Congratulations to these members of ArtFairInsiders.com who make this online community the "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
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 up 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