show (106)

Here you go, this show sounds like they have done their homework to protect everyone as best as possible from Covid-19.  The show is the 18th Annual Orchard Lake Fine Art Show held in West Bloomfield Township on July 25 & 26th.

The show is produced by Patty Narozny of HotWorks.  Patty has had to cancel several of her shows earlier this year.  It greatly bothered Patty to cancel show after show because of the virus.  Patty knows that artists depend on shows to make their living.  Patty worked with the West Bloomfield Township and is following the Covid-19 guide lines based on the Governor's executive order to put together the safest show possible.  The 18th Annual Orchard Lake fine Art Show may very well be the first Michigan show to be held since the Covid-19 shut down.  This show may also become the model other show producers will be following in the future so that art shows can become a possibility once again.

So, what can you expect if you are able to get into the 18th Annual Orchard Lake fine Art Show?  The deadline to apply is June 19th so don't drag your feet and there is a limited amount of spaces available.  Below you can read about the precautions that will be in place to make this a safe show for everyone in attendance:

   *  There will be 3 main entrances into the show.

   *  There will be a few hand washing sinks spread around the show.  This show had a sink before in the
       relaxation tent so that people could wash their hands before they ate while at the show.  Well they
       will have a few more now.

   *  The sinks are touchless, they are operated by your foot.

   *  There will be signs at each porta john urging people to wipe the handles before & after use.  There
       will be disinfectant & paper towel there for people to use.

   *  All show booths will be 3 feet apart.

   *  If possible all booths will have 2 or more sides up to help the air to flow through the tents.

   *  Social distancing of 6 feet apart will be practiced.

   *  Face coverings will be encouraged however since the show is outside it can't be forced by law.

   *  Artist will use pointers - if possible to help with physical distancing.  This may not be possible for
       everyone so then face coverings should be worn when interacting the artist needs to be closer
       to the art patrons.

   *  One family unit at a time can be in the booth.  Other shoppers will need to wait outside the booth
       to be invited in.

   *  There will be markings on the ground for spacing for the art patrons.

   *  Every booth is responsible to bring his/her own hand sanitizer & have it displayed in booths for
       people to see & use during the show.

   *  Jewelers & browse bins will need to be wiped after touching & anything else needing wiping should
       be wiped during the show.

Patty Narozny has put a lot of time and work into trying to put together a safe show.  This could be a good time to try to get back into an art show.  It will be different and take some time getting used to.  I think this will work.  You might want to give this a chance. 

Don't forget that the deadline to apply is June 19th and there is a limited amout of spaces available. 

Let's make this work!


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    Once again I have spent some time evaluating the website.   Take a look.  I think you will find some very interesting facts.  We know many of our artists use our Art Show Reviews website.  We know because you have also told us many times that you do use it when you are making up your schedules. 

    However, we need your help.  This website will not be as useful to you or any other artist if we don't get new show reviews.  We are averaging 1 review for every 4,000 times someone uses our website.  Artists are using us but not giving back.

    I have often asked artists to write a review for certain shows.  Many are hesitant and I have gotten the impression they think I am looking for a bad review.  I am not asking for bad reviews.  I am hoping the reviews are good ones because I hope all the shows are good shows.  However, mainly I am just looking for honest reviews that are helpful to others.

    If you want to review a show that isn't on our website, go ahead and write your review.  If I find we don't have it listed I will add it.  No problem, I am just happy you wrote a review for us.  

    Every year I get a comment that is left on our website like this one:

How come so many of the posted show reviews are from 2-5 years old?  Can't you supply some more updated review information from artists that have done the shows.  After all, many shows go through changes from year to year.

    This comment is very true.  If we don't get new reviews all we have is old reviews.  Shows do change.  Shows try to improve.  We want artists to know the show has changed for the better if it has.  Please help us.  Please consider writing a review for us.  We are just asking for about 5 minutes of your time.

Please give back to keep our website as useful as possible.

#1:  We now have 650 art shows on our website.  Last year we had 643, so we had a slight gain in the past year.

#2.  We still have 7 states that do not have any art and craft shows listed at all.  The states of Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia have never had a show review submitted for them, thus those states have not been added.  If you submit a review for those states I will add the show and get that state on our website.  Surely, someone here has done a show in one of those states.  Please write a review for us.

#3.  The state with the largest amount of shows listed on our website is Florida.  That probably isn't a big surprise.  We have 86 shows listed on our site in Florida, that is two more than the year before.  Coming in second place is Illinois with 43 shows.  Michigan has 37 shows and is in 3rd place. 

#4.   We have 24 states with 10 or less art and craft shows listed.   

#5.   We have three states with only one art or craft show listed for them.  Those states are Arkansas, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.  Anybody have a show they can submit for these states? 

#6.   We still have only one show listed for Canada.  We know they have shows up there.  Does anyone have a show and a review that they could add to that page to make it more valuable?

#7.   We actually have a European page with one show listed.  Has anyone done an European shows yet? We would love to add a couple shows to that page.

#8.   Since our website went live we have had 1,285,929 page views.  That is amazing!  We know artists are using our website.  We need new reviews so that our site remains useful and needed.

#9.   In 2019, we had roughly 130,655 page views.  

#10. In the last 30 days, 1/11/19 - 2/11/20, we have had 10,182 page views.  Of course, this is a time when many artists are using our site to put the finishing touches on their show schedules. 

#11. We usually average about 375 page views per day.  In fact, we had had 257 page views by 8 am today.  Artists were up early and working today. 

#12. We had a total of 30 reviews that were written for us during 2019.  Of course, many people use our website without ever leaving a comment or writing a review.  We also had 17 comments left. 

