new (14)

We have closed our art show business and would like to sell our tent.  The tent was used for only a few shows.  It is clean.  It has been kept in hard plastic containers in a temperature controlled environment.  So it is in good condition.  One corner zipper is broken part way down.  However, the tent does close and the bottom of that corner can be secured easily.  Tent comes with an awning as well.

Pro Panels are beige.  They have also been kept in house in a temperature controlled environment.  There are 13 Panels, 14 shelves, and 3 pedestals (each varying in height).  A couple shelves have some minor stains.  

Tent and Pro Panels as a unit $2000.  Located in SW Florida.

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Loving the Time

After an abortive trip to Texas, and a bout of feeling lackluster and burned out, and just laying (lying?) around watching TV, I'm back in the studio and am absolutely loving it. It's fabulous to have TIME to paint, to experiment, to think about how I can improve and then work at doing it. It's grand. 

I'm going to go bigger this year, and bolder. I'm delving into figurative work - people in motion, mainly. I'm raising the colors in my palette, and cutting down on my strokes. I'm excited about this new direction - and scared, too, for sure. But fear often jazzes me. 

All of this is helping me look forward to the next show season, instead of sort of dreading it, as I was a couple weeks ago. I hope you all are having the same sort of rebirth, in this cold, dark month! 

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New CEO of Cherry Creek Arts Festival

Lots of us have been waiting to hear this. Who will (or possibly even can) replace Terry Adams as the CEO of the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver? When Terry took over 14 years ago the organization was in very rough financial shape. An event of this scope needs a strong fiscally smart and responsible manager.

We were wondering if the job would go to Tara Brickell, the Associate Director, who has been acting CEO since Terry left a few months ago, but the new CEO, Chris Stevens seems to fit the bill very well for the event.

He has been a banker, a juror for the show, owned an art gallery, managed the arts and culture program at the Denver airport (I've seen some pretty great stuff there). He has lived in the community for two years which is probably important in order to continue the well-developed relationships between the festival and the community.

He joins the staff just a few weeks before the festival - a big job looms ahead for him.   

Welcome to Art Fair World, Chris! 

Even if you don't do "top tier" events the art festival business needs blockbuster events like Cherry Creek to keep the level of art on the streets high. A high tide raises all boats.

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need advice on weights for ez up tent

After retiring from teaching art for 32 years i have had the chance to get back into the studio. Last year I did three shows. Two were inside and the one outdoor show provided a tent for "emerging artists". So this June will be the first outdoor show on my own.  I purchased an eze up 10x10 tent last fall when eCanopy had some great sales. Used it Winterfair Columbus, an indoor show, worked great.  But I have not yet purchased/made weights that I will need for the June show.  This show is on parking lot surface so the tent can not be staked, just weights. I need some advice on weights to secure the tent. How many pounds? How to best tie to the tent? do I purchase the weights? Do I make something of my own? Would appreciate any advice.

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So Many Networks - So Little Time

Besides making and showing my art I also run a small design and marketing business to help small organizations (and artists) maximize their marketing resources. Often I bump into people that are overwhelmed by the choices available to them these days to reach out and connect substantively for their personal use and for their businesses.

A forum like this one we're on, is an awesome starting point. Because it's user friendly and enriched with all sorts of useful content. I find it to be an invaluable resource for my art fair business. But what about all the other tools we have available to us for connecting? There are so many social networks these days for us to use to connect with each other and our customers and associates. Are there too many? There are if you don't know how to choose which social network are going to do the best work for your different projects. Over the years and in some cases just months, I have become more familiar with the pluses and benefits of each of the following social networks.

What The Other Social Networks Can Do


Perfect for all your personal connecting. Does comments and other media pretty well. Fairly easy to connect via smartphone and tablets too.

I use the Pages for the more personality driven of my main businesses and projects. I think at this Facebook is superb.

Interacting with my mini horse's fans has taught be so much about how best to leverage Facebook pages for other organizations. It's amazing how little interactions can build a real presence for people.


Not sure where this is headed. While it seeks to be a Big Giant conglomeration of everything you do, search and shop for on the web - it's got a sort of Big Brotherly feel to it. Also it's harder to cross connect with other media and networks. Not too many of my personal connections have adopted the G+ lifestyle so it's a bit of a deserted island for me and my posts.

That said, there are plenty of well connected seriously Googled people who LOVE it's connectivity. For example, I'm not big into connecting socially on Google+ I use their GoogleDocsfeature to collaborate with almost all my clients. I love the way we can all edit the same document at the same time or when we're not working together.


