the (62)

I applied by accident meannint to apply to madisons show of the same name. I did notice and apply to madison but i got in to this lake forest one and Iam not sure to accept or not as the reviews i could find seem very old from 2013 and 2011 a friend sent me two others that where not great but had no date on it. If you have done or know if this show any more recent advice would help. thanks so much! I do 2D mixed media with lots of color btw.thanks again

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Review of San Diego Festival of the Arts - 2017

Hi all,

The San Diego Festival of the Arts is a large show held in downtown San Diego on the waterfront in a park called Waterfront Park.

The jury selection of artists is very good with top quality artworks and no toe-rings, T-shirts, or soap-on-a-rope booths to be found.

Booth spaces are not too expensive, for California, and there is no commission charged on sales.

The show is setup in quads and some artists (quite a few) get the full quad for their booth for (I believe $850). I got a double for $650.

Friday is setup day and it goes well - if you are patient and can relax. You wait in line with other artists for a space to open up along the curb. When a space opens you go to the space and back in and unload to your booth. You are then asked to move your vehicle to the artists parking lot about 1 mile away where you are then taken back to the show grounds by a shuttle.

You set up your booth and stake it down really well and also use weights - you never know the wind conditions on the waterfront. You can hang your art and close up your tent.

On Saturday morning it was wet from raining the night before, but it dried out pretty fast. It was cloudy all day Saturday and I think it hampered the show attendance.

Saturday night it rained a lot and was very wet in the morning. It cleared up by the time the show started and the sun came out a bit more. Sunday was a good day for an art festival.

For some reason I did not do as well this year as last. I thought the crowds were very good both days, but people just were not buying MY art this year like they did last year. The glass artist next to me had a fantastic Saturday (probably near $10,000 - sold at least 5 $2000 vases) and then a $0 on Sunday - go figure.

One bad factor of the show is that in this area of San Diego it is "almost" impossible to find a parking space in "Little Italy" (The area near where the show is held). Only if you are lucky will you find a space where you can then pay the meter and head down to the show, remembering that you only have so much time to spend at the show.

Rooms can also be expensive in this area because it is a tourist destination.

I don't know what was different this year from the last except weather (Last year it was spectacular weather). The tourists are there none the less.

Load out is always a bit of a struggle, but as I say, just stay calm and take your time. I take down all my work and walls then go get my van. You wait in line with all the others to wait for a space on the curb and hope it comes soon - by the way, a space always comes - and you will get it!

Show closed at 5 pm on Sunday, got my van at 6 pm, began loading at 6:30 pm, was out by 7:15 (All dolly load in and out). Time for some dinner.

If you want to try this show, I do recommend it. I know that some artists did very well and some artists did very poorly - but you never know what's going to happen at any show these days. The show management is extremely good and really takes care of the artists - great communication throughout.

If you do want to do the show and are accepted, book a hotel room fast. The area just above the waterfront is called "Little Italy" and there are a TON of restaurants to go to and enjoy. The are also a bunch of hotels / motels nearby but they can get pricey in the spring/summer.

Hopefully this review will help you make a decision on this show if you are contemplating doing it. It's a physical load in and load out - so bring your stamina and your patience.




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08a8f19b-b752-42e1-9765-da1ba50c977e.jpgJune 24 & 25
Des Moines, Iowa
Iowa State Fairgrounds
Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm
250 Artists
Deadline: March 24

Application fee: $30; Booth fee: $340-$600

Artfest Midwest 'The Other Art Show', Iowa's largest fine art show, is an indoor event (with a few outdoor spaces) held in the rain-free, air-conditioned Varied Industries Building at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. It is held on the same weekend as the downtown arts event. Artfest Midwest, an affordable alternative to the downtown show, will again offer free shuttle bus service to downtown. Parking and admission to the show are free for the estimated 30,000 patrons.

New: The event promotion is under new management, with new faces and new and innovative ideas to ensure a successful event. There will be cash prizes for the best art in each category and an overall "Best in Show".

