nearly everyone at this show has lots of experience under their belts.  Some dollied from the street or from their closest available spot in the traffic queue; some waited patiently, opting to unload later than planned.  Most observed the show directive to unload first, then park.  As for me, with a 7 AM arrival I am usually unloading in front of my spot no later than 7:20; with this show it was nearly 8:30 before I snapped the first poles on my Trimline into place.  I made quick introductions to my neighbors (both of whom were great) and let them know that I'd be in "catchup mode" and not chatty until I got back on schedule.  Somehow I got ready on time, ready for customers that were slow to materialize. 

Promoters Nancy and Barbara Boroff of Renaissance Craftables don't stick to the usual 10-5 show script--the show hours were 10-6 Sat./9-4 Sunday-- but I can't say there was any advantage gained. The place was nearly vacant by 4 PM on Saturday, and despite the exhortation in the show literature to "show up on time, people come early" on Sunday, there were few folks browsing the show before 11:30. 

Last year, despite the light turnout, I sold my more expensive images--canvas Gallery Wraps--to nearly everyone, giving me my highest revenue-per-customer tallies outside of Naples.  This year, the odds evened out: I sold only two smaller, slightly damaged ones at a significant discount.  A few matted 16x20s went out the door, along with a smattering of 11x14s.  But although I had a crowded booth for two fleeting occasions late in the day on Sunday and no less than five folks had extended conversations about my wall canvases, none walked out with a package under their arm.  All I had to show for the late-day rally were several oh-so-sincere promises that I'd hear back this week after they'd measured their walls. 

Ummm...We'll see.  I know only that, at the end of a disappointing three-show swing up along the Jersey shore and a raft of hotel bills to pay, I had perhaps a bit too much focus on helping them buy what I had on display, rather than helping them order something larger, later.  My bad. It happens.  But for now, I'm back in Florida for two weeks, trying to figure out how, and if, I'll tweak the product mix for my two-month swing to Delaware and Virginia that starts next month.

As for this show, I'm not certain if I'll return.  A couple of things disturbed me besides the light turnout.

*  Worried about a recurrence of hot weather this year, I had contacted Marcy Boroff before I left Florida to double-check on their policy about using a generator (with which I can power two large fans or even a portable A/C unit).  No, she told me politely, but she said she was working on being able to offer me free electricity as long as I had a 100-foot extension cord.  To her credit, she followed up next day to let me know that electricity would be available.  So I left the generator home.

Imagine my surprise when one of the other exhibitors ran a generator all day on Sunday, without anything being said.

* The show has a policy that you have to show up by a certain time on Saturday for setup, or lose your spot.  And you must promise to exhibit all hours of the show.  So imagine my surprise, again, when an exhibitor across from me not only showed up just before noon on Saturday, but actually was accompanied by two of the show volunteers, hauling in her merchandise and tent on their golf cart.  "Wow, I didn't know valet service was available," my neighbor Glenn commented to me.

On Sunday morning, she didn't arrive until about 11:15, claiming to her neighbors that she didn't get much sleep, and "you wouldn't want me to be cranky."  So far as I and my neighbors know, nothing was ever said.  

I have two Big Suggestions for show directors:

* Don't have more rules than are absolutely necessary

* Having communicated the one that ARE necessary, enforce 'em!  

I've only done this show for two years, but judging from comments I heard from long-time exhibitors, it has slipped badly in recent years: more and more buy/sell, fewer fine artists, over-representation of low-end jewelry, clothing, bracelets, and photography.  I like the Boroffs, but I wish they'd resist the temptation to look the other way when the rules aren't followed and the standards slip.  Artists notice these things, and so does the buying public.

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8869089264?profile=originalAfter receiving notification of my work being accepted to this Columbia, MD show, I was asked to use one of my pieces online and as part of the promotional ad for the show.  I was pleased to accept, (that's my 18-inch bamboo bowl wall hanging near the earrings above).  This was the first time I'd applied to ArtPark; part of a 2-week festival which includes dramatic, music, and dance performances.  The show consisted of 43 artists, in the usual categories, and the overall quality of the work I saw during the show was high, with no buy/sell. 