I'm new to this picture sharing app so I'm still defining for myself how best to use it. I started out by taking pix of my art and posting those - but isn't that what my Facebook page and blog are for? So  I'm switching to have it be more of a distinct project 'personality' of its own and am starting up a #DogTrotHill (Instagram is BIG into using hashtags to organize content feeds) series where I will limit my pix to just be about the few acres I live on. My user name is: HappyArtMarti

My hope is that this will offer its own unique perspective and opportunity to differentiate and engage my eventual followers. A friend of mine has honed her offerings down to what looks like being just about the Bluegrass region of KY. She's AlpacaLindyand does a wonderful job of convincing me I live in heaven.


You must be here if you're to be taken seriously as a contender in the job market these days. If you're not here, you're a known dinosaur. Some people really work its Discussions, Questions and Groups features. I don't. I don't have time but have a nagging feeling I should be doing more with it. Oh well, that's why God invented winter, right?


I run hot and cold on Pinterest. I'm not sure how I feel about people having access to all the cute things I find on the web - does posting my finds make me less unique? But then again - seeing what others share is fascinating and helps me navigate the wealth of creative flow out there in the Big Wide World - so I keep coming back to it. I work a little for my own art projects and Etsy store - but I always feel a little cheap doing so. That's partially why I invented a series of quotable and sharable images for people to share, some of which I cross post on Tumblr and Facebook for maximum exposure and share-ability.


As a blogging site it's a bit redundant with my own self-hosted blogs - but what it offers is an easier connection betweenTumblr 'bloggers', a little like Pinterest and Instagram - but allows for video as well strictly text based posts. Here's how I use it:


Fantastic for immediate connection! Right now the Olympics are being played in London and millions are getting their news from twitter feeds. What's so great about this is you can hear what your favorite athletes have to say as the games are unfolding for them - as well as get up to date results from major network players. Twitter users are ok with non-immediate gratification for things like pix and vids. They're used to seeing miniURLS - but your use of the 140 character limit had better be tight, engaging and irresistible!

Your Own Blog

Like this one, running your own blog is a great way to keep things from you in an uncontaminated environment- but of course it ever so much more difficult to share and garner attention with. You have to cross post linkbacks to your posts using these other social networking tools.


I use Youtube as an excellent resource that ties in with all my other networks. A well edited or otherwise fascinating video can really connect with people and they've made it so easy to embed videos throughout many of the above choices - you have to consider creating content and setting up your own channel. You might surprise yourself with what it can do for you. Here's a video I made for a client's book trailer. He's a dog, AND he's an artist!


It's worth it to create and maintain an active channel for your organization. There are many tips to help create content that's memorable and boosts your projects.

Comment below if you'd like some feedback on what might work best for you!

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Rumor About Zapplication Jurying

This is Kathy Coons writing, not Don. I am standing on my soapbox!

We were at the Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina, KS last weekend. As bored artists are wont to do, conversations ensued. The favorite topic is of course, "Why can't I get into shows anymore?" Well, the conjecture seemed to revolve around, "It's Zapplications fault!" There is a rumor (I call it a conspiracy theory) that Zapp offers shows the opportunity to have Zapp jury the show for them. They pay extra for this service and that the bigger shows do this, i.e. Cherry Creek, St. Louis, etc...This presents a very real chance for unfair bias, or vendetta's against certain artists or styles. This is why established artists are not getting accepted into shows that they routinely or at least occasionally used to be invited to.


Does anyone have any solid evidence for this? And why would a show do this? More importantly, Why would Zapp risk their reputation by doing this? I guess it could cut down on the promoters expenses by not finding, bringing in jurors, housing and feeding them. But it seems like the shows would want to change up jurors every year, and have a choice in who picked their shows.


I can imagine that this "jury" would get really tired of seeing the same images, over and over. They would be inclined to say, "Seen it, been there, done that, rejected."


So, if this is the case, do we need to get a new body of work images as well as a new booth slide every year! It is quite a challenge to come up with a new set of jury quality work, have the pieces professionally photographed and go to the expense of framing them. And then finding a place and appropriate light to set up your entire display, set it up, photograph it, tear it all down, pack it up again. Hey folks, many of us are retirement age. This is a lot to ask of a greying population of artists!


Why do the applications rarely tell artists who the jurors are? I think that is a fair question. Why would a traditional painter apply to a show with only contemporary museum quality jurors? I would think shows would want one experienced art fair artist on their jury. Don't they realize that the reason shows are in business is to provide the public and the artists a chance to meet and buy art goods for their home? Most people want a good mix of art to choose from. Not all Realism or Nonobjective art. 


So, has anyone else heard of this?? Anyone have any proof?? If it's not true, then we should quit speculating. If it is true we should be uproarious with our hearty disapproval.

