shows (83)

Event listing on website

I am wondering why so many artist's web sites don't list the shows they are scheduled to attend. I list every show I am going to do with a blurb about the show. So, what is it that prevents artists from updating their show schedule on their website?

Is it that they don't know how to update their website?

Do they not want other artists to know where they are going? (Best fishing spots remain confidential?)

Do their clients even look at their website for show info?

Is it some form of paranoia, to keep it secret?

I just find it odd that "if" you have a website to show your work, why wouldn't you let EVERYBODY know where you are going to be so they can come see you. A LOT of people I know don't email because they don't want the back and forth.

I bring this up because I have a lot of friends on the circuit who just don't update their websites to where they are going to show. Grant it, I am looking at their site so I can see where they are, but that is the whole idea.

It seems like a shame to have a powerful marketing tool and not use it to it's full advantage.

Let's see some responses...


Jeff Owen

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Working as an artist or crafter allows you to use your creativity to create works of art and crafts that people want to have. But how they want to buy can sometimes be an issue.

Like many other professions where creativity and skill are needed to do the job, artists and crafters occasionally have to deal with people that don’t always seem to understand how the buying process works. Sometimes it is a friend who just wants the product for free because...well, because you’re friends. Sometimes it is someone who offers to pay you with another product or service. Perhaps the most odd is when someone offers to “buy” your art or crafts in exchange for “publicity.”

“I can’t give you money,” a customer might say, “but I have something better. I have a gazillion followers on FaceTwitLinkPlus and I’ll be sure to recommend you and your art (or crafts) to all of my followers.”

Is it ever ok to give away your art or crafts for free? Should you accept other products or services as payment? Is free publicity a good form of payment? The following are some helpful tips when it comes to accepting payment for your art or crafts.

  1. It is ok to occasionally give your art or crafts away for free.

    Is a customer a non-profit organization that you would like to help out? Is it a loyal and reliable customer who has already purchased from you many times? Is it your mom? All of these situations are ones where giving away your product for free might be a good idea. It’s up to you to decide whether, for example, the trauma and hardship of laboring for eight or 22 hours in order to bring you into the world and then feeding, clothing, sheltering, and in all other ways taking care of you (in the case of your mom), is worth the cost of giving one of your products away for free. In the case of your friends, they might want free art or crafts, but if you give away all your products away for free, you won’t be in business too long. Think wisely about who to give your products free to.

  1. Think very hard before you accept other products or services as payment.

    If the product or service is something you really need or it would save you money in other ways, it might be worth it. For example, if a customer wants to purchase a painting and offers you free food at their store, daycare for your kids, or other types of useful products or services, you can at least consider it. That doesn’t mean that you should always accept it - it just means it is an option for you to consider. However, if they offer you 40 hula hoops or the book they wrote about the political economy of some nation you’ve never even heard of, it’s probably not a good idea. In those cases, money is the best option every time.

  1. It is rarely (if ever) a good idea to accept “publicity” as payment.

    Try this experiment (ok, don’t really, but just imagine what would happen if you did): The next time you go to the dentist or the doctor, tell them that you don’t have the money to pay them, but if they will give you that root canal or perform that surgery for free, you will let all of your many followers on social media know about them. Think that will work? We don’t either. So, why should that work for you? You are a professional, and you deserve to be treated as a professional and that means you deserve to be paid money for your products. Here’s the other problem: You can’t buy groceries, pay the rent or mortgage, send the kids to school, or do very many other things with “publicity.” In some cases, people use publicity compensation simply as a way to get a free product. We’re not saying you should never accept publicity as payment, but you need to be very careful about it, and it should only be done if you are absolutely sure that the benefits outweigh all the costs.

Do you have an experience about compensation for your products you’d like to share? Have other tips for artists and crafters about compensation? Please comment below.

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13 Reasons the Craft-Making Life Is the Better Life
Need a boost? We’ve created a list of 13 reasons making crafts makes your life better. We recommend sharing them with your crafting friends.

  1. Crafting satisfies the need to create.
  2. Crafting offers the satisfaction of seeing other people appreciate your products.
  3. Crafting gives you the knowledge that at any moment, people all over the country might be enjoying your work. You never know how far the crafts you sell might travel.
  4. Working on your crafts is an opportunity to relax, forget your daily worries, and focus entirely on one task.
  5. Crafting allows you a level of self-sufficiency that is rare in our time.
  6. Crafting connects generations as parents teach children and grandparents teach grandchildren.
  7. Crafters who attend fairs and festivals become a part of a community of other crafty, creative, and delightful people.
  8. Crafters can run their own business, set their own hours, and be their own boss.
  9. Crafters surround themselves with handmade, one-of-a-kind goods rather than mass-produced, low-quality products.
  10. Crafters are more observant, more mindful, and more inspired.
  11. Crafters make better friends. Well, they at least make better gifts to give their friends.
  12. Crafters develop an eye for detail and patience to accomplish stunning work.
  13. At the end of the day, a crafter can look back on their work and see exactly what they have accomplished, which is usually a lot.

What would you add to this list? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Love the ACT blog? Click here to learn more about the artists, crafters, and tradesmen insurance program.

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Do You Share the Graffiti Artist Spirit?

Do You Share the Graffiti Artist Spirit?

In Our Time of Mass-Produced Art and Overwhelming Advertising, We Should Celebrate Artists Who Push Back

Independent artists at art events and craft fairs are believers. They believe that handmade, unique, and locally produced work is worth fighting for. They believe that their designs and crafts can have meaning to other people as well as to themselves. They believe that corporate manufacturers don’t make art. People make art.

