Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This was my first year showing at this show. As I drove through the Columbia River Gorge in 105 deg heat, I had high hopes of selling my most expensive pieces. Alas, that was not the case. Again, all of my sales were small. This is not a high traffic show so it’s hard to make it work on small sales. I had a lot of interest in my work and a lot of be-backs that didn’t come back or came back but didn’t buy. Many of the artists I talked to were either disappointed with sales or said it was just OK and down from last year. This is not to say that artists weren’t selling. Some were and some sold BIG. The art at this show was amazing and I felt truly honored to be among them. Some large and expensive work sold here. Wearables seemed to be selling well or at least had a lot of traffic in their booths. I saw a lot of hat boxes walking around. If I were to do this show again, I would bring large paintings.
This show, in its 45th year, ran from Aug 9-11. Fri and sat 10am to 6pm and Sun until 5pm. It is located in the resort town of Ketchum, ID. The Sun Valley resort is a couple of miles away. The town is at about 6000 ft evevation.
We got a message from the director a few days before the festival informing us that they had to switch set-up times for the early and late set-ups. I was originally scheduled to set up at 8am on Thursday but was switched to 2pm. I had hoped to be setting up in the cool of the morning and have the leisure to take my time and completely set up rather than finishing up on the morning of the first day. But oh well, sometimes you have to go with the flow. It was hot, but I got through it. They set up in sections in 3 hour shifts. Everyone in the section enters and sets up. Most artists set up from their vehicles. You really didn’t have much of a choice since other artists’ vehicles were blocking your exit. So I took my time. Load out was much the same, except you needed to pay the city of Ketchum sales tax to get your load out slip. Most artists at least mostly tore down before bringing their vehicles onto the field. It was all kind of a free for all, but it somehow worked. The nice thing about having the late load in was that I had the early load out.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire
Thursday night thunder storms ignited several fires south of Ketchum. Early Friday afternoon we noticed smoke over the mountains. We watched it grow. The fiber artists were worried about their wares. None of us knew how close it was. I started thinking... if we’re told we have 2 hours to evacuate, what would I take? Every day in the afternoon, the wind would pick up and the smoke cloud would appear. These fires might have dampened the crowd. When I arrived in Ketchum on Wed. and on Thurs. the town was packed with people. It was hard to find parking in town. But from Friday on it seemed less busy. The picture below was taken Friday at closing.
Lodging--It can be expensive here so you need to be creative.
Weather-- hot-ish Friday and Saturday and breezy in the afternoon, cooler on Sunday, smoky all days.
Celebs-- that I know of, Jamie Lee Curtis and Hilary Swank.
Booth fee-- $450 for a single ($900 double), corners are first come and are not extra.
Parties-- Thurs. evening artist party with food and wine, Sat morning awards breakfast.
Food--not a lot of selection but good. Try the huckleberry ice cream!
Other--shoes optional :)