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This year was the 62nd annual Talbot St show and the 1st annual attendance for me.  I sell functional fused glass pieces in the $35-50 range plus some decorative work that goes up to about $200.

Talbot St is on Talbott Street and a couple of side streets between 17th and 19th streets just north of downtown Indianapolis.  Hours are Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 10-5.  My impression was that the art and fine craft were of good quality with good displays and affordability, perhaps a level or two below the premium national shows with the highest-priced art. 

Others have written about this show previously so you can find many details in past blogs.  Here are my additional observations.....

Thunderstorms threatened much of the weekend, but didn't finally break loose until about 30 minutes into tear-down.  I don't know if the forecast affected the crowd size or demographics.  This year the first 3-4 hours on Saturday were packed with shoppers who were interested in the art and buying it.  Then at about 1:30 the crowd shifted to youngish couples with kids and the mood shifted from art sales to free entertainment.  Many artists I talked to had far fewer sales during the afternoon.

Sunday was similar.  Fewer but motivated art lovers/buyers in the morning and early afternoon, then a mighty thin crowd for the rest of the day as the rain got closer.  Lots of us made only half a dozen sales during those hours.

This show is run like a well-oiled machine.  They get it, and on top of that the staff is friendly and helpful.  Food trucks offer a tasty variety of food, and the nearby port-o-trailer provides air-conditioned, multi-stalled, gender-separated and well-kept facilities with toilets that flushed.  Even the neighbors -- whose front yards and driveways we're blocking for the weekend -- are a delight.  Mine offered the use of his shady front porch and bathroom for the weekend.  A neighbor down the street threw a bloody mary breakfast for the artists near him.  What a pleasure to have a genuinely nice, positive vibe swirling around the show all weekend.

It's worth repeating that the show is set up on residential streets that are old enough to be more narrow than today's streets.  The houses have been nicely renovated and the trees are lovely.  However to fit everyone in, the front 6' of your tent is in the street and the back 4' is up on either a grass curb or slanted driveway.  It's doable, and just requires some additional time and patience during set-up to get everything squared up and level.

My revenue at less than 2K was disappointing, but I expect to try this show again because the ingredients seem to be there.

Views: 492

Comment by Nels Johnson on June 30, 2017 at 11:28am
Nice review. How many exhibitors are in this show?
Comment by Karen Holtkamp on June 30, 2017 at 4:43pm

Thanks for asking; I should have included that.

The program lists 250-260 artists.  If I had guessed I'd have said maybe 220.  So it's on the smaller side or, in my goldilocks view, just right.

By the way, parking is on your own, but the staff gives a map showing several lots run by boy scouts who charge just $5 a day, as well as other lots and street parking.  I easily found a space about two easy-walking blocks from my middle-of-the-show booth space.

You can drive right to your booth space to unload and load.  Loading at the end of the show is more dicey, as you would guess on a one-way narrow street, but patience cures all.

This year the dates were slightly different.  In years past it was the same weekend as the mucho popular gay pride celebration, so that competition for attention is now gone.

Finally, if you want to apply in 2018 get on it early.  Apps were due this year during the winter freeze on January 15.  An easy deadline to miss if you're not yet in full app mode.

Comment by Christina L. Towell on July 2, 2017 at 9:47am

I enjoyed reading your review of this show, Karen.  Your descriptive style allowed me to visualize the area and size and scope of the venue...thanks for sharing your thoughts about it with us.

Comment by margaret luttrell on July 3, 2017 at 11:10am

Thanks Karen, great review. I do Broad Ripple most years and Indianapolis is a great market for me so I should try Talbot Street....It's not on Zapp is it? I guess you apply right on their site.....I'll look for it.

Comment by Robert Wallis on July 3, 2017 at 2:50pm
Margaret, it is on ZAPP.
Comment by margaret luttrell on July 3, 2017 at 4:49pm

thanks Robert...must have missed it.

Comment by Craig Roderick and Sara Beck on July 6, 2017 at 5:25pm

We were there for the first time.  There is an oversize vehicle lot about two blocks away.  We were able to park our trailer and truck there for free.  We were disappointed in our sales given that the event was well attended.  We had a lot of people in our booth but not many bought, a lot of inquiries about where images were taken and process.  It was a break even show for us....just not our crowd.  Other around us had good shows so our results might be due to subject matter or price point.  

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