What people said about graffiti as an art form: i like seeing public graffiti spaces run by municipalities, just because it's illegal doesn't mean it's not art, if the art has purpose it can be art, yes it's art but they should try to do it legally, art is an expression of self and is not determined by legality or individual opinion

So what does all of this have to do with graffiti? Well, I would argue that some graffiti artists ( not all but many) make their art because they are believers too.

They believe that in a world plastered with billboards and advertising, it is good for artists to speak back. They believe that in a world where we can’t turn our heads without seeing an ad, there should be some spaces that have been taken back and filled with work that is free, truthful, and elegant.

Rebellion or Blessing?

“I, for one, would also rather see the creative outpouring of our youth on the walls instead of the billboards and advertising inflicted upon us around every corner,” Lady Pink, an artist and muralist from New York City who got her start as a graffiti artist, wrote in the New York Times.

“A bit of rebellion is something we should champion as a society. Somebody has to question the status quo—or we'll grow stagnant,” she said.

Others will argue that it is never right to tag someone else’s property without permission—that graffiti is first and foremost a crime. One solution for this problem is to create legal spaces for graffiti. This solution is positive in many ways, but it is not perfect.

Is Art More Compelling If Creating It Was Dangerous?

Eric Felisbret, author of Graffiti in New York wrote in the New York Times that while legal graffiti can be impressive and important, it might not be as powerful as traditional graffiti.

He writes, “A well-executed painting, rendered under adverse conditions and time constraints, is far more impressive than one undertaken without risk.”

No matter how you feel about the morality of graffiti, there is something compelling about an artist willing to risk freedom and well-being for self-expression.

When we talk about graffiti, it's important to make a distinction. We aren't talking about gang signs. We aren't talking about work that threatens harm to other people. We are talking about work that attempts to be beautiful.

What Does This Mean for You?

So why write about graffiti on a blog dedicated to artists and crafters?

Well, it’s because I think we should recognize their spirit, and even if we don’t think that graffiti is always good, we should all acknowledge that creativity is always better than its opposite.

We should feel inspired to continue our efforts to bring handmade, local art back into the daily lives of Americans.

Last year, August Martin High School in New York City was graffitied. The freshly painted, white walls of the school were flooded with color, and not only was this graffiti legal, it was requested.

The students at the high school complained that the white walls were sterile and uninspiring, so some of the most famous graffiti artists in the country were brought in to disrupt the white walls with stunning and inspiring graffiti.

This is the kind of thing that makes high school students proud of their school. This is the kind of good work art unleashed can do. Check out some of the art at the school here.

So we at ACT are curious to know what you all think of graffiti—whether you see it as a blessing or a menace. But no matter where you come down on this issue, we want you to know we admire you.

We admire artists who work because they love what they do. We admire artists who bring meaning to their own lives and to the lives of others by creating work that asks for nothing else but to be seen.

So carry on artists and craftsman! And thank you for what you do.

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10 Things You'll Find in Every Artist's Bag

The contents of a bag on a counter

Construction workers have their hammers, hard hats, and gloves. Police have their handcuffs, flashlight, and gun. Doctors have stethoscopes, tongue depressors, and syringes. You get the idea. Every profession has certain equipment and supplies that come with the territory. Artists are no exception, so we asked our Facebook followers and did a little research to find the ten things that you will find in almost every artist’s bag.

10 Things You’ll Find in an Artist’s Bag

  1. Sharpie, Pencils, Pens, Paint Brushes: Okay, technically these are four different items and should take up almost half the list, but this is my list and I make the rules, so I’m counting them as one.
  2. Zip and Velcro Ties: I have absolutely no idea why an artist would need these. Can someone enlighten me?
  3. Tablets, and/or Laptop: For taking notes and keeping track of measurements. These are never used for games, Internet browsing, or Facebook updates that would distract the artist. Never, ever. Yep....What?!...Don’t look at me like that.
  4. Tape Measure or Ruler: Good for measuring. No, really!
  5. Sketch Pad: Makes sense. No explanation needed.
  6. Pencil Sharpener: Just in case.
  7. Camera: This isn’t for everyone, but sometimes it’s nice to capture images and use them later for inspiration.
  8. Water Bottle: To, you know, carry water for cleaning brushes. I guess you could drink it too, but maybe do that before you actually start to clean your paint brushes.
  9. Snacks: Also not for everybody, but taking a little food break once in a while is good for creativity. At least that’s what the little devil on my left shoulder tells me.
  10. Phone: Yes, the phone can be helpful for artists, as long as it’s not being used just for texts and phone calls.

Do you have anything in your bag that we didn’t include here? What If you could only have one item in your artist bag? What would you choose? Please comment below.

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How is ART IN BLOOM in McKinney texas

Hello fellow artists. I just got into Art in Bloom in McKinney Texas.  I wamted to see if anyone has done it and if they think it's worth doing. I tried four new shows last year and they were not very good except for 1. So trying to do more do diligence before accepting invites to new shows this year. So any advice is awsome. Thanks in advance best wishes to all for a great 2020 art sales year

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3D Printed Jewelry: Can You Print Art?

3D Printed Jewelry: Can You Print Art?

As new technologies continue to push our entire world forward, they begin to intersect more and more with the artistic and creative worlds.

One such intersection is the craft of jewelry-making and 3D printing.

Does 3D Printing Unlock Creativity or Stifle It?