#13. In the last year, we had 130,655 page views.  Of those over 130 thousand visitors only 30 times did artists leave a review.  Certainly we can give back to the art community better than that.  We want artists to use our website, but we would also need you to give back.  

#14. The average show review probably takes less than 7 minutes to write.  There is a simple form is right there on our website and you just fill it in.  Easy peasy!  Simple as pie!

To submit a show review click on this link:

To submit a show that is not on our website click this link:

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8869193886?profile=originalUnfortunately, the Art and Craft Show held in Old Town San Diego will no longer be held.  This show had been held in the Historic Old Town San Diego.  Old Town is a quaint area that attracts tourists to San Diego.

The Arts & Crafts Show Old Town San Diego first began in 2011.  This art and craft show had something for everyone, fine art, entertainment. delicious international tasty food, tequilas, and craft beer and wine.  The colorful art event ran along San Diego Avenue from Conde Street to Twiggs Street.

The art and craft show was hosted by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce.  In 2018, the show was schedule to take place.  The artists were juried in and a month before the show was to take place the show was abruptly canceled.  The artists' money was refunded.  

The Old Town Chamber of Commerce did not receive the annual financial support in 2018 that it had received in the past.  That lack of funding caused the show to be cancelled in 2018.  Because that lack of financial support still continues there was also no show taking place for 2019.

So, as of this date, there is no sign that this show will return in the future.  It is always sad to report the end of an art show. 

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Finished my 2nd Event

Finished my second event...Burro Races in Georgetown CO. Since my last event, I purchased Flourish mesh walls and absolutely love them.  My husband does setup was talking them up to other vendors.

I decided to forgo the wood curtain on the back, glad I did the tent looks clean and crisp. I will be using smaller S hooks next time as it was difficult inserting the larger hooks in the mesh.  Now I just need to figure out a good way of showing my stickers. I had them hanging on the wall but they kept flying away.


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Can you spare 7 minutes of your life to help the art fair community?  Let me convince you.

Below you will find some very interesting facts about   I have spent some time evaluating the information from the website from 2018 that I would like to share with you.   Take a look.  I think you will find some very interesting facts.   Please consider giving back to the Art Fair Community with a review or two ( about 7 minutes per review).


Fact #1:  We now have 643 Art and Craft Shows listed on our site.  We have shows throughout the entire country.  

Fact #2:  We have 7 states that do not have any art and craft shows listed at all.  The states of Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia have never had a show review submitted for them, thus those states have not been added.  We sure would appreciate having some reviews for those states.  

Fact #3:  The state with the largest amount of shows listed on our website is Florida.  That probably isn't a big surprise.  We have 84 shows listed on our site in Florida.  Coming in send place is Illinois with 49 shows.

Fact #4:  We have 25 states with 10 or less art and craft shows listed. 

Fact #5:  We have three states with only one art or craft show listed for them.  Those states are Arkansas, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.  Anybody have a show they can submit for these states? 

Fact #6:  We have one show listed for Canada.  We know they have shows up there.  Does anyone have a show and a review that they could add to that page to make it more valuable?

Fact #7:  We actually have a European page with one show listed.  Has anyone done an European shows yet?  We would love to add a couple shows to that page.

Fact #8:  Since our website went live we have had 1,155,274 page views.  That is amazing!  We know artists are using our website.  We need new reviews so that our site remains useful and needed.

Fact #9:  In the last 30 days, 12/12/18 - 1/12/19, we have had 11,964 page views.  Of course, this is a time when many artists are using our site to put the finishing touches on their show schedules. 

Fact #10:  We usually average about 381 page views per day.  In fact, we had had 111 page views by 11am today.  Artists were up early and working today. 

Fact #11:  Ninety two reviews or comments were left on ASR during 2018.  Of course, many people use our website without ever leaving a comment or writing a review.  Of the 92 comments left, 58 of those were actual show reviews using our list of questions to answer for the shows.  Those 58 reviews are more useful to artists.

Fact #12:  In the last year we had 143,568 page views.  Of those over 143 thousand visitors only 58 times did artists leave a review.  Certainly we can give back to the art community better than that.  

Fact #13:  The average show review probably takes about 7 minutes to write.  The form is right there on our website and you just fill it in.  Easy peasy!

Fact #14:  To submit a show review click on this link:

Fact #:  To submit a show that is not on our website click this link:

One person who visited our website left this comment:

How come so many of the posted show reviews are from 2-5 years old? Can't you supply some more updated review information from artists that have done the shows. After all, many shows go through changes from year to year.

My answer back to this person was sure, we would love to add more current and up to date reviews for each show.  However, if the artists don't submit the reviews I can't add them.  Our website will be as useful to artists if everyone does their part.  It is only 7 minutes!

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KDKanopy Majistic tent.  Used sparingly over 5 years $500.  Excellent condition,

4 - 6' Black Propanel walls Excellent condition

4 - 45lb Dumbbell Weights $35 each

6 - 15lb Dumbbells for anchoring easels $10 each

7 Artists Loft Easels $35 each.

6' 40 slot greeting card stand

3 large matted print stands

2 small matted print stands

Phone: 520-820-5081

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Change In Latitude...Change In Attitude

Well not really a change in latitude but definitely a change in attitude at the Marshfield Art Fair held at the fairgrounds in Marshfield WI.  

It's always held on Mother's Day and this was the second time I had done the show. The weather was beautiful but it was not a buying crowd for many of us. In years past, it was held at the high school and fine arts/crafts were sold. This year the venue was changed to the fairgrounds and more crafters were in attendance and at least one buy/sell. (it's a juried show)  Many fellow artists felt it was a bad move. The vibe was not the same.  