Marketing: In addition to radio, television, newspaper and digital advertising, Artfest Midwest will be promoted through a robust social media network on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Learn more:
Contact: Robyn Mills,, 515-237-0339


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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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Charlotte riots and the "Festival in the Park"

I noticed on that Charlotte’s “Festival In the Park” this weekend is still going ahead as scheduled, despite the Charlotte riots and curfews.  I was wondering how that is working out.  Are the artists and crafters actually setting up?  What were they told by the promoter?  Will anyone show up tomorrow and Sunday?  Are the police actually able to provide credible security?

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I would love to talk with artists that have been accepted to the annual art festivl.  Two years running i have buffed up my booth, taken what i believed to be amazing photos, wrote precise descriptions, and bam, rejected.  In the body of the rejection email KRASL made it clear that people are rejected often several years running, and please try again.   It baffles me.  Granted i work in wearable fiber and wonder often if that is a limiting factor.  

They do invite artists to attend the jury process, which is refreshing and rare... sadly i live 5 hours drive from there, and could not break away to be there for the jury.  I also wonder if that is a limiting factor.

If you have done the event, can we chat either on this blog or via email?

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May 2 & 38869133269?profile=original

Sanford, Florida
Historic Downtown Sanford
Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm
125 Artists
Deadline: March 21
Applications on ZAPP

$15,000 in Awards $3,000 Best of Show


A NEW art festival experience...

"where the artistic process comes alive before your eyes"


We are very excited to announce our 4th annual event, rapidly becoming one of the South's premier outdoor fine arts festivals. A different festival experience awaits you!

Throughout the festival there are 12 demonstrating areas for artists selected through our jury process. These artists will have adjacent spaces to demonstrate their artistic process along with their finished artwork to sell.

Our plans to make this an exciting successful event for you:

  • Our Patrons Program offers ART-BUCKS to be spent on your artwork
  • Fine art judges are top quality and between them, knowledgeable in all categories
  • Easy Check-in and exit at the end of the Festival
  • Comprehensive broadcast, print and electronic/digital media coverage
  • Artists who apply early may be showcased in the media spots
  • Booth numbers and artist information in the festival program and website
  • Convenient parking for Artists
  • Artist Retreat with breakfast & lunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Frequent visits by the Artist Support team. Booth sitters. 


Anticipated attendance: Approximately 20,000 visitors over the two days

Entertainment: Soft acoustical music artists perform throughout the festival footprint.



Jury Fee: $35.00 - Booth Fee: $225.00


Contact Information:
Phone: Director/Artist Support - Kim House: 407-416-1779
Alt Phone: Liz Darwick, 407-314-6809
Find more 2015 festivals looking for you:
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ea1e66a6-af26-4cf8-9ed1-6f2dc224f782.jpgSeptember 12 & 13
Springfield, Illinois
Presented by the Rees Carillon Society
50 Artists
Deadline: March 31

Why you want to be here:

  • Art Spectacular is included in Sunshine Artist's Best 100 Art Shows in the United States in 2014! 
  • With up to 50 artists, Art Spectacular also includes patron bucks' drawings, demos, kids' art sale, kids' activities, music, silent auction, basket raffle, and food vendors. 
  • We also provide the BEST artist treatment and amenities, including FREE water and time-of-day appropriate snacks throughout the event - both in the Artist/VIP tent and provided by refreshments-on-wheels at your tent;
  • booth sitters, load-in assistance, and artists' awards dinner at 6 pm on Saturday. At least 3' between booths. Set-up on Friday from noon-6 pm. Overnight security is provided. 
  • The promoter is on-site, visible, and available throughout the event. 
  • Free on-site camping space for a limited number of fully-contained RVs.

About our show:
Held outdoors in beautiful Washington Park around the Botanical Gardens and the 67-bell carillon, one of the largest in the world, in an affluent city neighborhood. Springfield is an art-loving, art-buying community with 3 colleges, a medical school, extensive medical presence, the IL state capitol.

Who we are:

Art Spectacular is a fundraiser for the Rees Memorial Carillon by presenting one of the best 'little' art fairs in Central Illinois by presenting high quality. original artwork in a balance of mediums. 