As with every new technology, there are always those who worry about the loss of the "human touch."

This is a valid concern.

Jewelry crafter carving a ring out of wax

The art of hand-crafting jewelry is well respected for the effort, knowledge, and skill it takes. By replacing parts of this process with technology-generated designs and manufacturing, you can argue that the imperfections that make each piece unique are lost.

Yet it also enables increased opportunities for greater creativity.

In a recent interview by WonderLuk, one of the leaders in the 3D printed jewelry movement, the designers they were interviewing, a duo called Kezner, said, "3D printing allows never before seen geometric freedom."

Designs not achievable by traditional methods are now free to be conceived—and, more importantly, fabricated—because of 3D printing.

From designs that mimic the complex network of blood vessels or bone to the intricate and delicate textures of lace and interlocking spirals, 3D printing has blown wide the door of what is possible in jewelry making, not just on a large scale, but for individual designers and jewelry crafters.

Scaling Business Operations for Small-Scale Jewelry Designers

While it is, in some ways, a sad truth, art for art's sake is not a viable business model. For those looking to make a living off of their jewelry designs, it's important to be both creative and pragmatic.

Technology has always been a way to help achieve this. 3D printing in particular offers incredible opportunities for jewelry crafters to see their work realized in an increasingly affordable and scalable way.

In the same WonderLuk interview with Keznr, one of the designers said, "3D printing makes things simpler. Manufacturing, handling orders and moving products to resellers and stores is easier. Eventually, easier means more affordable."

At ACT, we believe in supporting independent artists and crafters. As 3D printing technologies continue to become more affordable, we can see how this technology can benefit them, both creatively and financially for their business.

Is 3D Printed Jewelry Still Art?

Illustration of a head with lightbulb representing creativity

One of the common misconceptions about 3D printed jewelry is that it completely removes the human element.

However, any jewelry design must begin with the creative mind of a person.

Do the exact tools they use to implement it—whether it be a wax bur set or a 3D printer—really matter?

What do you think? Is 3D printing the next big thing for jewelry crafters or is it the end of this time-treasured skill? Leave your comments below to let us know what you think!

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The Anatomy of an Art Booth

The Anatomy of an Art Booth

Attending art shows, craft fairs, farmers markets, and other festivals and celebrations to sell your art can be a fun and profitable experience. There is nothing like directly selling to customers. They are excited to meet you, and you should be excited to meet them because they are not only the ones that bring in the money to pay the bills, but they are also those people who can become loyal fans who seek out your arts or crafts.

As important as greeting customers is at events, the way you have set up your booth is just as important. After all, if your booth isn’t attractive, people are going to keep walking by and you won’t have any customers to meet, let alone get money from. Your booth says a lot about you and gives potential customers a reason to give you a chance.

The following are some tips to ensure that you are getting the most out of your booth.

  1. If the event is outside, invest in a tent. Having a tent allows customers to either get out of the rain or the hot sun (depending on the weather) and they will be grateful for it. If the event is inside, you obviously won’t need a tent, but it might be a good idea to hang something on either side of your booth to differentiate you from the other exhibitors around you, especially if the event is popular and booths are packed tightly together.
  2. Whether you are inside or outside, your best work should be displayed prominently at your booth. Let customers see the amazing art or crafts you have and they will want to enter your area to meet you and purchase your products.
  3. Make sure everything in your booth is secure. The second worst thing that can happen at an event is to have your one-of-a-kind art damaged or a craft you worked so hard on ruined because it wasn’t stored securely. The absolute worst thing that can happen is to have your product fall and injure a potential customer or to have your booth collapse and damage the merchandise (or people) in the booth next to you. In this instance, you are probably responsible for the damages, which not only means you likely won’t be making money at the event, but you might even have to dip into your personal funds. It might be a good idea to purchase insurance for the event, just in case.
  4. Include a sign. A sign is important because it lets people know who you are and allows customers who might even be far away to notice you and want to check out your area. It also shows that you take the event seriously and want people to know who you are.
  5. Give something to customers. Giving something to customers, even if it is just a business card, helps them remember you even after the encounter. Even if they didn’t purchase anything at the event, the next time they need a product you make, they will think of you.
  6. Have a sign-up sheet for people to put their names and email address. This gives you the opportunity to send them newsletters, advance notice on products you are selling, and occasional emails that help them keep you in mind. The key is not to send them so much stuff that they get sick of you, but that they simply remember who you are.
  7. Be courteous to everyone. Whether you are interacting with customers, event directors, or the artists and crafters with booths next to you, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. After all, even your competitors might be interested in your work, but if you are rude, if you treat them as competitors, or if you act like they are beneath you, not only will they respond to you in the same way, but you might have lost business or referrals.

Do you have other tips to make attending festivals a great experience? Want to share some tips you use to make the most of your booth at events? Please comment below.

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Nine Things Artists and Crafters Know That Other People Don't
Artists gathered at a gallery

ACT provides business insurance for artists and crafters who sell their wares at fairs, shows, and other events. In the past years, as we have worked with professional artists and crafters, we have learned that there are many things that artists and crafters know about the art world that most people aren’t aware of.

For one thing, many people are surprised when they hear the term “artist insurance” because they do not know how the art world works for independent artists. They don’t realize that artists, like any other small business owners, need to insure their business.

So, to celebrate artists and crafters and help everyone become more aware of the art world, we’ve put together this list of nine things artists and crafters know that other people should know too.

