Art Fair Insiders

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

We only did one summer show this year.  It was Northville's Art in the Sun.  The weather on the first day about took out the tents and unfortunately about 30% of the artists packed up and left.  Too bad for them because the rest of the weekend was beautiful.  Two tents over from me was a woman who was selling all sorts of boxes and trinkets obviously buy and sell.  And people were buying from her because her prices were understandably premade tiles.  Even though the organizers knew these people were hurting the sales of real artists, they did not ask them to leave.  The more I think about it the more I feel the rest of us are owed a refund on our jury fees. I won't do this show next year even though the people in charge were helpful and very nice.  I felt cheated the whole time I was watching this woman rake in a profit and cutting into the sales of legitimate artists around her. 

It is my feeling that if you are caught doing buy/sell that you should be removed from the show immediately.  It usually states this in the contract.  How do you feel about that?  Should we insist on jury fee refunds if a buy/sell participant is not removed from the show? 

Views: 1805

Comment by Larry Berman on July 29, 2013 at 11:36am

I think you mean to say booth fees refunded.

Larry Berman

Comment by Gloria Irla Marlow on July 29, 2013 at 11:52am

Booth fees would be nice but I was just thinking jury fees. 

Comment by Erik Gable on July 29, 2013 at 12:21pm

Connie's podcast about dealing with buy/sell is a good listen, because it talks about some of the ways dealing with buy/sell on site can get complicated.  For instance, I think one of the points raised was that if there's a chance of the buy/sell vendor getting loud and making a scene, the organizer has to weigh the losses resulting from their presence against the potential losses from creating a very public spectacle that makes a large number of buyers uncomfortable.  However, that seems to apply more during the course of a day, and for a multi-day show the problem could certainly be dealt with toward the close of the day when it's pointed out, when everyone's packing up and there aren't many customers left to disturb...

Comment by Jeanie Zebrak on July 29, 2013 at 12:28pm

I agree with Erik.  I have asked  many a show promoter to check out the booths that have buy sell.  We as artists know which ones they are.  I have received much resistence from promoters.  Most of the time the promoters aren't even walking around checking.  I personally do not do that show the next year.

Comment by Elle Heiligenstein on July 29, 2013 at 1:19pm
I would never do that show again.
Comment by Hannelore Jundt-Pritchard on July 29, 2013 at 2:28pm

Have you e-mailed the organizers and let them know how you feel.  It probably won't make a difference, but at least you are letting them know.

Comment by Gloria Irla Marlow on July 29, 2013 at 3:07pm

I haven't emailed the organizers yet but I think that I will.  They seem like they care and maybe aren't up to the confrontation but it's unfair to the real artists.

Comment by Gloria Irla Marlow on July 29, 2013 at 3:37pm

Okay, I emailed the organizers.  Hopefully they'll take it to heart.  They're very nice people and try to do a good job so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.  I'm going to find the pod cast and listen to it.  Thank you all

Comment by Connie Mettler on July 29, 2013 at 4:52pm

Another thing that would be helpful to all is to identify where this show was held. I know where Northville is, but doubt that many members here do. Anyone posting, we don't want to make too many rules for you but it is so helpful to us all if you identify geographically where the show is held and in a review to include your media. Thank you and thanks for posting, Gloria.

Comment by Gloria Irla Marlow on July 30, 2013 at 11:34am

I sent an email to the show organizers yesterday and heard back already.  They were very receptive and wanted to know who I felt was selling buy sell.  They gave me a list of suspected venders and asked if I could identify any of them as buy/sell.  They hadn't thought of asking them to leave and are going to address this at the next meeting.  They were very interested in anything that would improve the show for the artists and I was really pleased at how open they were to any information I could provide.  I'm very happy about this.  So often they just ignore you but not this time.  I think I'll go back next year and give them another chance.  Northville is  a lovely small city near I96 and between 7 and 8 mile.  It's a historic village that once housed the Ghoultide Festival in the Fall at a park with Victorian houses and buildings.  Very nice.  If you have Halloween items or love Halloween, Northville is the place to go in October as they LOVE Halloween.  Thank you again for all the advice.  I learn so much here.


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