Art Fair Insiders

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

This was my first Florida show ever. I drove down from New Orleans left early Fri. morning, arrived right about 5:30pm which turned out to be just right, since my assigned set up time was 5:45pm as I found out from the person who handed me my info.

To pick up the artist info package I ended up having to park by a NO Parking sign which were everywhere. Nobody bothered me about that so I guess this is accepted. I picked up all the Info and followed the map to find my location. It was a little confusing and had to ask Police and security pretty much on every blocked street where to go, Luckely they were very nice and helpfull. Finally I found my spot which I was pleased with since it seemed to be on one of the main streets. Everyone had to park to unload on the right side( only one way in) of the street so others could still pass. To stop, unload and than move your vehicle to your assigned parking area which was close, was strictly enforced. I liked that since I had done shows before where unloading traffic came to a complete stop because of one person who is blocking everyone else. It was dark( bring a light) warm and humid during set up. Some volunteers came through with water and cockies. All booths are on pavement on either side of the streets facing each other. Some of the streets seemed quite steep and I would not have been able to level out my set up. I was lucky, my space was on more leveled ground than most and some folded cardboard under my table legs did the trick. But one has to defenetely bring more than your regular shimms to get even on some of the spots. The artist package did mention that, but there was no info about the show before hand. On zapp they just posted ," follow us on Facebook". You had to wear a name tag, on the back of it were phone numbers listed if you needed boothsitters. I worked alone but never used that service, my neighbors were kind and watched my booth when I had to go. Jurrors came through, talked to me and left their stickers. Other than that I never saw any other festival officials the whole weekend. I filled out a show feedback questionair which was supposed to be picked up on the end of the show, but never was. They did send volunteers arround sun. before closing to ask for donations for an auction their having in Nov. There is a hospitality room were you get coffee, water, softdrinks, fruit and muffins. No Artist dinner of any kind. Great prices though. $ 5000 best of show and others. Winners are announced sun. morning at a park in the center of the show.

Official hours of show are 10am -5pm. At about 9am I started having one sale after another.( I sell contemporary sterling silver Jewelry $ 25 - $500) I thought "this is it, this is the show I was waiting for, and it was, until the rain started about 12:30. It was'nt heavy rain, but it was non stop and it drove people away. So the rest of the day was slow in sales. Sun. was not a pretty day, rain was in the forcast but besides on short drizzle the rain stayed away. But so did people, needless to say my sales were not plentifull. Sat. before the rain it was people shoulder on shoulder. Sun. was also superbowl and I believe people went home to get ready to watch the game. All in all this show can be a good show, I had a taste of it the first half of saturday. a photographer next to me described his income as very bad, a potterer on the other side of me said he did good but not as good as last year. from some painters i heard they sold at least one lg. original which made it worth comming. 

The festival is surrounded by beautiful homes in a very good area. I stayed at a comfort inn and suites in Tavares 4 miles away was very clean.$ 80 a night.

hope I thought of everything there is to tell

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Comment by Jaky Felix on February 9, 2011 at 3:01pm

Saturday was a pretty good day for us and some of our larger sales were made during the rain. Sunday was a real disappointment, however, so our final total was down quite a bit from last year. The Sunday crowd was quite thin, so maybe the Superbowl did have something to do with it.

Comment by Linda Pirkle on February 9, 2011 at 11:04am
Sabine gave a great and accurate review in my opinion. Yes, it started very good on Sat am, then the rain came..not bad, but an all day drizzle.. I sold under $100. items in the afternoon..Sunday was slowoverall although I had 2 customers come back and buy larger pieces.... it threatened rain all day and with it being super bowl sunday I think it really effected attendance.. I was on a very flat spot and was grateful as I have pro panels and 2D art.. The main st, Donnelly definately seemed to have more traffic than the side streets where I was... Neighbors nearby has slow sales both days.. I used priceline and got a great hotel close by for $40/+ tx/fees total approx 50. It was good to get warm in Fl as I have been cold all winter in ATL.
Comment by Roxie Spell on February 9, 2011 at 10:04am

Thanks Connie, I was unable to attend and was so pleased to hear who won. So many AFIs, that is terrific. Loved the blog too. Thanks for including it.


Comment by Connie Mettler on February 9, 2011 at 9:52am

And here is a really interesting blog by a visitor to Mount Dora with lots of commentary and some very nice photos including the aforementioned Slade glass. Good reading!

It is always interesting to read about what the "outsiders" have to say about art, artists and the art fairs, don't you think?

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 9, 2011 at 9:12am

And here are the award winners from Mount Dora -- which includes several members of this site. Congratulations to frequent contributors Jon and Bill Slade on their Award of Excellence and member Carol Napoli - Best of Show!

Other members in the winners column: Michael Weber, Miles Batt and Sharon Donovan.


Look over this list -- any other members who we should applaud on their winnings?


Carol Elder Napoli, who won the Best-of-Show award of $5,000, said crowds were lighter than last year but were "strong."

"There was a lot of excitement and people were buying," said the New Smyrna Beach painter, whose "Through the Falls," an energetic acrylic painting inspired by the biblical exodus, was the judges' choice for the top prize. "I was overwhelmed because there is so much wonderful art here."

"Sing," a mixed-media work by Lynn Whipple of Winter Park, won the Judges' Choice in 2-D, worth $1,500, and "Partly Cloudy," by wood artist Jerry Remillard of Southwest Ranches, won the $1,500 award for 3-D work. Best in Category awards, worth $750, went to Marius Moore of Gulfport in photography; Herb Thomas of Cambridge Springs, Pa., in glass and metal; Andy Costine of Tryon, N.C., in fine craft; Edson Campos of Winter Park in painting; John Moore of Largo in clay; Jack Hill of Beverly Hills in sculpture; Jackie Holland Berkley of Mount Dora in mixed media; Kristin Holeman of Fort Lauderdale in jewelry and Michael Weber of Port St. Lucie in watercolor.

Judges gave Awards of Excellence, worth $500, to Bill and John Slade of Jacksonville; Bill Turner of Newman, Ga.; Gregory Stachov of Floral City; Miles Batt of Jacksonville; Sharon Donovan of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Polly Podolsky of Orlando; Jamille Haddad of Cape Canaveral; James Casey of Clermont; Gene Rizzo of Tierra Verde; Guilloume of Sandia Park, N.M.; and Donald Altman of Hebron, Md.

The Wendy Alderman Award, worth $250, went to Beth Erlund of Morrison, Colo.

From the Orlando Sentinel:

Comment by lisa ark on February 9, 2011 at 9:02am

 I always enjoy this show, but can remember much worse weather at this show then 2011, in the past sheets of rain , freezing temps did not stop customers from attending and purchasing art, I did not see to many pkgs go by this year.  Sunday was my best day, so thankful the rain held off.

Comment by Sabine Chadborn on February 9, 2011 at 8:13am

Hi Roxie

glad to be able to contribute to the site, and thank you for your gift, made me happy.


Comment by Roxie Spell on February 8, 2011 at 2:25pm
Thank you so much for this post. This is the kind  of information we artists need. I had heard about the uneven areas and I am glad you brought this up. A friend of mine did the show and did very well on Saturday, but not as good Sunday. All in all felt it was a good show to come back to. I will apply next year early. Good to know about the accomodations too. Thanks Sabine. I am from Baton Rouge and one day want to get that way and to N.O. to do shows. Hope I run into you sometime.

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