We made the 6-hour drive on Thursday, stayed overnight with a friend, and arrived early for our desginated Friday 11 am setup time.  We were met by show management, and walked to our tent location.  The setting is around a beautiful lake, with tents facing a row of restaurants with both indoor and outdoor seating shaded by large trees. Cars are not allowed onto the actual tent site, so management provided motorized vehicles and able-bodied volunteers to load and deliver everything there.  Cool!  We like to have a leisurely setup whenever possible, and this fit the bill; the weather was gorgeous (as it was all weekend), and arriving early meant we were set up well ahead of our neighbors.  There was absolutely NO space between tents in our area, which was a pain.  Before the show opened, the fire marshal walked through, noting each artist's type/8869089072?profile=originalbrand of tent.  This was significant, given the stringent requirements for fire safety stated on the application and acceptance documents (we also were required to have a specific type of fire extinguisher 'prominently placed' inside the tent).

Show hours were 5pm to 9pm Friday, Noon to 9pm Saturday, and Noon to 7pm Sunday, and admission was free. 

Friday was slow, and although there were many after dinner strollers, there were virtually no buyers.  People who'd done the show before (the few there were) said this was typical of Friday night. 

Not opening until noon Saturday was pleasant, there was a steady stream of people all day, though no huge crowds.  In Baltimore, which is about a 30-minute drive away, there was a major event going on at the harbor, with tall ships and the Blue Angels, so this may have accounted for the smaller numbers.  The festival had music, and a trapeze act in another section apart from where we were, as well as a kids' area and food.  We had several sales during the late afternoon, the usual complement of "I'll be backs," and overall, we were positive about the show.  Volunteers were polite and plentiful, offering to booth sit.  Each morning, there was coffee and doughnuts at the welcome tent.  Show managers were also visible, and made a point of visiting to ask how things were going.  During the late afternoon, our neighbor, who sold fused glass jewelry and plates said she had "her most expensive piece" stolen while she was talking with people in her booth.  I think her non-secure display contributed to this (small pieces in open trays on a table at the front of the booth, while she sat in the back, below the level of the table), as well as the fact that she was alone.  We had no such incidents, nor did I hear of any others. 

Sunday brought us some fantastic surprises:  two of the "I'll be backs" actually did come back.  One to purchase a companion piece to one she'd purchased on Saturday, and the other, to purchase three of my newest pieces, which will adorn a law office wall. Adding these two sales made Sunday my highest grossing day ever, and I was beyond thrilled!  The show ended with an efficient breakdown and load out, with the motorized carts, helpers, and advantageous parking space making it among the easiest we've ever had. 

Would I do ArtPark again?  Absolutely.  In fact, I may be invited to do it next year.  Apparently, the management extends invitations to previous exhibitors, which means they don't have to be juried for that year.  Would I recommend it to others?  Yes.  Here's what you'll need to know to apply:

ArtPark information:  Show dates:  June 15~17, 2012   Application deadline:  March 2, 2012  

Application:  online .pdf on the show site:  http://columbiafestival.com/artpark-fine-art-crafts-show-sale/

No Entry Fee. 

Show fee:  $200   Electricity fee:  $50 (you'll want it--show runs until 9pm on two of three days, and it's in a heavily shaded area). 

Free parking for exhibitors. 


