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

Morning Glory, Milwaukee, WI, Aug 10/11, 2013

It is always a pleasure to attend this wonderful show.  There is convenient parking, indoor, a/c bathrooms, reasonably priced food and of course-- really good art.  

When you live in Amdurland, the odds are that you have seen 90% of the artists at one show or another so any time you get to go to a show that will have "new" artists, it makes for a fun day.  This show did not disappoint.  The quality of the show is above average at almost every booth.  It is one of the shows that you understand why the artist got into the show even if you aren't interested in that particular medium.  

My only complaint about the show was what happened to the jewelers.  Everyone is always talking about how there are so many jewelers in a show.  I don't know the exact per centage but in the first row we went down, it was a minimum of every other booth.  One jeweler told me that the show takes a per centage of the number of artists applying in a particular medium, not a per centage of the total booths.  More jewelers applying meant more jewelers in the show.  I was in line to buy a fun necklace and there was a judge in front of me.  I asked her if I could talk to her about something that I thought was a problem with the show and she said she was a judge for those at the show.  I said I realized that but that she had access to The Powers That Be.  I told her about the per centage problem.  Then I told her I liked her necklace.  She said she was a jeweler.  I asked her if she would be happy at the show if the pie was cut up into so many pieces and she agreed with me.  Then she said she would talk to those in charge.

This show seemed to have a lot of buying energy.  Most booths were crowded with people and despite all the jewelry, those booths seemed to have a lot of activity.  I never really understood the whole buying energy thing but  it seemed to be happening here.  I hope the energy that I felt translated into sales.

After we left that show we went to Art in the Park  in Lake Geneva.  I have nothing to say about that show except don't bother, especially if you are a serious artist.  There were a couple of quality artists but for the most part, it wasn't worth looking at.  And, don't even ask what a resort town is like on a wonderful day in August.

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Comment by R. C. Fulwiler on August 19, 2013 at 1:00pm
Last year when I did the show I can't recall any outstanding art work, but didn't think it was all that bad. I certainly wanted to do it again. It is sponsored by a small local art club and I'm sure the locals are given preference.
Yes, Kim and I will be at Lake Forest on Labor Day weekend (Sunday-Monday). If you're there please stop and say hello.
Comment by geri a. wegner on August 16, 2013 at 3:16pm

Since I love your work and have several pieces, I would have to say that the judges were not only blind but have no senses of humor.

Did you check out the other artists at Lake Geneva last year? This year, for every good one there were 3-4 bad ones and it isn't that large of a show. As for it being one of your best shows last summer, I am sure it was the intelligence of the Illinois buyers who flock to Lake Geneva each weekend and this year it was the Wisconsin judges who were silly not to let you in. ( There is a natural rivalry between WI and IL)

Are you doing Lake Forest this year?

Comment by R. C. Fulwiler on August 16, 2013 at 2:23pm

As a follow-up thought; what does that say about the vagaries of this business?

Comment by R. C. Fulwiler on August 16, 2013 at 1:56pm

Geri, I'm very interested in your comments about Lake Geneva.  I did Lake Geneva last year and had one of my best shows of the summer season there.  So good, that I didn't apply to Morning Glory this year because I assumed I'd get back into Lake Geneva.  Guess what?  Got rejected!,  So, I didn't have a show last weekend.  If, as you say, the quality of art was so low, what does say about my work?

I guess I'll ponder that as I set up for "The Plaza" next month in Kansas City!

Comment by Larry Sanders on August 15, 2013 at 2:29am
A Morning Glory Review that you will want to read. We work hard to get the right buyers to our show. Of course perfect weather on Saturday always helps. We hope that this upward trend will continue for Morning Glory. Just to be clear about the number of jewelers at the show, it was exactly 26%. It has been pretty consistent at that percentage for years. There are many different types of jewelry. We break the jurying down to Metal Jewelry and Non-metal Jewelry.

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