I sold mostly my low price point items which was good because I didn't get skunked like the artist across from me.  He had beautiful colored pencil nature drawings on wood, reasonably priced too. Nada sales.  It was his 7th year doing the show, he won't be back if the venue stays the same.  I sold a third of what I did last year.

Guess I'll wait and see what happens next year with the venue.  Doubt I'll be back if it's at the fairgrounds again.

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This was the 22nd year for the Garage Sale Art Fair.  I love coming to this show.  There is something for everyone here.  This show is held the last Saturday of February.  Winter can be rough in Kalamazoo and by the end of February people are ready to get out and shop.

The show is put on by Bonnie Blandford and Michael Kifer of Road Wife Productions LLC.  The show is held in the Kalamazoo County Expo Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It is a one day show and this year was held on February 25th.  

The show is held in 2 large rooms.   Artists set up on Friday.  Bonnie and Michael provide refreshments during set up which was very much appreciated.  


Shoppers show up first thing in the morning.  There is usually a large group of them waiting to get it.  I have been there when there was a very long line to get it.  Shoppers can sign up for drawings that take place hourly throughout the day .  If your name is called you win shopper bucks to spend at the show.

Bonnie also makes announcements about special deals all day long.  Artists will occasionally make a special offer to draw people to their booth.  The special deals seem to be very popular in the afternoon towards the end of the day when artists decide they don't want to take some stock back home.


You can find great pieces of art to buy at this show.  Most of art work doesn't have so much as a single flaw. Some pieces are for sale because the artists want to make space for their new show stock.  Plus, you can also find some strange things that artists are trying to get rid of.  I have seen pieces of iron sewer pipe, a microwave, booth lights, an antique photographer's tripod, and much more.  I am always surprised to see the huge variety of things you can buy and sometimes even more surprised that it has disappeared at the end of the day.

Alison Fox, whose booth you can see above, is a stained glass and mixed media artist.  She always stocks her booth with some great pieces of art work.  She also stocks it with all kinds of weird objects that she collects throughout the year for her art work.  Alison will sell everything she brings to the show. I have walked by her booth and watched her get rid of everything by mid afternoon.  She is amazing!

The show goes til 4 pm.  It is not uncommon for some artists to be sold out by 2 pm.  That has to be a great feeling for an artist.  

I'd like to mention the yellow shopping bags.  Shoppers will buy themselves one of those nice yellow Garage Sale shopping bag and fill them up.  By the way, what a great idea to have those shopping bags available.  It is not uncommon for shoppers to get to the show and buy more than they planned on and realize that they didn't bring anything to put all their purchases in.  I have seen so many people walking around with those nice bags which are usually full, too.  The shopping bags help to make more purchases easier to handle.  What a great idea!
This photo was taken in the morning around 10 am.  Shopping is well under way.  The selections are good. There is something for everyone.  People come to this show with the full intention of shopping and buying.  

There are 145 artists at this show.  There is a nice selection.  I didn't think any one category was top heavy.  

I took photos that better showed the crowds but those photos were blurry.  

Below you can see two                                                                                                               


                                    shoppers that are looking intently over
some ceramic pieces.     oh hey, it is Connie       Mettler.  You never know where she will show up.  

This show will be held February  24, 2018.       That gives you almost a year to fit this show into your schedule.  

If this show is out of the question for you there is one in Wisconsin and Ohio that may work out better for you.  We all hold onto stuff we don't need anymore.  This show is a great way to get rid of some of that.

Until next February 24th, oh, I can't wait.                                                                                

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A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of doing the Royal Oak Farmers Market Holiday Show. It was a winner for a first time event and it has the potential to be one of the better shows in the Metro Detroit area. This show is put on by the Guild. This is the same group that has its own Ann Arbor Show, the two Birmingham shows and a few others within a hundred miles of Ann Arbor.

First a little history. This show was started a couple of years ago as the Ann Arbor Holiday Show. It was held at the Eastern Michigan university arena where Eastern plays its basketball being part of the MAC. It was a strange place for a show because of the location. The arena is built into the ground so as a customer, you enter at ground level and walk down to the floor. This was not so good if you were old or had a hard time walking. If you ever attend a sporting event you know what I mean. And, yet, it was a good show for most of us. I was looking forward to doing it again last year until I looked at the dates and saw that it was the week before Christmas. The reason for this was that EMU had home basketball games the weekends leading up to Christmas and The Guild couldn't get the arena and earlier. So, I skipped it last year.

This year, they decided to move it to Royal Oak at the Farmers Market building the week before Thanksgiving. My first thoughts were "not another show in Royal Oak, bleech." Then I went to the web site and looked at who was already in the show and I was impressed with the quality of the artists who were doing it. Plus, if I did the show, I could have Thanksgiving and spend time with my brothers. So, I did the show. I had very low expectation because I don't really have holiday items. I thought that maybe I could pay for my trip and have some fun. Surprise, surprise, I did twice what I expected to do. I got to hang out with my brothers and their families, went to a Red Wings game, watched Michigan lose to Ohio State (lol), took a side trip to Ann Arbor to see some friends, dropped off some pieces to the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Association gallery that I sell out of year round, and had a generally great time.

The Guild tried some things with this show that was somewhat new and different. The show was held on a Thursday and Friday, probably because it was in use on Saturday and Sunday with farmers coming in to sell their produce and the other stuff that gets sold at farmers markets. While it wouldn't be my choice days to have a show, I think it worked out. Another thing they did was run the show from 12-9 PM both days. The reason they gave for extending the hours until 9 was that they wanted to take advantage of all the people that come to downtown Royal Oak to eat and hang out at the bars at night. Those people didn't come to the show and the few that did were not buyers. I had no sales after 6 both days and the people who did come, were there just to be entertained. I'm not a fan, anymore, of entertaining people with my artwork. If I have any influence, it would be to change the times to 10 AM- 6 PM.

