Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Re: Palm Springs show. I also did one of the three "Palm Springs" shows, the one in February which was billed as the "Classic" suggesting that it has been around for a while and is well received and sought after. Not so, Although Amado Pena (a well known artist in the southwest) was at the show as a favor to the show promoter the show did not deliver. First, it was not IN Palm Springs but rather in or on the border with Cathedral City near the corner with the Palm Springs Airport. The "venue" was an old drive-in theatre that had been paved over and was variously used as a flea market at times and before we (the artists) arrived was just being cleaned up from the Circus and camel poop which was supposed to have been gone by Tuesday, this being Thursday, we had to wait for them to haul out the Semi's. The show staff, as previously reported in another Blog post, were very gracious and tried to be helpful for various reasons. Thursday night it rained as well as Friday night so there was some standing water on the festival grounds. Brooms came out and the water was swept from the tents to other regions. (As an aside, one artist with beautiful glass pieces had her plastic covered cardboard pedestals out over night and when they put their work back out the next morning...leaning towers and broken glass, it was heartbreaking for her and to see it as well.) the staff quickly helped out with the cleanup. Second, although the show was well advertised in several venues, we found out later, when someone we had met at our hotel tried to find us he was directed to another show that WAS happening in downtown Palm Springs! Obviously, this other show having been well established for many years by another promoter on the very same Presidents Day Weekend. What were they thinking? Artists do talk and there were various rumors about the clash. The show promoter said that this other show had, at the last minute, rescheduled for the President's weekend. Who to believe? Out of curiosity we went downtown to try to catch this other "rogue" show, it had closed an hour earlier but there were still some artists hanging around that we talked to. The most gracious of the two, a ceramic artist, said that this Downtown show had been around for a long time and that the promoter was very easy to get along with, etc., etc. and that we should look into it. Judging from some other written reviews I've read about it, I'm not so sure...but that is another story. Third, visitation? The show ran from Friday-Sunday, who does a holiday weekend show and begins it on a Friday when the holiday goes into Monday? The "crowds" did not show up on Friday, okay, that can be written off as a work day...the crowds did not show up en masse on Saturday or Sunday...by the end of it I was ready to have T-shirts made up with "I survived the Palm Springs "Classic"" and sell them to the other artists, I could've cleaned up, or at least made more than the sales from art that I was expecting! At least one "artist" (another story) left by the end of Friday, goodby! The rest of us stuck it out till the bitter end as our values suggest "you put your money down, you takes your chances".
The set up for the show really was well considered. As the space was big the tents were in quads so everyone had a corner booth for no extra money! Plenty of nearby parking. For the most part the artists chosen for the show were of really good quality so it wasn't as if there were just "rubber reptiles" there ( my euphemism for a really bad show). Although I could count 35 empty spaces which gave the place a feeling of an art show ghost town. A few were reportedly held hostage by a big snow storm in Tahoe. The rest I suspect had participated in the other two shows and cut their losses. There was plenty of water and snacks all weekend long, for the most part the weather cooperated, they did the right things but might reconsider where and when they have their shows. All in all, an experience I will remember but unfortunately not for the best of reasons, except for maybe the beauty of the snow topping the nearby mountains Saturday morning!