Extensive advertising includes TV, radio, newspapers, billboards, websites, mailings, e-mail, signs, posters, flyers, newsletters, sponsors, and invitations to artists' top ten patrons and
previous attendees.
1c22955e-2161-463d-b7d9-f3f86d4ebfc3.jpgApplication fee: $35
Booth fee:$200 - 10'wx15'd; $250 - corner/end; $400 - double.

Visit and click on the Art Spectacular tab to get access to the 2-page application and see pictures. Apply right now!
Find more art fairs looking for artists around the
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Too Bad for Tubac, AZ

This is the second time I've participated in this show in the lovely town of Tubac, AZ and probably the last. The first time I did this show was in 2012 and the weather was average for this time of the year (60's). This time the weather was above average in the 70's and 80's and, as it had rained for three days the weekend before it would seem the perfect time to come out and enjoy the sun. 

Sales for this artist, as-well-as others that were queried, were down from the last show. I made less than half what I did last time and didn't do that well at the last show! One jeweler reported sales of $400. This was not a buying crowd with some exceptions. Most of the buying activity took place on Fri and Sat leaving the rest of this five day show with little to do except talk with the lookers. This was an older crowd that was not inclined to spending as their 2nd houses in Green Valley ( a retirement community north of Tubac) were probably already full. The buying crowd was a little younger but there were not that many of them at this show. Although some of the patrons were bused in, the crowds were not crowded! It seemed as though numbers were down considerably.

This show is suffering, as are most of the shows in AZ from their own entropy. Although the staff were there to welcome the artists it seemed as if little is being done to attract a buying public. Tubac is about 50 miles south of Tucson and very few Tucsonians attend.

Show Dates: Usually the first full week of February, contact the Chamber of Commerce in Tubac for exact dates.

Quality of the Show: VERY WIDE, perhaps the word is getting around as this show is not attracting the kind of quality that was there even 3 years ago. If you don't have qualified buyers you're not going to attract quality art. Although there wasn't what appeared to be a lot of B/S (I think there was some) the fine art was not in as much evidence.

Amenities: The Tubac Market in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce put on a nice artists dinner Wed night after the show. No other amenities were provided.

Parking: Finally, the Chamber provided parking passes for the artists, last time I did this show artists were charged $8 per day to park (That's up $2 from last time!)

Awards: One award, Best of Show, went to a painter.

Load-In/Out: I had a much nicer spot this year but load-in/out was not a concern as we all played nice with each other and it was easy. There was plenty of space for all to work. Some streets in the show were much more congested. There was a lot of storage space behind the booths.

Accommodations: The last time I did this show I stayed in Green Valley, AZ about 21 miles north of Tubac as the hotels were relatively affordable. Not so this time, rates had gone up more than 20% even if you could find a room there, which I couldn't. Staying in Tucson was prohibitive as it would be at least an hours drive each way! This time we opted to stay about 12 miles south in Rio Rico at the Esplendor Resort, last year when I booked there I got a $51 room rate (they accept pets) but not this year. Going further south to Nogales, AZ, well...Some artists that were having an extended stay in the area opted for the nearby condos which are very nice but you have to stay longer for the best rates. Trailer camping was available nearby for about $25.

Next time I want to escape the cold of Denver in the middle of the winter I'll do what I did last year for my birthday, skip the show and go to Hawaii! It's cheaper in the long run!

If you'd like to read my last report on this show...I should have!

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Your studio space

I know we spend our lives focused on art fairs, presenting our product, production, development of image, and the like, but I have a serious question for you.  Is your studio space in your home, or outside of it?  

Our studio space was half of the basement, but as our business has grown we find that half the house is being engulfed.... and it gets stressful to just find a quiet place away from the action..... So we have begun to consider a studio outside of our home.  Im just curious how everyone else copes with this dilema. 

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Call for Artists: 54th Annual Krasl Art Fair

8869146265?profile=originalJuly 11 & 12 
St. Joseph, Michigan
Located on Lake Bluff Park
200 Exhibitors
Deadline:  January 22

New: This year we have decreased the number of booths from 216 to 200


Please note:  We have an "Open Jury" policy and  encourage artists to attend. Jurying is Friday, February 13 at Lake Michigan College. Last year there were 172 openings.

Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff is one of the nation's top fine art fine craft art fairs:  Sunshine Artist Magazine #10 in 2014 and on Art Fair Calendar's 2nd Annual "Best Art Fair" survey #6.

In 2015 the Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff celebrates 54 years of artistic excellence drawing crowds from Chicago, northern Indiana, Grand Rapids and other nearby cities.


  • Artist Sales:  In (2014) between $5,000-$10,000 (source: Sunshine Artist Magazine, 34% reported making between #1,501-$3,000 and 39% reported making between $3,001-$10,000 plus (source: 2014 Krasl Art Fair artist survey).
  • Jury/Booth Fees ($30/$300 or $325, depending on space size: 10x10 to 15x15 plus and 20x20); many with exposure on two sides.
  • Estimated attendance: 70,000
  • Friday set-up; drive to space for load-in and load-out
  • Artist-in-Residence program; local residents host artists in their homes 
  • Excellent artist amenities:  artist-only parking, Saturday gourmet breakfast, booth sitters, electricity available to many booths, artists' hospitality room and much more
  • 19 Best of Category Awards $100 cash each, Krasl Board choice Award, booth fee waived the following year and Shore Magazine "Best Booth Award".
  • Friday night kick-off party with gourmet food, wine tasting, live music and more
  • Round tabs artists' discussion with committee and staff
  • Digital Jurying which is open to artists and public to observe.

Comments from participating artists:

  • In this age when most art shows think they can "improve" their shows by bringing in carnivals and petting zoos, Krasl has not forgotten that it i1930.jpg?width=300s about the artists and kept their focus on that.
  • Congratulations to your and your team for putting on a wonderful event. I especially appreciated the standards committee and the easy load in/load out.  I had a great show!
  • A guy who visited my booth about five times at your show was really interested in one of my large paintings. I knew he was really close, but just couldn't commit. Late last week he emailed me and he bought two of them.  That put me just a little behind last year's good show and Krasl is my second best show of the year behind Cherry Creek!!

2234.png For more information and artist's prospectus:

Find us on Facebook:
Breeze Ettl, Art Fair Director
Questions? Email: jgourley@krasl.orgphone: (269)983-0271
Find even more art fairs looking for artists:
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July 15-18 
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Wed.-Fri. 10am-9pm
Sat. 10am-6pm
198 Exhibitors
Deadline:  January 13

The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the original of a collective of four concurrent fairs that transform central Ann Arbor into a massive outdoor art gallery each July.

Established in 1960 and still true to its mission of increasing public knowledge and appreciation for contemporary fine arts and fine crafts, the Original Ann Arbor Art Fair presents consistently high quality, all original work.

Located on the streets surrounding the historic Burton Carillon Tower and the treelined central campus of the University of Michigan, the Street Art Fair, the Original offers a serene atmosphere that does not include sidewalk sales or merchandise vendors.  The Street Art Fair is known for attracting collectors, corporate buyers, and gallery representatives.


  • The combined Ann Arbor Art Fair draws more 8869152283?profile=originalthan 500,000 fairgoers from across the nation
  • Marketed extensively throughout Southeast Michigan and northern Ohio
  • In-depth Artist Directory on the Fair's website, which received 11 million hits leading up to last year's Fair.  An enlargeable color thumbnail of your work, contact information and links are included
    (Ronna Katz making the sale at AA)
  • Inclusion in the searchable mobile application, which incorporates a color thumbnail of your work and geolocation of your booth on the Art Fair map
  • $7,500 in award money and automatic re-invitation for award winners.
  • Set-up the day before
  • Behind booth storage
  • Artist amenities include:  on-site security, indoor restrooms, booth sitting, daily continental breakfast, continuous beverages and snacks available at Artist Hospitality, water delivered to booths, welcome cocktail reception on Tuesday, and an awards breakfast on Thursday
  • Paid demonstration opportunities. 2149.jpg

Application fee:  $40 

Booth fee; $650 single

Electricity and corners are available for $100 additional

For more info:  or call (734)994-5260

Apply here: 

