I did the Temple Beth El fund raiser Art Fair for the first time this year. This event has a stellar reputation among career artists because they bring in the money. Their members do a pre-buy in the form of purchase awards and they support the event. The week before the show I talked to one of the committee members who told me they had $145,000 in money spent in purchase awards. They take 35% of your sales, less than a gallery. It is set up as a gallery. I'm not sure whether you can apply to this show. The committee goes around to many art fairs and finds work they like and invites artists. You still have to fill out their forms. I think you can send them images asking to be in the show. Actually, I am not sure of any of this except for the people they invite. You'll have to google it to get the info.
Setup and take down are really easy. All you do is bring the work, or, ship it. They set everything up and have a storage area for backup pieces. If you have fragile work they let you set up your own work. They have pedestals and pegboards. My work looked better in their gallery than in my own booth.
They make an effort to have a top quality show. There is a main gallery room with work $500 and up and a "boutique" room with work under $500. Since my main work starts at $250, I had all my work in the main gallery. I believe that as long as the majority of your work is above $500 they let you put some under $500 in the main gallery. I had a number of pieces at $90 and $125 that were supposed to be in the boutique room. By the time I was ready to bring those pieces in, that room was filled, so, I couldn't show those pieces. In fairness to the committee, they want you to A) get your work to them on Tuesday so they can plan where they go and B) send your inventory sheet at least a week in advance so they can print out their proper labels and prices. I did neither partly because I didn't know what to expect. Next year I will do things differently if I get invited back. I won an award so I believe I'm invited, but, nothing is etched in stone.
They do a very good job of presenting the work and there were very knowledgeable patrons. I had some extremely good conversation and the people who bought my work knew what they were getting. I didn't do as well as I thought I would do. It seems that clay and glass did OK. 2D, 3D wall pieces, and jewelry did extremely well. However, the potential for doing well is sky high. I will go back next year if they have me and I will bring pieces based on what I learned. I expect to do much, much better, next year. A third of the artists were there and the rest shipped work. I could have dropped my work off and done another show, like St Armand's Circle. I would suggest being there to talk about your work, but, it isn't a requirement.
I forgot to mention that they took care of us all weekend. There was no shortage of really good food, even on the setup day. I, also, forgot to mention that I saw some old friends and fellow artists that I haven't seen for a while, potter Jan Richardson and jeweler Barbara Sucherman.