The one thing the Guild did above all else that made this show work is that they sent some targeted email to specific zip codes from their database of loyal customers. They sent a listing of all the artists at the event with a thumbnail of their work. Since the show had a number of top quality artists, that email was impressive. I know that worked because I had customers who told me they came because they knew I was there. Two of them bought multiple pieces to give as presents. It wasn't crowded, but, that didn't matter. The people who did attend were knowledgeable sophisticated buyers. It was my kind of crowd. There were not many walking zombies except maybe in the evening. Many shows like to tell you how big their crowds are and most of them are there just to look or to see the music and all the other distractions. If you eliminate all those people, most shows would look like this one. I heard that many of those people who attended called the city to tell them what I nice show it was and how impressed they were with the art and the artists.

This show has earned a good reputation and should be better attended in the future. Hopefully, the Guild will keep the quality of the art high. I liked that there were only 85 booths. I hope that stays the same. Also, the art was the focal point of the event. I've pointed this out many times, that the best shows only have artwork and very little, if any, sideshows like a music stage. There were a few food vendors and they were high quality too, including Slows Barbecue.

Setup and take down were are easy as it gets. Setup was on Wednesday or Thursday before noon. There were plenty of people on hand to help unload and load back into your vans. Nicole and Allan did a great job of helping artists with any problems that might have occurred. Their crew was impressively friendly and helpful.

In conclusion, this show could be a gem for years to come as it gains a reputation. It is imperative that the quality remains high and the number of artists stay low. There may be a temptation to make it bigger, charge more for booths, and add things that take away from the artwork. There may be a temptation to add more food booths, too, which would be ok if the quality of the food stays high. If the Guild could get the building for Saturday and Sunday, that would help. I'm assuming that the booth fees would have been higher for a weekend event because the building rental would be higher. That would have to be taken into consideration. Thursday and Friday were ok. And, I would change the times to open earlier and close earlier, especially at the end of the show. By being open Friday night from 6-9, there were assuming that some of the best sales would have taken place at the end of a show, which, almost never happens.

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The Making of a Show Piece

     Somewhere along the line (right here on AFI!) I learned that jury images need to show a constistency. The pieces need to look like they are all from the same DNA, so to speak. Ever since hearing that, I have had a concern that my jury images are too dissimilar, and that someday I should make them more cohesive. 

So this month, “someday” arrived. I designed and built new statement pieces that are similar to another jury image. In the process of designing, I gave thought to my design and thought processes. Then I started to wonder if anyone else has a similar process. Here’s mine:

It would be very interesting to hear from the rest of you, as to your creative process, as well as thought process when it comes to making a show piece. Please share!

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Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, MN, Aug. 5-7

Jury fee: $40; Booth fee: $550; 350 artists

Friday, 12-8; Saturday, 10-8; Sunday, 10-5 T

his was my first year at Uptown, and it was a long way for me to go for a single show (I live in Virginia). But it was a beautiful show, well-organized and structured, and I had a successful show, well worth my time and the expense.

I'm an oil painter, with pieces ranging from $100 to $4500. Many of my paintings are large. Not knowing anything about Minneapolis or the set-up of the show, I didn't know what to choose when the organizers asked for our location preference. I asked for a street location first, and ended up getting a location on the mall.

At first, I was bummed, but as the show played out, I was really glad that I ended up there. The street part of the show is on Hennepin Avenue, a busy street in the center of Uptown. I believe booths there were set up cheek to jowl, and I don't know if they faced the sidewalk or the street, which was closed to traffic. I do know that set-up on Hennepin was Friday morning, with the show opening Friday at noon. On the mall, set-up was Thursday afternoon.

The mall is a grassy strip between two one-way streets. Hennepin Avenue is at one end of the mall; the other ends at a road that circles a lake. I was near that end. Set-up was easy, storage was pretty much unlimited.

Registration is inside a building on Hennepin, and registration times are assigned. I was there early, and they did let me register early. The organizers were very nice, and had already helped me with a series of question.

Set-up on the mall was in shifts. The first shift, which included me, was for people who had tents on the grassy area between the two streets. I had a spot that ended up as a de facto corner, as I was beside a tree. I pulled up, and found that my neighbor had parked in the spot directly across from my van, so I'd have to haul my crap farther, and probably dolly. I decided to turn the van around, and at least get the back doors closer to my spot. My neighbor, seeing me do this, volunteered to trade spots with me, if I'd help her back up. I am a believer in omens and took Stephanie's generosity to be a good one.

Because of what I'd heard about vandalism at this show, I set up my tent but didn't put any of my art in it. I got my van out in time for the second shift, which was artists setting up booths in the street (where we had parked), facing the grassy strip.

Friday morning, I arrived early, set up my art and went off to find my parking spot in the Sons of Norway lot. I'd paid $55 for this; it was about a half a mile away. I am 60, am lazy and have bad knees, and while it was an OK walk in the morning, by 8 p.m., it felt like a long, long walk. My day started well with a couple who had found my art on the show's website (, found me on the mall, came in and bought a $1,000 painting. Yay!

I sold four more paintings during the show and also got a commission, so it was a profitable weekend for me.

In spite of everything I'd heard about vandalism at the show, I decided to leave my work overnight. I spoke to painter friends who had done the show before. I spoke to police officers, who assured me that there were more officers on patrol, and showed me that they'd brought in huge lights to illuminate the mall.

I took my paintings off the outside walls, ziptied all my tent zippers, and then ziptied everything to uprights or stabars, and moved furniture to make it harder for someone to slip underneath. I had no problems, and heard of no problems. One officer said that the year that there had been the most vandalism was the year that a bridge collapsed, and all police were attending that disaster. Also he told me that he had approached the show organizers and helped them restructure the security plan.

