Shadyside: A Note About Expectations

First of all, I hope that everyone was spared any damage or hardships from the hurricane and for those whose shows were canceled I wish you a great show this upcoming weekend.  I read about Howard Allen events and knew that there were mixed feelings about the vibe at the shows.  Forget the politics and respect the simple fact that there was a healthy amount of buyers--not gawkers, buyers--that had a diverse taste and spread the love to jewelers, painters, 3d, potters, get the idea.  I understand that as artists we sometimes feel that we’re not getting what we paid for with out booth fees in regards to organization and advertising, but Howard and Debbie showed me that their priority is producing a profitable show.  If your issue is not being able to set up the day before, or not having snacks, or not having water provided, or not having a pat on the back when you’ve had a rough day, then you must be in a position where your comfort level and ego are your priority, not profits.  From my perspective, it seems that artists blame their lack of serenity and sales on aspects of the shows that they feel promoters could have avoided or rectified.  If your sales are flat, take a step back and focus your energy on finding or reinventing your niche.  My first three shows of the season were dismal, and it didn’t stop me from returning to the promoter with a different product and doing extremely well.  Shadyside was fun, profitable, and sometimes took some extra work to get a sale--but this is the same tune that we hum for most shows.  One sentence review: the neighborhood was psyched to have us, the artists respected their neighbor's displays and space requirements, and the set-up/break-down was surprisingly smooth for having to dolly in and out.

P.S. - I FINALLY MET LARRY BERMAN!!  It was a pleasure...except that he thought my husband was my son!! :)  Much love Larry!
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  • 1/2 block too!!
  • I only had to dolly in about 1/2 block.
  • Sounds like it was a great show for you.  I am from northwestern PA and have thought about doing this show.  Since I do shows by myself, set up can be an issue for me.  How far did you have to dolly to get to your spot?  If it is not too far, I can handle it. 


    It's nice to see some good comments about a show, rather than the constant, dismal rap that we often hear.




  • I'd like to "ditto" what Luisa said. We really have a good feeling about the Shadyside show, and no complaints whatsoever about setup and breakdown. It went very smoothly, and the show was quite good for us. The neighborhood was definitely enthusiastic, and even the people who didn't/couldn't buy something were really nice and interested in us. Almost every single person who came by our booth noticed that we were from Philadelphia and mentioned the hurricane. This is a great show in a great neighborhood and we felt fortunate overall. ~Emily


  • Nice capsule review, Lu! I so enjoyed seeing you at OC Boardwalk and again (surprise!) at C-wood.  I admire your no-nonsense approach to your business, as well as the spectacular art you produce.
  • finally some love for Howard and Debbie and crew......the show was profitable and was well run... with nothing to bitch about I will close with a big thanks to the promoter for a great show.....thank you
  • Luisa,

         I agree with all you said.  I had a terrific show this past weekend at The Shadyside Art Festival.  Prior to the show, I was consumed with worry by the dreaded early morning dolly in set up but I got there and got set up without a hitch. The dolly in and out was easy and the weather cooperated giving us a geat weekend with great crowds.  Pittsburgh is my hometown so it was nice to be able to sleep in my own bed and see showgoers whom I knew.  The entire Howard Alan organization was so nice to me including me in their promotion of local artists.  I have read quite a few pros and cons about Howard Alan in the past, but having done this show I would definitely apply to his other shows if they are in aeas where I travel.  Now I am busy making new pieces for my show this upcoming weekend.

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