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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 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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Public Art Project on Tour in Basel, Manfred Kielnhofer

Shared by Austrian artist and designer Manfred Kielnhofer. The “Light Guards” project is further developed and become a ghost car touring in Basel art show during June 15 – 19 2011.

Eccentric art was also at Basel, if not as dominant a presence as the traditional buys. Ghost Car by Kielnhofer was a large white van with hooded figures driving outside the fair, and the Bleifrei (which translates to Lead Free in German) Art Collective told Art Info: “Art is like Jesus; it died and it’s coming again.”

Manfred Kielnhofer, Ghost Car (2011) Basel, via Kielnhofer.com8871897661?profile=original

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The grim seeker after truth
Anyone wondering why these grim reaper style figures were seated on this white van - look no further than the latest installation from artist Manfred Kielnhofer. He is from Haslach an der Mühl, in the district of Rohrbach in Upper Austria, Austria, and is an artist and designer whose work usually centres around the human anatomy. His recent piece of art is the Ghost Car, which is a product of the developing ‘Light Guards’ project. This project surfaced from the theory that humankind has always been able to boast having guardians in different ways, in potential danger from only themselves. This idea intrigued the artist Kielnhofer, who approached it with his artwork, intertwining the theme of longing for security harboured by all humans. The Ghost Car portrays a sizely white van driving, seating sheet-covered figures. Perhaps this reflects individuality, exploration and recognition of current events in society, as it seems to interpret the theme by suggesting the hooded figures are looking to the drapes and car for protection as they are possibly ghosts, who are afraid of the life after death, and long for safekeeping.
By Alessia De Silva

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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 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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Some interesting progress, my 3rd show.

I attended a 2nd show in Cincinnati that was interesting and educational because my booth attracted many lookers, not so many buyers.  My 3rd show was in a small town in Ohio called Ashland where the organizers just want to bring some arts and crafts into the area.  This year was their 2nd and was very nicely done, well organized!  Talk about being prepared for weather, the wind was blowing so hard that I almost couldn't get set up!  So much work!  These shows take so much effort and preparation and then to get bad weather!?!  Well let me just say a big thank you to my husband who encourages me because otherwise I might be tempted to not participate.

My big news is that I sold more of my items than I have previously and I attribute it to the presentation.  I've not changed my inventory one bit but I've changed how I present the items in my booth.  The booth shot below is during set up for my 2nd show so not all is evident but it does show many changes.  I raised the tables up to counter height (42"), created an "L" shape with them, mounted blow-up pics of some of my pendants, and 8871896661?profile=originalI organized my pieces into what I called collections.  I also took advice from you all and did the "less is more" approach -- this I believe was instrumental is allowing items to stand out and be appreciated.  The next thing I did was to move some of my necklace pendants and charms from their chains.  I attached them with ribbon to Charm cards that I made up and then allowed folks to select their own chain from a display I kept in the back of the booth.

This worked very well for my lower priced charms.  People were not buying the more expensive necklaces and pendants that remained on jewelry display trees so I didn't make much $ but I was profitable.  My take on this is that the higher priced items attract visually but while they maybe aren't as affordable in the given population they add the credibility to the other choices on the display.

I'm going to capitalize on these learnings for my next show.  I ordered some additional packaging that I think will be attractive to holiday purchasers.  I'm also going to try moving some of my more expensive pendants to the charm cards.


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So here we go again. Back in 2004 my son Scott said "build a website, Mom. Everyone is online, or is going to be there." So, was born. We (my husband Norm Darwish and I) started gathering email addresses at all of our art fairs, instead of mailing addresses. We started this website to list the juried art fairs around the country so patrons could find the good shows and the site could help bring them to the art fairs. There was no intention of this becoming a business. We wanted to enable our artist friends to continue to earn their living at the nation's art fairs.

Fast forward: 2010 - is the #1 Google-rated site for "art fairs", most of the time, but always in the top three. Who would have known? Thousands visit the site daily. Nearly 19,000 people subscribe to the newsletters. The site has become an excellent vehicle for people looking for art fairs. Even artists use it!

In 2008 Scott said that social networking was the next big thing and I'd better have a site to serve all the artist subscribers to the newsletter. People were meeting in communities online and artists were a community who would like to be in touch with each other outside of the art fairs. So along came Yep, it gets good Google ratings also and we are thrilled with its growth. Thanks, guys! Who knew this would work?

Last month we launched site #3: We are building it into a site where artists can quickly find deadlines for art fairs at a glance. It is also, of course, another place where art fairs can get some notice from you. Please take a look and let us know how it looks to you. We'd really appreciate it if you would encourage art fair organizers that you know to join us there also.

How are we doing here? What do you think of the new site? What should we do next?

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