Jacki Bilsborrow (my friendly admin on this site) and I headed to Chicago on December 2 specifically to visit the One of a Kind Show. 600 artists, who could resist this lure? What we found there:
- 126 jewelers and 148 wearables (clothing and accessories), some of these were double and even triple booths. All price points included, even a young woman who was making dainty crocheted earrings and pendants and selling them for $25. I did ask her how many she had to make before she would even break even! It had to be months of work.
- Gourmet Gallery a row of artisanal foods, delicious stuff, where you could hardly get through the crowds
- booth fees ranging from $1800, repeat exhibitor with a 10 x 10, to newbies with corners that were around $3000
- once you have participated you don't have to reapply but are reinvited, although they are changing the rules for 2012 as they only had six openings in the jewelry category this year so jewelers will all have to reapply
- "This is my very best show every year," Hand Jive and Dinah Morrison
- "This is a complete ripoff for the artists," a photographer I've known for some time
- Tickets are $12 but artists had email codes where you could download a free ticket
- curbside carryout service for buyers as well as a packaging and shipping service
- sports lounge where football fans could take refuge, comfortable seating, TV and bar service
- fashion shows, artist talks
- There were a lot of artists from the East and especially the West Coast who had flown in, took advantage of the walls and electricity that the MMart provided and did a great job of dressing up the plain white box to make their booths inviting, sort of in a cool minimalist way
- a mix of work from the frankly commercial to true one of a kind made by independent artists and everything in between, cottage industries, small wholesale designer businesses. I'd like to criticize, but it makes for very interesting shopping.
A very pretty booth, that would be inexpensive to replicate
I meet up with Ray Mosteller of AFI once again
AFI member Paula Grill with her reinvented recycled clothing
Boutique Home, European Inspired Couture Bedding & Drapery
AFI member Katie Balas's painting
Amazing dolls by Lucia Friedericy, AFI member. I did an video interview with Lucia but it didn't come out. She has come to the art fairs from doll shows and is finding a whole new business.
The infamous Francis ducks. Mistura was there also.
This booth of urban decay-type jewelry was at least 3 spaces wide
The night before we attended First Fridays gallery walk in Michigan City and found this ingenious method of displaying unmatted, unframed photos by Ryan Bolger of www.RJBImagery.com
Ryan mounted dry wall frames to the walls and then secured his prints to the metal frames with 4 magnets, one in each corner! Can you see any way to use this system in an art fair booth?
We finished off the weekend with a visit to the Art Institute.
I had my new iPhone with me because I wanted to add some videos to this site. Alas, I should have tested it ahead of time. Videos to come.