It is time to celebrate! Art Fair Insiders just hit a new milestone. We just surpassed 17,000 members.
I started working for Connie Mettler and Norm Darwish way back in 1995 when they were heavily involved in the art fair business. I did the framing and shipping. Connie soon bought her first computer. I remember she taught herself how to do so much. She printed off address labels and kept lists of art patrons who purchased Norm's work at shows. I remember her saying "Why do we have to learn how to do this stuff!" It is amazing now to see how far we both have come since we didn't grow up on computers like the kids do today.
Connie's first wesite was Art Fair Calendar. Connie's son, Scott, was a website builder so he got her started and helped her all along the way. She was rapidly surpassing the amount of computer knowledge that I had. She would ask me at work if I had checked out The Art Fair Calendar. I always had to say no because I didn't know how to find much beyond my email. Eventually, Connie built five websites and they were all designed to help artists make a living selling art.
Eventually, Connie started building Art Fair Insiders, an online community around the nation's art fair business so artists and others could connect with one another for mutual support and fellowship. She kept building it bigger and better adding new information pages along the way.
Art Fair insiders was ready to launch in June of 2008. It took a while to get the word out but eventually the artists came. Artist CL Cunningham joined in September 2008. By October of that year artists Carlye Crisler and Kayte Strong has joined. The word began to spread. Today, we have just a little over 17,000 artists, show producers, and art patrons using this website to find the information they need and to connect with each other.
Five Hundred and Forty Nine people alone have joined us since last August 2021. We really grew during the first year of Covid-19 when everybody was in lock down with time on their hands. 2020 was such a terrible year for artists that lots of artists were just looking for help where ever they could find it. We began posting virtual shows on Art Fair Calendar in an effort to help keep artists in business and to try provide a type of art show for art patrons to attend. Certainly the virtual shows could never replace the face to face in person shows but it was better than nothing. Our goal is to evolve so that we are always useful and ready to meet any challenge so that we are always relevant and helpful to artists.
So, let's all celebrate this amazing milestone. We will always try to be helpful. We need your help, as well. We need artists to be active in some way here. The more active artists are here the more likely other artists will want to use this site. So, please check in here at Art Fair Insiders and let us know you are using our website. Post an occasional blog post. Invite your friends. Interact with each other, comment on the blog posts and discussions. Let's all make this a great site.