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art in the park, garden city kansas

This is a one day show in september in conjunction with fall fest. the lady who runs it is so unbelievably nice that its hard to write anything bad about the show, but Garden city is a shitbox.  the town is all grain elevators and feed lots and depending on the wind direction smells like rotting cow flesh.  I was there for about 30 hours and that was far too long.  There are a few people from what I've heard who have lots of cattle or oil money but i saw no evidence of it.  I mostly sold cheap prints.  I'd say if its geographically super convenient to do, maybe do it. the jury fee is only $10 and $60 for the booth fee which i actually didnt even pay til i was at the show. and they had prize money! not a ton but compared to the booth fee it was okay.  I got 2nd prize which was $200 so that was nice. 
Just a little info for anyone considering this show. 
Although the jewelers near me seemed to be really busy, but i dont know how well they did.

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8869143900?profile=original8869144853?profile=originalSo earlier this summer, I was looking to fill a hole or two in my schedule. In checking on and a couple other sites, I saw an opportunity for an event slightly northwest of Philadelphia.

It was an event billed as a medium sized one day arts and craft event put on by the Borough of Lansdale, called the Lansdale Festival of the Arts. It was very inexpensive for a booth (Under 100$).

The event is held in a small park which also has sports fields. Parking was available onsite for exhibitors. Staff were very well organized and cheerful...

The exhibit is billed as rain or shine, with a rain location indoors at a nearby school.. But it would appear that it has to raining pretty good night before/day of in order for event staff to move the event inside. Setup started at 7 AM. I was looking at the radar before we left as the weather had been pretty iffy the night before - and .... yes, just as we left, rain was starting to move into the event area. However, it seemed limited in size/duration and looked like it would pass through by the time the show started.

We drove into the rain and got to the event site from Wilmington in about an hour.. It was still raining when we got there and the event staff were signing people in as we arrived. You could drive onto the site and you were assigned a spot partially by the order of arrival and partially as they balanced the show exhibitor positioning by discipline on the fly.. ie no assigned booth positions as far as I could tell. The check in person was under a pop-up canopy and remarked that when she left to get to the event, the rain was not on her radar, but sure was now. There was no move however to re-locate to the indoor school location..

We were directed to our spot and my wife and I proceeded to get rolling on the set-up. The event staff were very flexible in allowing us to keep vehicles at our spots while doing the wet set-up; rather than doing the traditional dump/park and then set up.. There was a pottery exhibitor who had assumed that since it was raining, that the event was going to move indoors. She stood in the rain with no canopy while her husband ran for her pop-up tent. Tents ranged from the very expensive to the splayed leg type with non-white canopies..  

Since the show was to be judged and prizes awarded, we had two entry cards in out welcome packet that we were to fill out for pieces we wished judged for the event. Got everything set-up in time and parked.. The rain let up just as the event was starting.. Surprisingly, there were early-birds who ignored the rain. I noted Steve Oliver, the event director for the Rittenhouse Square Art Festival was exhibiting. He didn't remember who I was... which is probably good given the disagreement we have had over giving artists jury scores....

For being a wet day, the event was pretty well attended by a fairly eclectic and international crowd. It spit rain off and on during the course of the entire event. but while the sun peeked out a couple times, it remained mostly overcast and dreary. I was very glad I had my lighting set-up with me as this helped a lot...

What I didn't have during the day were sales.... There was buying energy for the typical wearables categories... But I only saw a moderate amount of fine art being hauled away and a lot of prints. The judges came saw and recorded; then left without much in the way of conversation. I sold one small piece during the day for net sales under 100$. It covered show costs and mileage.

An hour or two before show close staff came wandering through to hand out ribbons. They passed us by and we thought that was that.... But then they came back asking if we knew where booth 38 was... Why yes, you are standing in it.... Well, that was when they asked about my painting "Gaffer at the Bench" - a painting depicting master glass artist Mark Rosenbaum of Rosetree Glass in Algiers Point, Louisiana.. I pointed it out to them with the entry card.. They then said congrats and handed me my second blue ribbon in two weeks.  It comes with a check, which I have not seen yet, but they said would be in the mail. The prize money was gracefully donated by National Penn Bank.