On Saturday morning, I was able to get a very good parking space within dollying distance from my tent. Parking is a real problem with this show, and I felt like I'd been given a gift. I left my van there Saturday night, and took an Uber car to and from my Air B&B. This parking place was a real blessing when it came to take-down.


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Elkhart For the Love of Art Show

     The Elkhart For the Love of Art Show was held on March 12, 2016. This show is held in the Elkhart RV Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located not far from the Elkhart City limits. It is also right off of the I 80 Indiana Toll Road which makes it very visible to people coming from the toll road or from Michigan.

     The RV Hall of Fame sits in the center of a huge open area. There were signs along the road in Michigan and near the Hall of Fame announcing the art show. They weren't huge signs but if you were looking for the show the signs did tip you off that you were near the show. There was also one of those tall flags at the drive into the Hall of Fame to catch people's attention from the road. There was plenty of parking for shoppers close to the building as well.

     The Hall of Fame was a great building to use for the art show. Artists could actually drive right inside the building to load in their booth and art work. They did have to arrive early to do that but it would be well worth it if you work an art show all by yourself or have heavy equipment or art work. There was plenty of space for each booth. None of the booths looked small at all.

8869171459?profile=originalShireen Cline is the show's producer.  Shireen has been working so hard to put on a great show.  I have bumped into Shireen at several shows this past year.  She has been attending shows to observe what each show was doing to put on a good show.  Shireen is bubbly and energetic.  Her enthusiasm is infectious. 

     Shireen had about 50 top notch artists lined up for her show.  No category was top heavy.  There were several artists that were demonstrating their art work during the day.  One man was weaving the most beautiful Mexican rugs.  A glass blower was demonstrating how he blew glass pieces.  There was an artists drawing caricatures for shoppers. 

     AFI member Monica Langowski actually finished painting one of the cushions for the sofa above that Shireen is sitting on during the show.  I don't know how she did it.  I noticed the cushion was not finished as I visited her booth earlier in the day.  When I came back later it was done and Shireen posed for a photo on the sofa.  Monica told me that she was also chosen to display this sofa in one of the showcases in the Merchandice Mart in Chicago for the new Spring One of a Kind Show in April.  What a great opportunity that will be for her.

     8869171484?profile=originalShireen had 5 top decorative artists and 5 top functional artists chosen from all of the exhibiting artists.  Of those 10 one artist received a free booth in next year's show.  Shoppers also entered their names in a drawing when they arrived to the show. 

     There were several great door prizes for shoppers that were given away later in the day.  There was also a children's drawing.  One little girl won a free week at art camp from the Elkhart Art League. 

    Soft music was playing for the enjoyment of shoppers who needed a little break.  It was a great place for artists or shoppers to also take in a little lunch.  There was only one food booth at this show.  The food was not meant to overshadow the art at this show. 

     I did notice shoppers with packages as they left the hall.  I think the artists would have liked a larger crowd at this show.  I don't know why there weren't more.   It was a fairly warm Saturday for March.  I suppose people may have been taking advantage of the warm weather.  After talking with Shireen I know she tried to cover all the bases to get shoppers there.  She personally told me she spent quite a bit on advertising.  I even saw her at the Garage Sale Art Fair in Kalamazoo in February handing leaflets out for the show.  Sometimes shows take a few years to develop a following which may be the case here.  However, I do think this show is going to continue to build and get better with each year.


      The opportunity was there for artists to have larger booths if they wanted them.  This hall was easily accessible for wheelchairs, too with no steps and wide walking aisles. 

      The artists all seemed very friendly and were more than happy to talk about their art work.  That added to the intimate atmosphere of the show.  Another nice thing about getting into this show is once you jury into this show you will always be invited back.  

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Call for Artists: 11th Annual "Woofstock"

8869172856?profile=originalMay 7
Atlanta, Georgia

Presented by Entercom
40 Artists
Deadline: March 30

Application fee: $30
Booth fee: $300

If you have pet themed art we think you'll love this outdoor event in the beautiful suburb of Suwannee in the Town Center, in Atlanta. This "Pet Party in the Park" caters to animal lovers, so we're looking for artists and crafters who have animal or pet themes. Pet owners are passionate and have high disposable income!

This year we are highlighting artisans who focus on animals. Do you have art that features animals or pets, or a product or craft item for a pet? If so we encourage you to apply for Woofstock!


Learn more about our party in the park:

Apply right now:

Questions: Dave Demer,, 404-238-9445

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Artigras And Stuart Arts Fest

Hello Art Show Family! This intrepid artist is back from Florida and ready to review my second set of shows for the Florida winter season. First, I'll dish about Artigras in Jupiter and then Suart's Arts Fest. 

I decided to try Artigras vice Coconut Grove for several reasons, but primarily my personal objection to outrageous booth fees (CG) and the desire to try something new. The set up at Artigras was deliciously unscripted- but it worked. The wide lanes for traffic and parking and an all day window put me in a relaxed frame of mind before I even drove up to my check in gate. The signage getting to the different gates were plentiful and easy to follow, btw, adding to the relaxation. So when I need to move my rental minivan a little to the left, a little to the right, front a bit, back a bit for the artists around me, I really didn't mind!

I found the check in packet good (I always read the materials) with only one confusing part-- artist parking. I must admit, I followed the lead of a few old timers near me and parked nearer to my booth than the mysteriously hard to find artist lot.