1. Most artists are not reclusive. They can be found meeting and greeting the public and other artists at fairs and shows across the country. Many people don't realize that they don't have to go to New York or Chicago to see impressive, creative work. There might be an art event just down their street.

2. Artists don’t have to be famous to have successful careers and businesses. The internet has made it more possible than ever for artists to sell their wares, and art events across the country are thriving as well.

3. Artists and crafters can stimulate local economies. By purchasing goods from local, independent artists, consumers keep money in their own community.

4. Artists are not snobs. At least, they are not all snobs. Most artists fit right in with everyone else. In fact, you are probably surrounded by more artists and crafters than you think you are.

5. Art fairs and craft shows, are brimming with creative work that you don’t have to be a wealthy collector to purchase.

Artist using a pottery wheel


6. Art does not have to be obscure or inaccessible. Many artists would be happy to talk to you about their work, what it means to them, and what they hope it means to you. You don’t have to have a PhD to be lifted and inspired by their work.

7. Artists know how to produce wares with their hands, something that most people would not have the patience and care to learn.

8. There are a few things you should not say to artists and crafters at fairs. Don't comment on their prices being too high or try to haggle away their profits. Don't ask them how much revenue they bring in from their business. Don't joke about their work. Be respectful, and show appreciation for their efforts. 

9. There are a few things you should say to artists and crafters. For example, if you see something you admire, compliment them or ask them about their process. Ask them why they enjoy their work. 


Share this post to tell everyone what they should know about independent artists and crafters.


If you like this post and would like to know more about this program, visit our website here.

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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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10 Gifts for Your Artist or Craftsman

Closeup of a paintbrush on canvas

The holiday season is upon us once again, and the time has come to buy presents for your friends and loved ones. Yet, it always seems like there’s that one person who is next to impossible to shop for. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to find that perfect gift for them.

If you are looking for a present for an artist or crafter, this can be even more difficult. Sometimes it seems like no matter what you get them, there’s always the thought that they could make the same thing just as nice. Don’t fret! We have compiled a list of 10 gifts that you can get for your artist or crafter this season.

  1. Magazine Subscriptions: There are many arts and craft magazines to choose from, some of which include “Arts and Crafts Homes and the Revival” or “Elle Decor.” You can also get them magazine subscriptions to other things they may be interested in (sports, nature, history, etc.).
  1. Gift Cards: Hold on! We’re not just talking a generic gift card here. And before you say gift cards aren’t personal, consider this: your crafters go to some place like Michaels all the time anyway and spend their own money, so why not get them a gift card and help them save a little cash this season.
  1. Craft Jewelry: Scissor necklaces, tape measure bracelets, and other unique and fun jewelry can be a fun gift to give and receive.
  1. Creative Doodling and Beyond”: Really any doodle book will do, but this particular book is full of fun prompts and exercises to help spark the creativity of the artist in your life.
  1. Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts”: I know, I know. Not everyone is a fan of Martha Stewart, so this gift might not work in your case, but this book is full of step-by-step guides to create some exciting projects that your crafter will enjoy.
  1. Moleskine Notebooks: These were the go-to notebooks for artist legends like Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, and writing legend Ernest Hemingway, as well as many artists and writers today. These notebooks are great for sketching and doodling as well as taking notes.
  1. Self-Healing Cutting Mats: These mats are great for crafters who are constantly cutting paper, fabrics, and other items because the mat “heals” itself after the crafter cuts on it. No more scratches on the dining room table or workbenches.
  1. Craft of the Month Club: These clubs can be fun for both adults and children. Each month the person who received the gift will get a kit with a new craft for them to do. This is a gift that keeps on giving all year long.

    NOTE: Pay close attention to the details before you buy. Some clubs start with an introductory rate and then charge more after the first month. This isn’t necessarily bad, just know what you are buying before you charge your card so you aren’t surprised later on.

  1. Art and Craft Supplies: Paint, sketching pencils, scissors, fabric - the list could go on and on. After all, artists and crafters need supplies. You can ask the person’s significant other if the person has specific brands or supplies that they prefer.
  1. A Gift Unrelated to Arts and Crafts: Artists and crafters have other interests besides just arts and crafts. Maybe they love shoes, or are a die-hard fan of football. Finding the other interests of the person is a great way to find a present they will love.

Do you agree with our list? What other presents would you like to see come your way this year? Please comment below.

Note: The links above are provided with the understanding that we do not endorse or stand behind any product mentioned, and we are not affiliated with the brands or stores in any way. The links are simply to help you see the product and get an idea for what the gift could look like.

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Two women admiring hand crafted wares

Fall is currently in full swing and will soon turn into the frigid winter we all know. With the change in season (more abrupt in many places) comes a change in your ability to attend markets and festivals. Depending on where you are, many opportunities simply disappear for an entire season leaving you to find other avenues for sales.

ACT Insurance is here to help you in these instances with 3 tips to boost winter sales. Plus, we’ll tell you about one-day event insurance and how it could greatly benefit you during any upcoming markets you have on your calendar, or even that event you have coming up in the new year.

Ready to boost your winter sales?

Tip #1: Focus Your Efforts Online

With temperatures dropping soon, you’ll need a solid place you can make consistent sales. You might even already be selling online, but if you are not you should really focus on using the internet to boost sales.

Many exhibitors have online accounts with Etsy or Depop, or are even just making sales via Facebook Marketplace. If this doesn’t sound like you, then what better time to get started than now?

Etsy or Depop will take a deduction of your sale, so if you don’t think that’s viable then we suggest you sell on your own website where you control the costs of shipping and handling. If you already have a website then Facebook and Instagram are great places to start posting since it’ll allow many others to see what you’ve created and are selling.