As the show closed, it began to rain again....this time more steadily and we had to do a wet teardown.. Thankfully, we were able to get vehicles onto the wet site and nobody got stuck. Teardown was uneventful

All in all, I think I would do the event again.

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Richmond Arts in the Park 2014

I've done previous reviews on this show so I'm not going to rehash what I've already written.  Do a search for my previous blogs if you want to get further information.

This is a jury by check show and at first glance looks like it is not going to be very profitable for fine art.  But there is a lot of fine art here and most of it is segregated in what is fondly or not so fondly called the dust bowl.  Booths in the dust bowl are on grass which quickly succumbs to the many feet of the attendees.  Booths near the Carillon are on pavement and are nearer to parking which makes load in and out easier.  Rumor says sales are better in the dust bowl but I am interested in hearing from Leo Charette about how his sales were by the Carillon.

Setup is by dollying and is allowed on Friday from dawn to dusk.  When I arrived early Friday morning there were a couple tents already set up so there may be the possibility of setting up earlier.  My first year doing this show I arrived for setup at 1:00 PM hoping to save some vacation time.  Don't do that unless you have a very light setup or are a glutton for punishment.  Parking for setup is tight and you will dolly a lot further.  Setup is also allowed on Saturday morning and the show does not open until 11:00 so there is plenty of time.  However people start coming in around 10 so it is best to be setup and ready for customers by then.

It looked like it was going to be a perfect storm this year.  There was pouring rain all week long and then a beautiful weekend.  It did not materialize.  The weather was perfect but my sales were down by half.  Attendance seemed to be normal but there was a bike event going on in Richmond that apparently made traveling in Richmond very difficult with a lot of closed streets.  It still was a good money maker for me and I do recommend the show.

One last note - I have tried and I have never been able to get to the show when following the directions that the show gives me.  If you are coming down 195 to the show instead take the Cary St. exit, turn left on Cary St. and then right on Boulevard St.  When you come to the Y go to the right and head towards the tall building (Carillon).  There is a 20 cent toll going out, bring dimes.

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Addressing the Needs of Fine Art Photography buyers

I believe both the Photographer who sells their artwork at Art fairs or Galleries would find this informative, as well as the art collector.

I think many of us, myself included have had to deal with presentation issues. Just when you think you have decided on the perfect frame/mat combo for your artwork, you find out differently.  

The link below will take you to my "blog list". (minor inconvenience) Simply click on the little grey tab (bottom left) and this directs you to the FULL article :)   thanks for your patience


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Art Fair in the Mill Park, Paoli, WI

Last weekend, I participated in my first outdoor art fair (I have, before, only participated in the inside, small art fair at my church in Madison, WI, First Unitarian Society, called Art in the Wright Place). It was an experience. Before hand, I had purchased a brand new Trimline canopy with mesh walls, French door--the whole shooting match. It arrived a couple of weeks ago with a shipping note indicating altogether it weighed around 200 pounds. My wife and practiced assembling it by watching a video they supplied. We would watch one step, turn off the video, go outside and complete that step. Then we returned for the next step until we had the whole thing up.

Also, before, the fair, I printed many new pictures (I am a I got them matted, purchased frames and glass, and did that as well. I also purchased some new canvas prints of my work. I also created sets of note cards of my pictures. My work, by the way, is somewhat eclectic, with a lot of pictures from Europe as well as Wisconsin and other places we have traveled to. The night before the fair, which was last Saturday, August 10, 2013, we set up our booth. Though my vehicle for doing is a Prius, I got it all the back of the car, with the backseats down. The venue for the fair is a small town south of Madison on the Sugar River, and there is a park along with river, and that is where the fair took place. It is an attractive and tranquil place. It took us about 2-3 hours to do this as it was our first time and we were trying to figure out everything. We set our prices quite reasonably.