I was disappointed the trailer bathrooms were not reserved for artists only, and as I was alone at the show, I loved the "text for a booth sitter" feature. Morning breakfast staff were gracious, even if I think they had the same bagels out each successive morning. Hey-- free food is better than no food! (I have to give Beaux Arts better points for breakfast overall, maybe the best breakfast in the winter Florida season. #forReal)

I absolutely loved that the volunteers delivered lunch to the booth daily-- Thank you Jersey Mike's subs!!! I did not win an award, but the trumpeting and fan fare made it obvious that awards were being given out. Bravo! The show rained out on Monday, but I made $300 for the day- so I guess I had an excellent day based on other reviews. Load out was easy and it was a pleasant experience for the show overall. 

Ok, Ok, thanks for the logistics chat-- but "how were sales???" you'd like to know. I'm a jewelry artist and find my normal price lately has been $150-$225, but average sales tickets at Artigras were $100-$115, most frequent price point being around $85. For me, the magic multiplier price point is the $200 & up sale and those were few and far between. I worked hard for sales and have hope that exposure to my work will drive eshop sales later in the year.

Overall, it was a solid show and maybe in the long term it would average higher than normal. I was able to keep lodging costs low and the booth fee was lower than CG. There seemed a lesser degree of sophistication in the buying population overall, not to mention the excitement factor of Jupiter vs Miami. In my secret artist's heart I missed Miami. 

Stuart Arts Fest was my two-fer show. With teenagers at home, I cannot make a 7 week Florida swing, so I plan tactical two-fer strikes allowing me to spread travel costs across two shows and limit the unpredictable weather factor we deal with every weekend.

It was a pretty small show; although staff refused to answer exactly how many booths were in the show. I'm guessing 100 booths. There was some great work there-- it makes sense on a Florida swing. However, there were 27+ jewelers. YUCK! Most of the work was nice, but please limit your categories, Stuart, it doesn't work out with more than 15%-20% of any one category. There were 5 potters, maybe 3 sculptors, a few mixed media-- get the picture?

Load in was confusing and I had an issue with the gates not being open on Sunday morning, but the greatest success they had as a show was the LOAD OUT PASS. I love it when a show does that!! Come on-- we're professionals, right? Break your booth down THEN get your car and if we can't be trusted to do it that way, then the show needs to step in and take in on board.

Breakfast was donated by a bagel shop down the street and we got to go in and pick out the bagels and what we wanted on them-- with a drink-- almost a princess moment. It was a small town touch and extremely nice. Sales were low with less than mediocre buying energy, but I tripled expenses and I had wholesale business at the show (it's always a nice surprise when that happens).

I enjoyed being able to spend time with customers as only a small, slower paced show allows. I would not plan the Stuart show as a stand alone show-- it is definitely not worth it, but it's an ok, non big promoter show for the time frame for a traveling artist. 

That wraps Florida up for me-- Scottsdale, AZ is next and I'll post a blog/review about it in March. Good luck out there, everyone! 

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Art Show Reviews written by You

I just want to thank Jeff Gracz for submitting several show reviews this month.  He wrote reviews for several west coast shows.  We are always looking for some west coast shows to help out artists on the west coast. 

You all know how important it is to have an idea of what to expect before applying to an art show.  Nobody likes to be blindsided once you get to a show and find out it is nothing like you hoped it would be.  That is why art show reviews are so important.  You can find art show reviews at

Here are a few west coast shows that we really could use a few more reviews for.  So, if you have done any of the shows listed here we would love you to review one or a few of them.

Bigfork Festival of the Arts - Montana

Proctor Arts Fest - Washington

Sequim Lavender Festival Street Fair - Washington

RAGS Wearable Art Show - Washington

Urban Craft Uprising - Seattle

Lake Chelan Fine Arts Festival - Washington

Bellevue Festival of the Arts - Washington

Woodland Hills Art & Craft Faire - California

America's Clay Fest III - California

We would also be happy for anyone to review any other show that you would like to.  If you want to review a show not on our site, that is fine.  Just submit it and I will get it added for you.  Then, you can add your review once I get it posted to the site.

To write a review or to submit a show just go to

And once again, thanks so much Jeff Gracz for all of your help.  It was so appreciated.

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Tubac Arts Festival, 2016

This was my third year in Tubac, and it's been better every year. 

My dad and stepmom live in Tubac, so I do have a little bit of a different attitude toward this show than toward many others. It's a five-day show, and the booth fee is $600. My first two years, I basically tripled the booth fee, and I was OK with that. $1800 is a low-acceptable rate for me for a two-day show, but really pretty crummy for a five-day show.

Spending time with my dad and stepmother is primary in this trip. Secondary is plein-air painting. Third, getting out of winter. The show is fourth on my list, so I can live with $1800 - especially since I'm staying for free. 

That being said, my total for show and post-show sales this year was over $7K, so I was quite pleased. I'm a painter with large, bold pieces, not the type of work that you buy on a whim. I'm learning that sticking around after a show is a smart thing to do - and in this case, was what I had planned to do anyways. 

But let me start at the beginning. Tubac is a tiny golf and art village 40 miles south of Tucson. The show takes over the town, the second week in February, from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Set-up is Tuesday - starting at 2 p.m., when you get your packet and find out your location. 

I've always been in the same spot, and it's a spot where it's easy to set up, where storage space behind the tent is plentiful, and where parking is close. My neighbors have generally been the same, all three years, and are very pleasant. It seems that most spots have some space, and that set-up is generally not too difficult.

The quality of work in the show is pretty high, though you should expect "vendors," i.e., people selling STUFF - soap, garlic-infused stuff, "All Artificial!!" cactus (actually, these were pretty amazing) candy apples, candles, etc. Some work that marketed itself as "handmade" clearly was not. But the Real Art and Craft is quite good. 