Tip #2: Start a Blog

Blogs are all the hype these days. If you don’t have one for your business then you are really missing out on an opportunity to brand yourself and your craft or trade. This is also an excellent opportunity to create more content for your website (assuming you already have one) that can help you rank better when people search for the category of craft or artwork you create.

Take a dive into marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) to help you build your blog into the business driver it can truly be.

Tip #3: Find a Winter Market

Not all is lost in the winter! Winter brings with it many holidays and what better place to try to make a sale than at a holiday market? Hundreds of people peruse these markets looking for a unique treasure or the best last-minute gift.

Do a quick Google or Facebook search for holiday market events in your area, or even farther away if you’re willing to make the drive, and find a way to take part in them. You’ll never know what you’re missing out on until you are there as an exhibitor experiencing it all.

Bonus: Carry One Day Event Insurance

If you do happen to find that hidden gem of an exhibitor opportunity, you’ll need to have the proper insurance coverage in place. One day event insurance from ACT Insurance is designed to meet show requirements and protect you against general liability claims against you.

This means that if someone were injured during a show as a result of your booth’s sign falling over and onto them, then you could be protected against any arising lawsuit.

One day event insurance from ACT starts at just $49 and gives you 1–3 days of consecutive coverage. Days can be added to your policy for $10 each additional day. Our application is completely online and you can access proof of coverage documents in 10 minutes or less.

Don’t leave your business vulnerable and carry one-day event insurance for the holiday market you find this season.

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Art Fair Etiquette

Framed wall that says Art Fair Etiquette

Fairs, festivals, shows, and other community arts and crafts events offer an ideal experience for everyone to see and learn more about art. However, as with many public events, there are a few common rules of etiquette that often get overlooked. As a result, the enriching experience of an art event is ruined for those who want to get the most out of it.

Having been to a few art fairs ourselves, we’ve noticed this lack of etiquette and want to share our findings in the form of a quick go-to guide. Listed here are some basic etiquette rules that we believe everyone should follow while attending an art-related community event, comprised into simple do’s and don’ts.

  1. DON'T have your group occupy a high-traffic spot or viewing space needlessly.

    With nearly every large public event, there will inevitably be groups of people who will stop to chat with each other in places where people need to be able to walk freely on. If you plan to attend an art fair with a group of friends, we highly encourage you to be courteous to your fellow fair attendees by not blocking high-traffic walking areas. This also includes viewing spaces in booths where the artist is trying to display their products to passing viewers.

  1. DON'T touch any of the products without the artist’s permission.

    Artists appreciate it when you show interest in their work, but that doesn’t always mean it’s okay to touch it. Artists would like to keep their products in mint condition for all potential customers, so some may not want you to handle their products. Even if you’re considering purchasing the item, be courteous to first ask before touching products.

    Keep this rule in mind especially when you view or are around items like these:

    • Fragile items like glass or pottery
    • Paintings, which includes the frame
    • Any kind of furniture: tables, drawers, couches, etc.
  1. DO be mindful of the food and drink you carry with you to a booth.

    Foods and drinks are not only messy when handled carelessly in a booth, but they can also very easily ruin fine pieces of art. If possible, try to finish or put away your foods and drinks before entering a booth. But if you feel you cannot do this and you have to carry them, be sure you have complete control over its contents so as not to accidentally spill on the artist’s products.

    Additionally, be mindful to not purposely set any of your food or drinks on their tables, especially drinks. Even a small water ring from your cold drink can stain furniture or make a booth table look unappealing. And lastly, out of courtesy, take care of your own garbage. Do not ask the artist of the booth to throw it away for you.

  1. DO be extra mindful of children.

    Children can be enriched by an art fair as much as an adult. However, they naturally tend to move around more actively and be curious enough to want to pick things up. Keep your children close by and under control as you view booths—and better yet, take the experience as an opportunity to teach them to look, not touch.

  1. DON'T visit an art fair simply to critique the art.

    Artists are very unappreciative of people who come to view their products just to tell them that their work is amateur, or that you are able to do better, or other such criticism of the like. One of the purposes of a community art event is to learn about other people’s art, and going around criticizing other people’s work does not meet this purpose. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

  1. DO make an effort to communicate with the artist, but to also be brief and specific.

    While criticism is frowned upon, artists do appreciate any questions you may have about their work. Feel free to ask them engaging and honest questions about their art, such as their technique, their tools of the trade, how many hours they put into it, etc.

    Understandably, there’s a chance you may end up connecting with the artist and want to talk to them about other topics. Out of courtesy of their business and other shoppers, try to keep your discussion brief and only on their art. The artist is still trying to work, and it would be impolite to keep them from communicating with other shoppers.

  1. DON'T treat the fair like a flea market.

    An art fair isn’t meant to be an opportunity for you to haggle a cheap price on someone’s art. Artists work hard on all of their products, and though they’re aware of what prices people look for, they will do their best to match the price with the amount of work they put into it.

    A small exception to this would be to kindly (and perhaps indirectly) suggest a grouped price for purchasing multiple pieces of their work. It will still earn the artist good business to try and compromise a bargain price for a bundle of their work.

  1. DO be decisive on your purchasing decisions.

    Artists like that you’re interested in their products, but it’s discouraging to hear from someone that they’re not considering buying right away. If you really like their product and can honestly afford it, we encourage you to make that crucial decision to purchase it. The transaction will not just provide profit to the artist, but it will also encourage them to continue their work.