~Michelle Davis Petelinz



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1st - Steven Olszewski 1st - Elaine Unzicker
2nd - William Kidd 2nd - Lauran Sundin
3rd - Don Nibert 3rd - Adrienne Gaskell**
1st - Beau Tudzarov** 1st - Tracey Hambley
2nd - Michael Braun 2nd - Kathrine Allen-Coleman**
3rd - Carolina Cleere 3rd - Anthony Hansen
1st - Louise Valentine 1st - Yu Zhou
2nd - Diane Harty 2nd - Jon Smith
3rd - Susan Otterson 3rd - Larry Smith**
1st - Scott Gamble 1st - Clifton Henri
2nd - Mark & Julie Glocke** 2nd - Allan Teger**
3rd - Susan Gott 3rd - Leah Cavanah
1st - Marilyn Valiente 1st - Stephen Sebastian
2nd - W. Scott Wilson 2nd - Jack Brumbaugh
3rd - William Kwamena-Poh 3rd - Anne London
1st - Ron Dekok 1st - Gary Traczyk
2nd - Grant Ward** 2nd - Paul Freundt
3rd - Matthew Hatala** 3rd - Carl Zachman
AWARDS OF MERIT (Jury Free Entry for 2013)
Phil Skoczen
Jim Holehouse
Leslie Peebles**
Duncan McClellan**
Jennifer Ivory**

— The 2012 ArtiGras Fine Arts Festival presented by Palm Beach Gardens Medical Centerag_logo.jpg

The winners were selected by three judges who scored each artist and awarded a Best in Show and a first-place winner in each of the 13 categories.

Judith Wood of West Palm Beach has won Best in Show with her mixed media jewelry.

  • Marvin Bower of Boonsboro, Md., in Fiber – Wearable
  • Jayne Demarcay of Abita Springs, La., in Jewelry
  • Shelagh Forrest** of Gainesville, Fla., in Photography
  • R.C. Fulwiler** of Lakeland, Fla., in Digital Art
  • Peter Gerbert of Dade City, Fla., in Painting
  • Barrie Harding** of Dunnellon, Fla., in Wood
  • Corey Johnson of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., in Mixed Media
  • Edward Loedding** of Brandon, Vt., in Drawing and Printmaking
  • Don McWhorter of Carrollton, Ga., in Ceramics
  • Richard Ryan of Bourbonnais, Ill., in Glass
  • Alex Santamarina of San Francisco, Calif., in Metal
  • Jean Yao of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in Fiber – Nonwearable

More about ArtiGras: http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/feb/21/artist-judith-wood-takes-home-best-in-show-20424/

Their website:  http://www.artigras.org/

8871903074?profile=originalIn Altamonte Springs, FL, a new show appeared: Uptown Altamonte Art Expo

Their winners:

Best of Show:  Laurie Coppedge (Photography)8871903260?profile=original

Awards of Excellence (4):
    Robert Hyde (Sculpture)
    Patrick Pierson** (Mixed Media)
    Rolly Ray Reel (Mixed Media)
    Peter Smith (Mixed Media)

Judge’s Choice (3):
    Julie Kessler and Judy Lee (Mixed Media)
    Tamra Martin (Jewelry)
    J. Brown and D. Hair (Painting)

Merit Awards (10):
    Leland Williams (Mixed Media)
    Diana Ahrens (Mixed Media)
    Michael Myers** (Mixed Media)
    Marla E. (Painting)
    Jim Sprinkle (Sculpture)
    Jeff Eckert (Printmaking/Drawing)
    Jeffrey Waller (Mixed Media)
    Julie Anstaett (Jewelry)
    Thomas Lott (Jewelry)
    Frank Castelluccio (Sculpture)

** Members of ArtFairInsiders.com - congratulations!

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Happy Holidays

I know, I know....nine more days!

But YOU know ME!!!! LOL

In bold and upper case, I just have to wish every single Art Fair Insider a


We are totally breaking tradition this year: no tree, trimmings or turkey.....at least at home!

My newlyweds will be at the Green Bay Packer Game on Christmas Day. For those who do not follow American football, the Packers are set to have a "perfect" season and picked to win the Super Bowl again. We in WI take the Pack like religion on Sundays ( or any other day they play!) So Mom's (my) traditions will wait a week as they make their holy trek up to Lambeau Field.

My eldest and darling daughter haven't decided yet but

Dan and I are heading to Minneapolis to spend Christmas with our youngest son, the surgical transplant RN. Since he just moved to the Uof M Hospital there from Kearney, NE, he is low man on the rotation. He will be working some third shifts.