In my limited experience, buyers come out on Wednesday and again on the weekend. Thursday and Friday tend to be lookers, and people wanting low-end items. They are generally older, retired folks, of which there are many in the area. 

A jeweler friend had a good show, selling items from both high and low ends of her price range. A painter friend who has a lot of prints sold more than $2K on the first day, and had decent days afterwards, including selling an original after the show. A photographer friend had a lousy show, and some trouble with his booth placement. He'd threatened to leave Saturday night, but stayed, and had a good Sunday, though I don't know his $ total.

Though one year it was in the 50s-60s during the show, this year and last the temps were 70s-80s. There's a good artist dinner on Wednesday, and every year, there's been someone selling edibles at some point during the day. That said, the town is crowded during the show, and you're well advised to bring your lunch. Booth sitters were plentiful this year, and very helpful. There are port-a-potties in very convenient spots throughout the show. Lodging can be an issue, but artists say to try Rio Rico, which is south of Tubac.

This is a friendly, cheerful show, with a decent potential for sales. 

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HAE Sarasota, A Pleasant Surprise

Over the years, I have been as critical as anyone regarding the Howard Alan Shows. I think he has too many shows and has diluted the market, at least here in Florida. This is exacerbated by the fact that many other promoters saw HAE's success and have copied his business model leading to a further dilution of the market. No show is special now because there are so many of them.

To compound the problem, all the big shows in Florida have expanded their events to create circus like atmosphere's charging entry fees and adding more food, more sponsor booths, more music, and as many other things that distract from the thing that made those shows great, which is the art work.

Increasingly every year, I felt that we, the artists, were just the draw to get people to come and then the show tried everything they could to take their money with items that would make them money. Increasingly, I felt used as my gross sales declined and the attendance grew. Many of us have stopped coming down to Florida because it wasn't a viable market anymore. This could be difficult for some because we need the cash flow to pay for all the spring, summer, and fall shows that are due now and in the next couple of months. Enter the Howard Allan Shows.

The first thing you notice about the HA shows is that they haven't changed much over the years. He has a formula that works. Thirty years ago, we only did HA shows if we couldn't get into the blockbuster events. To their credit, they were and are loyal to their artists. If you supported them, they supported you by letting you have a space. That worked for a lot of people and artists preferred to do HA events because they could count on having a space in their shows.

Another word for not changing much is "consistency." That is a good thing. As shows got bigger and bigger adding more and more annoying distractions, HA stuck to the formula that the art is, not only the most important thing, it's the only thing. There are no food vendors, no music, no begging artists for donations for silent auctions, no t-shirt booths, no poster booths, no beer, etc., etc,. There is only the art. Ironically, as I was whining incessantly about all the crap at shows, I avoided Howard Allan events. I should have been paying closer attention.

I have done the Coconut Grove Arts Festival for over 30 years. I have won my share of awards there and numerous purchase prizes, when they made an effort to cultivate buyers. They used to have a pre-show event, starting at 8 AM on Saturday. The patrons would commit to supporting the artists by buying show bucks weeks before the show. They would get to see the images at pre-show events during the week and they would make notes as to who they wanted to buy from before the show started. This was fantastic.

For me, a few years in a row, I would have my best show ever before the show even opened at 10 AM on Saturday. CGAF has the record for my biggest single art fair day and it has been my best show ever. Sadly they cut this out a number of years ago, added a gate fee, brought the food vendors closer to the artists, added beer hawkers, replaced the appropriate live jazz with raucous music, appealing to a younger crowd that had no interest in buying art. Last year was the tipping point as they added a t-shirt/poster booth kitty corner to my space and parked a golf cart across from me and left it there all day. So, I didn't even bother to apply this year.

I had a choice to make to replace the Grove show. There was St Stephens. If I did that, I might as well go ahead and do CGAF because they are in the same area. I could have done Arti Gras, which I have never done. Arti Gras like CGAF, charges a ridiculous gate fee. Someone said it was $12. Someone else said it was $16. Either way, that was unacceptable. I wasn't about to support that. I could have done the rotary Sanibel Island show. I did that show once and I didn't like the fact that the show is run by ex-military types that were control freaks. I felt that I had to ask permission to go to the bathroom. So, that was out. That left the Howard Allan Sarasota Show. I'm glad I did it.

Set up is the morning of the show. This starts at 3:30 AM. You get to drive to your booth, unload your display and work, and then go park. If you arrive after 5:30, you have to dolly in. You are not supposed to start setting up your tent until 5:30. It takes me over an hour to unload, so, by the time I parked and got back to my booth, I could start setting up. Set up is really easy. There is plenty of space to drive in and unload.

There is more than enough free parking for artists. Since there are no vendors, there are no huge beer trucks, food trucks, etc. that you have to fight and work around. Take down is even easier, as there again is a lot of space and load out is staggered because everyone packs up at their own rate. One real pet peeve at a lot of shows is that the show tries to control load in and load out. I've often said that if you leave it up to the artists, it would only take a couple of hours to get in and out. If the show controls this, it will take 8 hours or more. HA allows the artists to control the set up and take down, so, of course, it is a quick pleasant experience.

The show opens at 10 AM. People start arriving at 9:30. There are only artists booths. As I said before there are no food booths, beer hawkers, etc. Consequently, there are no twenty somethings drinking and checking out the girls. There are only people who are serious about the art. I had many great conversations and a lot of compliments because, lo and behold, people were there to look at and buy the art work.

The one thing that everyone says about Howard Alan Events is that he brings in the crowds. I found this to be true. The streets are wide. Where I was, the booths faced each other. there is a section where booths are back to back. You get 11-12 feet, so, you aren't packed in like sardines. I'm guessing there are only 200 booths. Certainly, there aren't 400 booths. I saw everyone twice.