    Similarly, only ask the artist to put a product on hold when you are serious about purchasing it. It’s also discouraging to hold a product for a customer who may or may not return when they can also try to sell it to someone else. Again, if you can afford it, go ahead and buy it.

In short: always be polite, mindful, courteous, and respectful of others and their work. Remember that there are other people wanting to enjoy the event as much as you, and that artists want to do their best to both market their products and engage with all of their customers. By following these etiquette rules, you’ll be able to enhance your experience of a community art event as well as keep it enjoyable for everyone else.

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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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Call for Artists: Art San Diego


Calling all established studio artists! The most anticipated art event in Southern California is less than two months away. Will you be there? We invite you to showcase your work this Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at, a contemporary art show featuring an international slate of artists and galleries. Whether you want to expand your distribution and connect with trade buyers from around the world, present yourself to gallery owners and top collectors, or learn industry selling techniques from the pros, you'll find it all at Art San Diego. But booths are filling up fast! Here are three reasons why you should exhibit at the ninth edition of Art San Diego, too.

1. Grow Your Business

Art San Diego offers the amazing opportunity to network with thousands of trade buyers, including designers, architects, art publishers, and gallery owners. That kind of exposure helps you not only sell individual pieces but also line up lucrative commissions and spark relationships with industry professionals who could serve you for years to come.

2. Surround Yourself with Success

Art San Diego 2017 - Exhibit
When you present your work at Art San Diego, you'll be among a select group of exhibiting artists and galleries from around the world. Join an impressive lineup of exhibitors:
Pippin Contemporary * John Natsoulas Gallery * Bruce Lurie Art Gallery * Arte Collective *Renssen Art Gallery * InArt Gallery * James Paterson Fine Art
Register now to snag a premium booth spot.

3. Save Thousands

Freight Concierge Program When you exhibit at more than one Redwood Media Group show, we'll provide complimentary storage and shipping between shows as part of our Freight Concierge Program. Not only do you get coast-to-coast exposure, but you save thousands of dollars in the process. Let us handle the logistics so you can focus on maximizing your impact and sales.

Have any questions? Contact our team. They'll be happy to help you in any way possible. We hope to host you in the beautiful Wyland Center this fall!

The Art San Diego Team


Redwood Media Group

  ASD on TwitterArt San Diego on Facebook
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An Odd Year

This will be my 5th year of art fairs. I hope it won't be my last. I had been doing 4 to 6 shows every summer but this year I will (hopefully, as I have not been confirmed yet) be doing only 2.Doing only two shows per season sounds pretty pathetic but it's all I can afford to invest in booth fees and truck rentals this year. I stuck to two favorite shows that are less than 10 miles away and hope to make some profit. (My wife also retired)I can't afford the upkeep of a van or truck so I rent U-Haul vans. They're OK for short distances but anything with a few hours' distance and you pay per mile which adds up significantly. Standard vehicle rental companies have a fixed rate and free mileage but that fixed rate is also high.I was told by veteran artists last summer that they usually experience a down year in sales in an election year. Well, this is will be a post election summer but I don't know that it will be like a regular one what with the turmoil and uncertainty at the top (!) Then again, my art is sort of on the low end in terms of prices so perhaps customers will buy more from me since I'm less expensive.I have found in my short art fair experience that it is almost impossible to predict or gauge how one will do in any particular show. There are just too many variables.An artist friend who is a jeweler does very well in one particular show that takes place about three hours from me. He told me two years ago that he had been doing that show for 8 years and each year he had been doing better and has regular customers. I decided to do that show and though it was a nice one, I didn't do well at all. He told me that it will take time for the locals to get to know me and my customer base will grow. Perhaps he's right, but I cannot afford to do that show anymore or any other show any fair distance from me since the vehicle rental and hotel (though reasonable) are just too much.I thought about my friend's success and came to a conclusion. A jeweler sells various pieces that become collections. A fair attendee purchases a beautiful ring and the following year looks for the same artist and buys matching earrings. The following year they may get a bracelet and then a necklace. Since all his artwork is hand made one of a kind, it's not difficult to understand that he could continue to attract repeat customers at just about any repeat show he does as well as one time shows.I, on the other hand, sell artistic photography art pieces of a diverse subject nature and style. I have done a few shows three years in a row and not once have I had a repeat visitor or buyer. I'm not saying that it can't happen, I think it's less likely to happen for me than for a jeweler or any other artist that has similar unique style pieces or items that can be assembled as a collection.I'm ranting with no particular point to make other than just writing out loud that it's been a strange year and almost non existent winter. I think this lack of a typical midwestern winter (no measurable snow for February, a first in 146 years) and mostly Spring temps have affected me in an indescribable manner.Hope everyone has a better sales year than before.Good Luck
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Call for Artists: Great Lakes Art Fair '17


April 7-9
Novi, Michigan

Suburban Collection Showplace

200 Artists

Deadline: February 26


Application Fee: $30; Booth Fees: $400-$950


Want to stay close to home AND earn money 

in April? Then please consider applying to our show.


The Showplace is a first class expo building situated right off the freeway in an affluent area of Detroit's western suburbs. The show offers fine artists in the region a reliable, regularly scheduled, weather-free venue to showcase their freshest and most beautiful work, and word is spreading rapidly that this is a destination event for artists and patrons alike.


