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Plop,plop...fizz,fizz..oh what a joy it first show in nine months—Bonita Springs, Jan 9-10, 2021

Well, it has been a while.

Now I have a show report, and it is all positive.

This year marks my 46th year in the business. And it has all been good.

I approached going to the show with lots of apprehension.

Did not want to come down with Covid and come home and give it to my wife.

I was worried how many people show up to buy, would they be masked, would they be eager to buy.

Between booth fee, hotels, gas and food I had about a $1000 nut to break even.

A good friend of mine had done the downtown Naples show the weekend before and he barely made any profit. Not reassuring news to hear.

On the other hand I was eager to find out how my new body of work would sell.  I had the confidence that it would sell, but until it is in your bank account, it is just speculation.

During the Covid summer of 2020, I worked everyday making new handcolored black and white photos.

I ended up in October with 120 new images. And I felt that some of them would be strong sellers.

Also, in December, I crossed over to the Dark Side.  I had my first images printed on metal by Bayphoto out of San Francisco.  I did two at 20”x30”, and two at 30”x40”. All told, this was a $1000 gamble.

Two weeks ago, I set my booth up for the first time in nine months.  Took me over two hours and I was exhausted.

With the new metal work, I had to reconfigure my walls to accommodate the bigger sizes.

Glad I did it.

So last Friday I took off for Bonita Springs, which is just north of Naples.

Made it in four hours, traffic was way lighter on I-75 then in the past.

I masked up and checked in at 1pm.

Had my usual site with van able to be parked behind during the show, a big plus.

The only disappointment I experienced at the show was how they marked our booths.

They left no real room between booths, we were packed in tight side to side.

Naples had 10 foot spacing between booths. Bonita did not.

I had it all set up under four hours, I was exhausted but very happy.

I brought food along and ate dinner in my hotel room that night.  

Boring, but safe.

Show opened with clear blue skies and cold winds.

We started off in 58 degree weather but it nudged up to a high of 64 that day.

That was good. Kept them off the water and golf courses.

People came in promptly at 10am, and they were all masked.

I made my fist sale in nine months fifteen minutes later, for $300.

After that, it was off to the races.

The crowds were steady, and they were buying.

These people have disposable income. They were looking for statement pieces.

And, not a one tried to get me down on my price.

I had finally raised my prices on all sizes, for the first time in five years.  Nobody objected.

Gee, why did I not do this five years ago!

People cane along steadily for most of the day.This Show always slows down around 3pm.

I made four high end sales including one of my 20”x30” metal images.

It was a strong first day.

My neighbors had steady sales and looked happy.

I went out to dinner that night at a great seafood restaurant.  I sat at the bar and nobody was there besides me.  Tables were spaced safely and the place was barely half full.

Sunday morning ended up being chillier by ten degrees, had to layer up.

I walked the show early and questioned artists I know about how they did.

Most were happy just to be at an art show.  Most were happy with sales.

Sunday crowd was smaller and not so apt to buy. This happens a lot at this show.

It is two different crowds.

I ended up having my best show there in the last 15 years.  I made more money then all the unemployment money I got for the last nine months.

It was nice to see all the new work sell.

I stayed over Sunday night and got home safely Monday morn.

On Tuesday I went and got tested for Covid.  Results were negative.  I felt great.

Two weeks from now I will be in the Howard Alan Naples Show.

Hopefully it will be a success.  Will keep you posted.

BTW, I sanitized my hands after each customer that I dealt with.

And I stayed masked at the show.

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Comment by Connie Mettler on January 28, 2021 at 12:46pm

What a great story! Congrats on the sales.

As usual you gave lots of solid info, much appreciated by so many. Who ran this show? Art Association?

How did you ever get yourself to raise prices and have those large metal pieces made? Especially in the light that you hadn't raised prices for five years. But I guess you've had plenty of time to mull over your options. Still ... Heck, I was always after my husband to make larger images -- always -- we almost split up over it ;)

I'm very surprised to see the booths were right next to each other. That would never be allowed most places. I'm sure Howard Alan won't do that ... 

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on January 18, 2021 at 9:28pm

Congratulations Nels!

Comment by Nels johnson on January 14, 2021 at 7:59am

You very funny guy Barry

that is a quote from my cat.

Comment by Barry Bernstein on January 13, 2021 at 8:36pm

I hope Ft Myers is just as successful for both of us, well "you and me but mostly me." That's a line from a song from The Book of Mormons, the funniest musical ever done.

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