As a patron, it is an easy show to do. If you want eat something there are some really nice small restaurants around the show. The street is clean and wide so if the show had a lot of customers, there were no bottlenecks. A block away on a side street there is a farmers market with some great things to buy. You wouldn't know it was there unless you walked down the street. The area is upscale but not glitzy. Just my kind of place.

I never post numbers, but, everyone I talked to had a solid show. Some had a great show. My price points are $80-$800. I only sold only a few pieces under $200. I love making sculptural non-functional teapots. I used to sell 6-8 per show. The past few years I maybe sell 1 or 2 if I am lucky. Here I sold 6 teapots and all 3 sizes. Saturday, was kind of slow for me. On Sunday, I had a 3 hour period where I couldn't write fast enough. I will definitely do this show again next year.

In conclusion, this is a hassle free show, with plenty of patrons, free parking for artists and most importantly sales. Howard and Debbie have a strong presence at the show. They stop and talk to everyone numerous times. Debbie found it necessary to help fix up my booth with foliage, which I appreciated and enjoyed. When I think about how annoyed I was the past few years with the shows I did on this weekend, with how good I felt after this one, I had a good laugh. There were no negatives in Sarasota only positives. I liked it so well, I am going to do HA's Coconut Pointe show next weekend in Bonita Springs.

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Looking for your best art fair story

Metalsmith David Bacharach and jeweler Valerie Hector are compiling a book, "Craftspeople In Their Own Words." Do you have a personal story about working in a craft discipline or some great photos to include? 

Please share your stories, I know you've got them! Profits from the book are going to CERF (Craft Emergency Relief Fund). Send your stories and photos to or

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Estes Park is the gateway to the east side of Rocky Mountain Park and this year was its 100th anniversary.  There are many summer homes in the area and it is a destination for a broad spectrum of nationalities, income levels, and interests.  I started doing this show in 2010, and I have done it every year since then.  I also do the Memorial Day show in Estes Park.  Gross sales at the September Labor Day show since 2010 have been in the $3-$5K range, and I have considered it a good solid show.  The show is produced by the Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary, Inc. and they do an all-around EXCELLENT job!!!!  The town is packed for the weekend, and leading up to the show there was a lot of promotion on Facebook.  The show is setup with 103 booths set up around the perimeter of Bond Park and in the parking lot for the town hall.  Clean, indoor, accessible restrooms are in the town hall.

SETUP AND TAKE DOWN.  Set up officially begins at 9:00am on Friday but Rotarians are present to check you in as early as 7:30am.  If you are early you can park at your site to unload.  Street parking is available within a block of the show, but oversize vehicle and trailers have to park at the fairgrounds.  Free shuttle service is available from there, and in town.  Volunteers are available to assist with unloading and set up.

     Takedown begins at 3:00pm on Monday and volunteers were there to help.  Like set up, traffic was controlled and vehicles were not allowed in until you were ready to load.  After paying your sales tax, you get a yellow ticket.  When your booth is knocked down and you are ready to load you get a blue pass to bring your vehicle in.  We loaded around 7:30pm.

WEATHER.  Temperatures were in the 70’s.  There were brief showers Sunday.  An unweighted booth went over in a gust of wind Friday night and another had breakage knocked off a wall. 

 THE SHOW.  The town was packed with people and thousands went through the art show.  There was seldom a time when people were not in my booth, and I had several repeat clients.  Belts were my top seller, with holsters, suspenders, spur straps, and several custom orders thrown in.  My sales were in the $4-5K range, and my largest sale was $475 for a silver mounted headstall and two breast collars (horse gear).  There was a good balance of all art/craft mediums including edibles like jellies and salsas.  There is no buy/sell at this show.  Nuts and bolts for the show are in  The Rotarians have coffee and goodies in the morning, and booth sitters. All taxes are paid to the Rotary at the end of the show.

ANALYSIS.  I have come close to hitting the “home run” of $5K gross sales at this show a couple times.  My inventory of flasks and checkbooks was pretty lean by this, the last shown of the season.  Most of the belts sold were plain, and only a few were the more expensive carved with or without silver buckles.  I sold out of some sizes and some styles of buckles but didn’t loose and sales because of that.  The Estes crowd is definitely middle class and families visiting the park.  It is also a destination for Denver motorcycle clubs making the run up Big Thompson Canyon and over Trail Ridge Road.

THE OTHER FUN STUFF.  There were lots of different dog breeds and babies at the show.  Interacting with both was fun.  We were able to rent our favorite cabin that is just up the hill from Bond Park.  It was built in 1898 but it is modern and cozy. The hot tub is great after a day on the street.  Our son and his family came up for a cook out Saturday and we got to visit with our college and high school age grandsons.  Tuesday after the show we headed to the park and drove up Fall River Road (one lane dirt one way) up to Trail Ridge Road.  We saw elk and mountain sheep.

I cannot emphasize enough the need to be in top physical condition for doing shows.  I will be 72 in a couple weeks and Jean is 68.  Set up takes us 7 1/2 hours of steady work and take down is 4 1/2 hours.  We don’t diddle around, but we have lots of inventory.  At the end of the days we are still energized and not exhausted.  We do yoga 1-2 times a week and work out with a personal trainer once a week.




8869164700?profile=original8869165055?profile=original8869165263?profile=original8869165097?profile=original8869165456?profile=originalPhotos:  1. Setup Friday morning, Longs Peak. 14,259’

             2. Saturday crowd

             3. A pampered dog with green paws, pink and purple tail and ears.

             4. Fall River Road

             5. Longs Peak from Trail Ridge Road

             6. Bull elk 

             7. Bear Bottom Cabin  

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