Larry, we are doing a brave thing! After eight years of being a house dog, Willow is coming along. We procured Valium for the trip for him (I think a round may be needed for us as well! Just kidding.)

I hope everyone uses this blog to tell us what YOU are doing over the next two weeks.

I'd love to hear!



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There, but for the grace of G_d go we...

Just arrived in Tubac, AZ for their annual arts festival and while talking to our neighbor found out about one of the Palm Springs art shows that takes places in the downtown area. In case you hadn't heard. On January 21, 2012 90 mile per hour winds basically wiped out the entire art show. Palm springs is a windy place, hence all the windmills that catch the wind coming through the pass. The extent of the damage to the trees in the park is really something else and considering more people weren't hurt is amazing. Huge trees were knocked down and fell on vans, tents went flying and our neighbor reported that he had been hit in the head and knocked out (he had the shiner to prove it). It only goes to show you how dangerous weather can be and sometimes all the weights you put down are still not enough to keep the tent from flying. Surprisingly, watching the YouTube videos some tents were still standing while some right next to them were decimated!  For more on that show see: the shorter version  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt1NlZNxJCQ&feature=related  OR   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n6DD5CBQJs&fe

It makes ya sort of humble.

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As I sat down for my early Saturday morning coffee and morning paper, I couldn't miss the sticker slapped on the masthead of Saturday's Fort Myers News-Press: "THIS IS THE BIG ONE...COCONUT POINT ART FESTIVAL." 

"We'll see," I said, hopefully, as I quaffed the dregs of my Starbucks.  For the first time in its six-year history, this top-shelf Howard Alan show faced stiff competition from a neighborhood bully--Barry Witt's new February installment of the Bonita Springs Art Festival, happening a scant 4 miles' drive down US 41. 

I couldn't help but be apprehensive:  A SW Florida local, I've done Coconut Point ever since I got into the business in 2008, and it's consistently been my high-water mark for sales during snowbird season.  Would the Big Show down the highway scuttle attendance and sales?  Or would I, and the other 200-plus artists lining the south end of Coconut Point mall, be scuttled by the Saturday-morning cold front blowing through the region?

The faint stirrings of an economic recovery might not withstand this kind of double-whammy, I thought. And there was also the thought that Alan had a show at this venue only six weeks earlier, on New Year's Weekend.  But not to worry:  The rain showers were long gone by 10 AM Saturday. The temps were chilly but the crowds poured in as the skies parted around noontime, and the Bonita Springs festival, as they say on the sports pages, was Not a Factor.  I had my best sales weekend ever at this festival, and (with a few exceptions) most of my neighbors did OK-to-good, too.  What's more, I won a Costco Gift Card at a pre-show raffle (more evidence of Howard Alan Events' push toward providing more artist amenities) and even scored a couple of bagels at the artist breakfast tent. 

I've talked about this area's sterling demographics and show logistics before; you can read about that in detail  here.  Suffice it to say that the Friday, all-day setup is a snap, and the tear-down, though complicated by heavy Sunday-evening mall traffic, is easy too, as long as you're patient.  The crowds are knowledgeable and (near as I could tell) willing to spend, but (as is the case nearly anywhere in SW Florida) heavy on the 55-and-up demographic.  I had a good market for my fine-art avian photography canvases, sales of which made up about 75% of my weekend's take.  The browse bins (11x14 and 16x20 mat sizes) got lighter activity, as has mostly been the case since New Year's.  (Note: I used to call my work "bird photography" but decided I could charge more if I called it "avian fine art" instead.  Marketing is all....)

Is a recovery at hand?  Well, I'm reading a lot about that in the local papers, where real estate prices are starting to rebound, developers are once again starting to take out color ads in the Sunday supplements, and unemployment is dipping.  And I'm getting about five customers/prospects every show who tell me they're here because they recently bought a home...and another few who (perhaps feeling a bit more flush) have decided to finally decorate the home they bought two years ago.  I'm guessing that's three times as often as what I've been hearing in the last four years. 

