Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Looking ahead at the summer art shows and musing about what has happened since the shutdown in March

My last show was Vero Beach when they closed us down on Friday the 13th in March.

Since then I have had 12 shows cancelled, including Winter Park, DesMoines, Mainsail and Woodlands/Houston.

I figure I have lost more than $40K in sales.

Took me seven weeks to finally be eligible for unemployment in Florida.

I am about $2K in debt to companies I owe for materials like frames, matboard and photo papers which were bought in anticipation of the sales I expected to make.

Instead, I did a whopping $350 in sales at my last show.

Yes, I know, I am not the only one in this situation. Just saying.

Presently I have three shows scheduled for September.

This includes Amy Amdur’s Labor Day Show in Milwaukee, Arts and Apples in Rochester,MI, and Kansas City Plaza which is a biggie. I was last in it 13 years ago.

Who knows if these shows are going to happen. 

Sure hope they do, could use the moola.

I leave next Friday, June 19, for my summer home in Saugatuck,MI. This is a month later then when I usually leave. Michigan only opened up about a week ago, so I was in no hurry to leave New Smyrna Beach, my home.

Having no shows to do has been a big life changer.

I have been doing shows for more than 45 years and I exhibit and sell 12 months a year.

So I have always had dates for when I was preparing my art.

That means for me as a digital photographer who still prints on paper (yes, I am so Old School) That I am printing images daily, matting them and framing. This keeps me busy which I like.

I have always been able to offset this lifestyle by being able to golf three or four times a week.

Now, I have no shows to plan for and no place to sell my work besides, online. Which sucks.

Also I have been diagnosed with severe arthritis in my right shoulder. The cartilage is totally gone around my ball joint and rotater cup.. Which means bone on bone with lots of pain.

So there goes my golf.

Which means I wake up every day and try to find some meaningful way to enjoy the day. Cannot eat, drink and watch TV all day. Not good for your health.

So I spend a lot of time thinking about how art shows will look like when we finally get to do one.

How am I going to setup.

What about browse bins?

Do I need a plexiglass shield  between me and my patrons.

How many can be in my booth at one time.

How are shows going to configure us with our booths.

Are we going to have to have an entrance and an exit space.

Do I have to have gloves for people to wear when touching my work.

How am I to deal with a patron if they enter the booth and refuse to wear a face mask.

How am to handle money and credit cards.

This is a lot of stuff to be worked out.

It took me 40 Bloody Marys to figure out the Browse Bin solution.

God!There is not enough tequila on earth to figure out the non-wearing mask patron.

But I have Been working on solutions.  It helps fill part of my day.

I am getting my first cortisone shot for my shoulder next Tuesday.

Then I will see how I can hit those wily golf balls.

I know one thing.

Being in Florida in June really sucks.  I will take Michigan weather on lake anytime over Florida’s humidity.

Well consider this part1.

In my next blog,tomorrow, I will tell you some of my solutions.

Yeah, I know, this is like a serial, I can string you out.

Or, you could just wait a week and then Stream the whole blog.

Later Gators.

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Comment by Connie Mettler on June 16, 2020 at 12:25pm

Definitely a mask should be required. Period. I hope the cortisone shot does the job, otherwise, what will you do in Michigan except enjoy the lovely weather on the shores of Lake Michigan? I think they've decided the gloves are not any help, better without them. Lots of sanitizer handy, for sure. I look forward to your answers on how to be prepared to bring the moola, especially in Kansas City.

Comment by A. Denise Rollings-Martin on June 15, 2020 at 9:24pm

If they enter without a mask, just make them leave.  I will have no problem with this.  

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