Consistently lauded as one of the most artist-friendly Art Fairs, accepted artists are given postcards and free tickets for their customers, email blast content for their patrons, free electricity, a roving snack cart with complimentary snacks and drinks during the show, complimentary morning coffee, muffins, drive right up to your booth for unloading and loading, plus more! 


What to expect:

  • Elegant Grand Gallery entrance showcasing your art
  • Delectable cuisine and relaxing entertainment
  • Community partnerships and other fresh components, to create a regional marketplace for artists and their patrons.  
c86af0b3-b251-4b5e-96e8-9b746b890455.jpg?width=400Effective promotion is as crucial to overall success as the selection of artists.  Our mission is to deliver a high quality experience for patrons and artists that will assure qualified buyers, return visits and exponential event growth. 
Participating Artists will also benefit from a multi-level marketing and publicity campaign to promote the event throughout the region, including media partnerships in print, radio, television, direct mail and building awareness of this regional event.    


For more info: 


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In the spirit of better late than never, here are some observations from this year’s Broad Ripple Art Fair held on May 21 and 22 on the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Center.

First and foremost, the staff and many, many volunteers were absolutely awesome.  Smiling good mornings.  Yummy donuts and coffee.  Express line passes for artists to use at the food trucks and very friendly food workers.  Volunteers coming by your booth during the day asking “do you need a booth sitter?”… “how about some water?”… “is there anything I can do you?”  Yes, you can come home with me and be my mother.

The show layout is unusual.  The artists are in four separate locations grouped around the art center building, and after acceptance you’re given a numbered map to make booth requests.  Having not been to the show before, I chose the area with the most artists, figuring that the customers would be least likely to skip the area where the majority of artists are (I believe it cost $13 to get in the gate). I got a space in exactly the area I asked for (!!) and it turned out to be a good choice. 

There are two entrances, and the big Artist Field and cozy, tree-filled Artist Green are both easy to see.  The Field is a big, bare baseball field with unattractive stuff around the perimeter but it is the place all the customers go.  The third area is Artist Terrace, a line of booths next to the Green and stretching behind the back wall of the art center, a pretty area but impossible to see unless you stumble upon it while visiting the Green.  The fourth location was the Artist Lot, with a lovely arbor stretching down the length of the lot.  Trouble is, it’s on the far side of the building, out of sight from the rest of the show, with no booths or food trucks going down the street toward that lot, so unless you know it’s there you’d never see it or expect it.  Maybe this is such a well-known show in the area that it’s not a problem, but I thanked god for small favors and scurried back to my booth, where the friendly volunteer said “oh, you’re back so fast!  Is there anything else you need?”  Yes, you can go home with me and …

Load-in was all day Friday and at least on the baseball field you could drive directly to your booth space.  Artist parking was an “on your own” affair, however the adjoining neighborhoods with the exception of one were fine with our vehicles and trailers clogging up their streets for the weekend.  It was a distance of maybe two blocks between my tent and my van, and I made it a point to arrive early in the mornings so my van could be parked in the same zip code.  I did wonder, though, where the patrons parked since we had snagged all the close spaces.

Another big plus was the attendees.  Almost to a person they were friendly and polite, interested in seeing your work, they oohed and ahhed and asked questions, etc.  You felt like they were really there to see the art.  Novel.  I could count on one hand the people I saw who were so busy talking that they weren’t looking in the booths they passed.

Okay, so here’s the part that gets a sideways thumb.  Money.  All weekend I fretted because I saw few bags walking around.  As I said, the people were nice but I don’t need more friends.  What I need is more money.

By the end of the weekend I had squeezed out about $2500 in sales, and others around me were mostly in the mid-2s as well.  Not so great, considering the booth plus jury fee is $400 and my travel expenses by the time it was all said and done were almost $800.  Some did poorly and failed to cover booth. Several artists had told me beforehand that this is a “really good” show and, yes, the quality of art was mostly very good.  But in terms of dollars and cents it just didn’t feel like a $400 show and the amount of buying going on wasn’t a $400 show. 

Except for one artist who mentioned to me on his way out that he had an 11-hour drive home.  I asked incredulously, “11 hours?  Is it worth it?”  He smiled and said “For $5,500 it is.”

Oh.  Well that puts a different spin on things.

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Butchertown Art Fair – uh, no

So I didn’t get accepted to my hometown Summerfair this year, and in a pissy mood I immediately went searching for another show that weekend, knowing the Summerfair jury would be devastated when they learned they had missed their chance to have me.  And sure enough, Zapp dealt up the Butchertown Art Fair held in a quaint historic suburb of Louisville, KY on the very same weekend, June 4-5.  Sold!

The show is set up on a tree-lined street in the 800 and 900 blocks of Washington Avenue.  Set-up was Friday evening beginning at 6, however the street was blocked off early so they let us in quite a bit early.  It was an easy drive to your booth to unload and then drive on to park on the nearby streets.

Rain poured down briefly on Saturday but Sunday was beautiful with a perfect temperature.

I’ll cut to the chase.  This show was awful on several levels.  Not because of the weather.  Not even because of my sales, which barely covered expenses (a problem I had never experienced in 10 years until this show).  Here’s how it went so very wrong.

The show had no business being on Zapp, which of course goes to a nationwide audience.  In my mind any Zapp show should be suitable for an artist who will have travel expenses.  Not this one.

Butchertown is not a real art show.  It’s actually a small, local craft fair that until this year had never turned an applicant away.  Let your imagination wander on that one.  There were some good quality out-of-state artists who had been sucked in by the promotional description on Zapp and they spent the rest of the weekend kicking themselves.