So, it's on to ArtiGras (my first time ever) and Stuart, the week after that, to see if I can spot the same trend on Florida's east coast.  Hope so: my 2012 Spring Fling up north is looming, and I'm needing a second tent and a new lens or two (not to mention airline tickets).  Onward! 

(I didn't have time to scour the neighborhood for sales results.  How'd you guys make out?  And let's hear from Bonita!!)

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In their advertising, Howard Alan Events billed this show as "The first and best art festival of 2012."  One could be snarky and say, "Well, sure...so far!"  But for many of the 200-plus artists who exhibited,  it was a solid weekend, with brisk crowds, packages aplenty, and enough sales in the till to leave hope that maybe, just maybe, the economy has turned the page as well as the calendar. 

Alan has been holding events at this fine upscale mall, halfway between Naples and Fort Myers, for six years or so. The last few years have featured an early-season show in November as well as the long-running one around Valentine's Day weekend.  But this year Alan moved the fall show to New Year's weekend--a savvy move since other Florida promoters are staying shuttered until Jan. 7. (The second show will be held six weeks hence, as always.)

The show's location within the mall was shifted slightly this year, closer to the property's SW corner, which seemed to make access a bit easier for artists and patrons alike.  Setup was all day Friday, 10 to 5.  Most artists took advantage of that; those that didn't could arrive early Saturday morning.  (There's lots of lodging within 5 miles of the show, as any Priceline search will prove out.  Alan also arranged a special at the Hyatt on site.  I didn't use either option, since I live 20 minutes north on US 41.)  

Layout was back-to-back in three columns, with enough space behind the booths for inventory and supplies, and just enough space between booths to squeeze through and get them if, like me, you didn't have a back door.  Parking was off-site this year instead of behind the movie theatre--a last-minute change that was well communicated by email--and shuttle buses ran before and after the show for those who needed it.  Alan arranged with Costco to provide an "artist's breakfast" booth with muffins and pastries and bottled water, but alas, no coffee.  It was a minor inconvenience, given that a Starbucks and Panera Bread are adjacent to the show, but it would be a nice addition next time.  

Weather was Chamber of Commerce-perfect: cloudless blue skies and temperatures that reached the low 80s both days.  Crowds were steady enough on Saturday, but patrons were definitely in "browse mode".  Sunday amped up both attendance and sales.  Interestingly, too, several artists mentioned to me that they thought the crowd skewed a bit younger than a lot of the Florida shows they do.  Maybe it reflects vacationers, as opposed to residents and snowbirds...or maybe Facebook and social media advertising is starting to have an impact (but that's a subject for a later post.)

I out-did my Day One results by better than 3 to 1 and reached my sales mark from the February 2011 show at 3 PM Sunday--a happy event since this show marked a new product mix for me, with fewer but larger canvases and no more 8x10 mat sales or notecards. It also helped that I'd mailed Christmas cards to all my large-ticket patrons, with a hand-written message and my show schedule printed on the back.  Over a half-dozen came to say hello, and several made new purchases. 

I made a point of walking the show twice, and I thought the quality and category mix were excellent. But why take my word for it? More convincing proof were the three times I heard women calling their friends to tell them about the event, all with essentially the same message: "You've got to come down here and see this...it's a beautiful show!" I can count on one hand the number of times I've witnessed that.

Like any show, there were folks who didn't fare so well.  Jewelers (which Alan held at 20% of exhibitors) seemed to fare a bit better than 2-D artists, generally.  Several photographer friends were disappointed, and a nearby painter who had sold several large pieces at last year's event wasn't so fortunate this time around.  But on the whole, folks were chalking it up as a solid start to the New Year. 

How 'bout some of you other AFI'ers out there?  What did you think?


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Marco Island Celebrate the Arts Festival

I stumbled across this information today.  I thought I would share it everyone.  Those of you who usually do this show may already know about the cancelation.  I thought I would pass the news on just in case this may affect any AFI members.