The next morning we arrived early, put up our pictures, organized the booth, and waited for customers, who started arriving a little after 9 AM. Paoli is in the midst of many farms with vast fields of corn. To make a long story short, we did not sell one framed piece nor any of the canvas pictures. We did sell most of our cards ($16 for 8) and we did sell some 11x14 ($30) and 16x20 double-matted prints ($60). At the end of the day, we had sold about $430 worth of stuff. I guess you could say I was disappointed. I thought we could do at least $1,000. However, this is a small fair, and the amount of people who came, while steady throughout the day, was probably around 1,500. In seeking to understand what was going on, we have attributed the small sales to both the number of people attending and the demographic, which I am not sure is taken with nice European prints.

Tomorrow we will participate in the Agora Art Fair in Fitchburg. We will take to heart the lessons we learned last week. We have even more cards. We have more matted but unframed prints. We will also have a good selection of framed works and some very nice canvas prints, including one 30x40 print of a restaurant on a bridge in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, Provence. This fair is much better attended, and is situated in a town with many high-income residents. So I think the demographic will be more favorable to what we have. This fair has been well reviewed here in the past. I am hoping for better results, and I will continue to learn from this experience. I will give a report on my continuing adventures after the dust settles on this one.

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Hot, hot, hot – a major sweat builder … that’s how I would describe this show.  The day started out with an 80+ mile drive from our cabin in Northern Minnesota to Brainerd.  Normally, I love this drive but we had rain all day on Saturday and the fog made the driving treacherous.  The show was to start at 10:00 AM, which means that you better be ready to sell at 9:00 AM.  We arrived at the park at 7:30 AM and found that we couldn’t get into the park with our vehicle as so many were already there.  We pulled up as close as possible and my husband started moving tent, grid walls and boxes of glass from the car to our spot in the park.  My husband was an unfortunate volunteer at this event, normally my son comes and helps me or I do the show alone, but I had major back surgery last January and I still have a weight limit requirement – the tent alone was double that limitation! 


Off we went, setting up, draping tables, working like banshees to get everything done.  The weather kept getting hotter (89 degrees) and more humid. I put up a couple of stained glass panels and turned around, they were gone … nope, not stolen, a couple (return customers from last year) had walked up and took them off the walls to hold them up to the sun.  By 8:30 AM, I had sold two panels … I was thinking, “This will be a great day!”  By 10:30 AM my booth fee was covered.  By 2:00 PM, I finally got a spot of lunch and started talking to other artists … the heat was on, literally and figuratively.  In talking with other artists, they weren’t selling … I felt embarrassed, because I was, but most of the sales were in the $50 and under category.  I’ve done this show many times and had learned that you better have those $50 and under items because the people purchasing at this show are mostly cabin owners … they like to buy, but they like the smaller items, lots and lots of smaller items!


I was lucky this time … this year I worked on small stuff because doing the large stuff was too hard to do after back surgery … and what I did sold.  One of my neighbor artists didn’t sell anything (I’ve been there before) and another discounted all his artwork to ensure that he sold enough to cover his booth fee, not something that I recommend. 


However, my best, and most thought provoking, sale of the day was an $18 sale … a young teenager in a wheelchair came by, being pushed by his mother, and accompanied by his two sisters.  His mother explained that he loved color and insisted that he come into the booth (he was using sign language and you could see how adamant he was to visit my booth).  His mother was discouraging him as he had muscle tremors and this was a booth full of glass.  I encouraged the family to bring him in and started talking to him, with his mother translating.  He kept grabbing for a sun catcher, the piece consists of seven stars cascading downward.  I held the piece up for him and he pointed at colors and tried to verbalize the color out loud.  I got into the mix with the family, “So what color is this?”  “RED”, “And this one?” “GREEN,” And this one, “LOVE.”  Love?  His mother translated his next words; he LOVED the piece and wanted it.  No, Mom was not going to purchase it but he had enough money in his pocket if he wanted to buy it … he did.  I carefully bubble wrapped his purchase and put it into the bag and turned back to the young man and thanked him.  His response?  Through sign language, with his mother translating, he said:  “Thank you for treating me like a human, I am trapped in this body, but it doesn’t mean that I am not smart.”  I walked around the counter and gave him a hug and told him, he had made my day … I didn’t care if I sold another item; I had received my blessing for the day.  Thank you to my young friend for reminding me that customers come in all shapes, colors and bodies!  I cannot wait to see him again next year and promised to have another “Love” piece just for him. 


