Art Fair Insiders

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To see a more thorough report on this show visit my last report:

What's new in 2015? Not much. The crowd seems to be getting older still and buying even less as their "snowbird" homes are all full. This show, as-well-as most of the AZ shows I've done so far, is suffering from its own entropy. So what if a show has been around for umpteen years. If you don't breath some life into it every once-in-a-while it doesn't survive.

It seems as if they are relying on the patronage of the past which is well past the years of consumerism. These shows don't seem to be attracting a younger crowd and if they do they are not the "qualified" buyers. Besides that Carefree and Cave Creek have gone the way of Florida in that "more is better" is their mantra. There were at least three "shows" on just this one weekend within a stones throw of each other. The Phoenix area is suffering from show fatigue. There seems to be one, or more, at least every other weekend or at best one every month in addition to the Art Expo which goes for three months (that's a different kind of show). If the promoters don't get the idea that more IS NOT BETTER, then the artists need to vote by not applying to all these shows, yah right! The promoter gets their fees but the artists suffer due to lackluster interest and paltry sales.

Quality of the Show: Narrow. Although by far the quality of this show is consistently good there were still some booths that seemed questionable/borderline in my mind. I wonder if some artists are starting to pass on some of these shows as the return is not there. Unfortunately, I will.

Amenities: This show and its promoter were known for providing nothing. With the show being run by the younger family members there seems to be a shift. When I checked in I was given a gift bag with what? WATER!, a snack or two and a raffle ticket for some undisclosed gift item (I didn't win). This is a welcome step up for this show as there were never any such amenities in my previous experiences.

Parking: Parking is nearby, free and generally plentiful, there is even space for dry dock RV camping.

Awards: None

Advertising: Although I didn't see any except for the lawn signs stuck in the ground near the show site in contrast to the highway department style flashing sign for the competing show nearby at the Stagecoach (ghost town) shopping center. I did see one TV spot ad and was told that there was more money being put into advertising this year. As a traveler, I rarely see the local ads if there are any.

Load-In/Out: I was in the same area as last time I participated but it didn't seem as chaotic as last time!? Everyone played nice and it all went smoothly. Some areas of the show site are a little more congested then others.

Will I do this show again? Probably not for the reasons stated above about show overage. I haven't been able to make enough to justify the expense of the travel, etc. If I want warmer weather in the winter I'm better off just going someplace warm! It'll be cheaper by far and I can have more fun then sitting in my tent watching the strollers go by.

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Comment by Weldon Lee on February 13, 2015 at 2:38pm

While you're in Terlingua, check out Capote Falls. It up the river just past Candelaria from Big Bend. When I was in school in Alpine, it was located on the Pat Rooney Ranch, if I remember correctly. I don't know who owns the ranch these days. Historically, it's called the Circle Dug Ranch. The falls is 175-feet high and located at the end of a box canyon. Well worth the hike.

Comment by S Brian Berkun on February 11, 2015 at 8:30pm

We are in the Denver area. My next show is a newbie for me. Like you said, I try to do at least one new show a year. Keeps things lively! Next stop for me is Las Cruces, NM in March. Way far south central New Mexico. A silk painter artist friend of ours mentioned it a while back, thought I'd try it.

After that, Bayou Memorial Park, haven't done their spring show before, thought I'd try that one also as I don't think I'll do their fall show, it rained 2 out of 2 times we were there! Somewhere in there, either between or after, I wanna roam a bit and take in west Texas. Folks have told me about some places I need to visit like Terlingua, Marfa, Del Rio, El Paso, Hueco Tanks, Big Bend, etc.

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 11, 2015 at 7:25pm

That is a fair thing to say about the advertising, "As a traveler, I rarely see the local ads if there are any." and I appreciate your saying it. As we are on the road we don't see what the organizers are doing. We're not watching local TV, reading the papers or listening to the radio ... we are not a good judge of the advertising. 

Sounds like two shows going off your list. Where do you live? Are you doing back to back shows this time of the year?

(Amazingly I am going to be in Arizona this weekend!! My first trip -- no art fair, meeting my kids at the Grand Canyon, but if shows are as plentiful as you say they are we may meet up.)

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