The Marco Island Celebrate the Arts Festival is canceled for 2012:

"After careful consideration by those in charge of the event, it became obvious that it was not feasible to launch Celebrate the Arts this season. Lack of participation and funding required the Arts Center to reluctantly cancel, but it also has opened up an opportunity to focus on other events, workshops and a large fundraiser in February, which will invite the membership to participate in a co-ordinated exhibition off-site. More information will come soon.
Any artist who sent in their application, will be refunded."

This information was taken from the Marco Island Center for the Arts Website.  If you were affected by the lost of this show I hope you are able to fill your schedule with another fine show.

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ARE YOU READY for 2012?

In eighteen days, my second son gets married to a wonderful girl. I'm all ready. I'll even post pictures of the event on AFI for fun. So, as Mother-of-the-Groom, I planned the rehersal dinner, helped the kids pay a few extra bills, and made all the wedding jewelry........no sweat!

I've needed a break. LOL

Yesterday I received a Zapp notification for Des Moines.


NO WAY....thought I......deadlines sneak up .......Oh, OH!

OCTOBER 31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jimmeny Cricketts!!!


I looked up Lakefront Festival of the Arts in Milwaukewe, my hometown. Yikees!


The speedometer on my life went from 25 to 65 in minutes.


So, how prepared are you for the 2012 season?

1) Have all your professional photos taken and ready to upload to zapp, amdur or the moon?

2) Have that booth shot with all three walls showing?

3) Do you even have eight creations you think will "WOW" those jurors in six seconds?

4) Have you found your "market" and know which shows they flock to attend?

5) Do you have the money to pay "X" amount of jury fees?


What are you doing in 2012 that's new, innovative, researched or intuitive about the Art Fair World?

We're all Insiders, so, do share, will you?

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Time to decide – May Shows  - Go South or Stay Home?  The rainy season has definitely started in Seattle and we are thinking we really wanted to cut the rainy season short with a road trip to Northern CA.  Earlier this year we decided that staying in the Pacific NW for all of our shows didn’t make sense, too many months with marginal shows, too many gloomy months, time to head south and enjoy some sunshine while working!!


After lots of research using this site, Art Fair Calendars, AFSB, FNO, etc. we’re more undecided than ever before. We keep hearing that California shows are not worth the drive (over 1000 miles from Seattle), Arizona is still economically depressed, Nevada has few good shows, so what do we do for May and September?  We’re tired of setting up for rainy Seattle shows, but we don’t want to waste our time or energy heading to Northern CA only to be disappointed and feel like we’ve wasted our time.


Here’s our dilemma, I’m still working that “corporate job” while trying to help my husband as much as possible establish his niche in the art show markets.  I have quite a bit of vacation leave, but it's quickly used up with travel to shows.  He’s the primary artist, I’m the “class A” personality with a few pieces of art, but my contribution is more in the bookkeeping, organizing, business planning, etc.  BTW, did I mention my corporate jobs have been in finance, accounting, process re-engineering and sales support?  So no, I’m not a full time artist, but totally supportive of my artist husband and trying to do everything possible to make his art career a success.


We started doing community art shows / art walks in late 2005, graduated to a few fine art shows in 2007 after we spent a few frustrating months realizing the community events were NOT our market.  We have  a  reasonably predictable schedule in the Pacific NW after the past 5 years of participating in fine art shows, but have a few months a year with few or no show opportunities, hence our idea to expand our market and try a few shows in Northern CA.    We’re a bit tired of the “gloom and gray” of Seattle and the thought of an extra month or two (May and September) of sunshine was worth the travel.


Are California shows really as bad as I’m hearing from other artists in this area? Do we take the risk?  How much vacation time am I willing to burn on this experiment?  Or do we decide to use our airline miles and just have fun on a quick getaway to the sunshine?


Trying to decide if we need to try a different direction for 2012 and would appreciate any feedback or insight.

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