So now I guess I better start designing the piece because I really do mean to give him a piece that says, “LOVE”, in many colors! 


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Hi Friends....Here is my review of Art in the Park in Columbia, note:  I was originally scheduled to be at Summerfair in Cincinnatti, OH this past weekend, but chose this show instead due to a "gut" feeling.  Enjoy!


I arrived at the show which is held in Stephens Lake Park in Columbia on Friday afternoon.  The park is beautiful and an ideal place for a show.  I checked in and due to recent rains, the park was not allowing any vehicles in the park or golf carts on the grass.  In most cases, this would have been a dolly in by yourself set up, but not this show.  I was met with 2 volunteers in a golf cart who helped me unload my van, placed everything on the cart and drove on the sidewalks to my booth assignment and helped me unload everything.  It was the easiest and fastest load in ever!  The volunteers were very nice and eager to help.  I set up the tent, panels and shelves and due to the threat of bad storms overnight, opted to stop there and bring in the art Saturday morning.  Fortunately, the area did not have the 60 mile an hour winds that were being forecasted, we got lucky, the storm took a southern turn and missed Columbia with the exception of some rain.   

Friday evening was the artist welcome reception at the Columbia Art League Gallery.  It was very nice with adult beverages and delicious pizza, salad and dessert.  All complimentary and provided by the League. 

Saturday morning was the remainder of set up and load in for many and it ran very smoothly.  Some artists had to be relocated due to the mud and everyone seemed to be doing well.  The show started at about 10am and the people came.  I had good sales on Saturday and ended the day with all costs covered.  Booth sitters were abundant and the show was cofortable to do.

Saturday evening the show held an awards dinner.  The dinner was very nice in a reception hall that was beautifully decorated and the food was very good.  Awards were given out in all categories with a Mayor's choice award and 3 Best of Show awards (1st, 2nd and 3rd). 

Sunday was just as busy as Saturday with good crowds and good sales.  I ended the show with a good profit and hopes of returning next year.  Load out was similar to load in.  After breaking down the booth, volunteers came with golf carts and drove everything to my van and I was loaded up in about 15 minutes and on my way home.  It was amazingly easy. 


Ok, now that the particulars are done I would like to talk about the show's Director, Diana Moxon and her volunteers.  First of all, let me say that Diana is truly amazing.  I have rarely seen a show director who is as involved and works as hard as Diana does.  This show had its share of challenges due to the weather and having to deal with mud issues and the relocation of many booths.  Diana managed to pull this off like a well seasoned professional.  She was there late at night and early in the morning and worked all day long making sure artists were taken care of and happy.  She truly values and cares about each artist and it shows.  She was assisted by a staff of very caring and hard working volunteers who were as dedicated to the artists as she was.  At no time during any part of the show, no matter how busy or tired they were, were any of the volunteers or Diana not friendy or attentive.  They were all truly amazing.  It was said many times that the people of Columbia look forward to this show all year and love it and they truly do. I was, as was every other artist I spoke with, grateful for and very impressed with Diana and her staff.  If there was a show director award, Diana would surely win first place!!

I was able to meet many nice artists at this show and I bought a lot of art in Columbia.  I felt the show was well juried and had just about everything I love in it.  I was able to purchase an original piece from Lorraine McFarland, Pastelist, that I adore and have already hung it in my home.  I met Lorraine earlier this year and she is also an AFI member.  I was also fortunate enough to be approached by the Bluestem Gallery and offered representation with a 12 piece collection to start.  I did not know this was such a well reputed gallery at the time, and am now thoroughly excited that they chose me. 

Overall, this show recieves a grade of A++ from me for organization, Show Director and Staff, artist treatment and venue.  Sales were good, I made a good profit and I will re-apply next year and hope to be accepted. 

I will be doing Talbot Street Art Fair this coming weekend.  My husband will be with me for the first time in a long time.  Hopefully, we won't kill each other hehehe.  Look for that review next Monday.  Thanks for reading!  Elle        

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