The show seems to be run by a community group who has apparently never looked at the business of art shows from the artists’ perspective.  I know this because when an artist complained to the organizer about several problems the organizer looked shocked and mentioned that that they were “giving back to the community.”  One of the ways they gave back was to spread informational booths throughout the show, and in fact I had one of them next to me.  The info booths were sponsored by – I made a list so I could tell you – a soon-to-be-built botanical garden, a community newspaper, a pet services group, a dance bar, a hospice and, I kid you not, a catholic church.

I had plenty of time to observe the impact of this, because due to no sales I had time to watch the neighbors walk by with their kids or their dogs and run into people they knew – “Oh hi!  How are you?” – and commence to have a 30-minute chit-chat in the middle of the street.  Many, many, many people attending this show didn’t bother to look left or right as they walked down the street.  They were there because it was a block party, and they had absolutely no intention of buying anything except beer.  We were the free decorations.

I observed that the botanical garden next to me would call out to people in the middle of the street and reel them into their tent.  Then the couple would hear the spiel and add their names to the email list.  Finally they would turn away and, as people do, remark to each other their impressions of what they’d just heard – looks like it’ll be nice, I wonder if there’ll be a charge to get in, that play area will be great for Cindy – and by the time they’re finished with their little recap they’ve passed my booth and eventually they look up to find the nearest beer booth.

I get the impression that the organizing staff is very proud of their show, and if it were a community event for a bunch of amateur crafters they certainly should be.  But as a show that’s promoted to professional artists who expect to find a venue conducive to selling their work, this show isn’t even close.

Oh, almost forgot to mention.  The show bestows three awards.  Great, except at least the last two years all 3 awards went to Butchertown residents.  Someone asked if all the awards stayed in town again this year and we learned that no, only two of the awards went to residents and the other one went to someone from “out of town.”  Since Butchertown is a village I assumed this meant the 3rd recipient lives a few miles away in a neighboring suburb. 

Like I said, this show is a community event.  The rest of us have no business being there.  Best of luck to them.

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This is my second year doing this show, which takes place in an absolutely gorgeous spot in the mountains of west/central Virginia.

My first year was not a bang-up show, but was solid enough that I thought I should try again. I live in Virginia, so it was not such a long drive (5 hours).  In addition, I'd been amazed and honored to find that the show had chosen my art for their postcards, posters and program this year - and I thought this might help with sales. 

Alas, it was not to be. 

I am an oil painter with large, bright pieces. My prices run from $125 to $8500. I do not have prints. 

The show's topography is interesting, and was different this year than it has been. It takes place in Claudius Crozet park, a beautiful spot with big green fields, a YMCA building with workout room and pool, and a playground. You can camp there during the show, and I did this, which of course cut my lodging costs deeply.

The largest group of artists and crafters is under a huge tent. The tent is open at the sides, and is lighted, but is still very dim. The booth fee ($300) includes electricity. In past years, there has been a second tent, not as large as the first, but this year, that tent was not used. There was a row of tents outside the big tent; artists choosing to set up their own tents in this row got a $50 discount. An artist I know who took this option was not happy with his sales, and said that basically, no one made it out to the tents. There are two small pavilions, also, and these are the prime spaces, brighter than the tents, cleaner and with easier load-in and load-out (I think). I asked for one but didn't get it.

Load-in runs the gamut from fairly easy to very difficult, depending on where you are. There's a large grass parking area across the entrance road from the west edge of the tent. I was on the west edge, so I was as close as one can be to the parking. Still, I had to use a dolly, and wheel my stuff up and down a small hill. Load-in and -out on the other side of the tent - and from the outside artist tents - was difficult, I was told.

There are good and bad parts about being along the edge. There is storage and seating space behind your booth if you're on the edge; if you're inside, there is zero storage space. It rained on and off all weekend, though, so I had to cover my stuff, and couldn't sit outside. 

An additional issue for me was the height of the big tent at the outer edge. I use a Showoff tent, and my sidewalls attach via zippers along the bottom of the roof. The big tent started about an inch above the upper edge of my tent frame, so I couldn't put my roof on, and had to jury-rig the back wall. If it hadn't been drizzly and wet all weekend, I could have simply not put the wall up. 

Turnout seemed to be lower this year than last year, especially on Saturday. On Sunday, Mother's Day, the crowd also seemed light, and there were lots of people with little kids, which bodes poorly for me. People wheeling strollers don't buy large paintings, I've learned. 

People around me seemed to fare better than I did. A glass artist on one side, a photographer across the way and a jeweler across the aisle (I paid $25 extra for a corner), all seemed to do well. They were all from the area, and friends and family came to see them throughout the show. A painter friend from the Norfolk area did better, too, though her price points are generally lower than mine. A jeweler from Pennsylvania told me she had an excellent show, as well. 

The quality of the work in this show seemed very uneven. There was some excellent, very high-level art and craft, and also some lower-end, lower-priced items. I didn't see any buy/sell, or at least none that I could identify, but some of the items made me shake my head and wonder a little bit.

Lodging is scarce in the area, and what is available is stupidly expensive, in my opinion ($135 a night was about average). Sleeping in the van has been a good option for me. You can camp on a level concrete area that is probably a basketball court. I have camped, both years, in a second grassy area fairly close to the concrete area, but quiet and more solitary. Showers and indoor bathrooms are available for campers, in the YMCA building. 

Communication from the show was pretty good throughout. You pay your booth fee via an invoice that is not through Zapp, so that had me confused for a while, but the director was patient with me. 

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