Before I do any reviews about the shows I went to this weekend, I had to talk about this.

Over the past several years, there have been discussions here about buy/sell, franchises and mass production works all showing up at art festivals.  After finding out that the stone ducks were made of parts supplied from China, one member was threatened by a lawyer.  I guess she couldn't be sued for libel because if it is true, it may not be nice but it isn't libelous.  (that must be a word, spellcheck didn't underline it).

It was discouraging last year to see the ducks at Art at the Glen, one of the better shows in the Chicagoland area.  I mentioned them last year when discussing the show.  Then, I had to see them again yesterday at the Promenade of Art in Arlington Hts, IL.  Today I went to The Art Center's Festival of Fine Craft, one of my favorite shows of all and there they were again. 

Under normal circumstances, this can happen.  The recycled yard art people were at the Festival of Fine Craft and Evanston's Fountain Square on the same weekend last year but that was a little different.   What was the difference?  They are run by two different promoters.

Both the shows I attended this weekend were produced by the same promoter.  I realize that there are different standards for different shows, ie, bead stringers are allowed at some shows but at others the jeweler must make their own beads, but it is fairly standard that the work that is shown was made by the person in the booth and not a shop full of elves pulling parts out of boxes from China and putting them together.   Maybe the stone birds are franchised, I didn't pay attention to the names on the booths at either show because I like to pretend I didn't see them.  If they were the same family, there has been discussion on another website about the allowability of a creative 'team' splitting up and doing two shows the same weekend.  That is also generally frowned upon.  If two people made the items, they are both supposed to be at the same show unless the show accepts a medical excuse if one becomes sick.  (and not all will do that).  But to have the same promoter accepting the exact same 'art' at two festivals at the same time, to put it semi-bluntly smells.

It seriously irritates me that the art festival playing field is so heavily tilted toward the promoter.  I know there are a lot of expenses, time and aggravation that goes into a festival but the bottom  line is that a promoter can find a way to make money on a festival whereas an artist cannot and to ask artists to live up to certain requirements  and then not follow them as the promoter, is kind of shoddy in my opinion.  In this short summer season, about the only good thing that has happened is the price of gas has not sky-rocketed as feared.  So far there has been a repeat of last summer's hot temperatures and/or rain.   The economy is still tough and there have not been a lot of rave reports from artists.  More and more of my favorite artists are not able to make a sustainable living and are not doing shows.  

How could it get worse?  The watch people could be running around buying double booths at art shows.  Oh wait, they were in Salt Lake City, Utah  AND Evanston, Il this weekend.  I guess it can get worse.

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  • Connie,

    Thank you for commenting.  I emailed on the "report an issue" early on Sunday.  I saw you were online and thought the "report and issue" would be the way of inquiring without blasting to everyone.  I tried again later and your sub emailed me saying she was checking into it and trying to communicate with you (she was a bit confused with the Villages vs the Art in the Glen-.  That was the extent of it. If I recall, when I signed up, I had to list complete info and assume that I was "checked" out.  How did Hugh do it? I had done a post show posting regarding the problems with the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  That posting was also critical and it never appeared.  I am a novice at this system and admittedly may not be doing something correctly.  I will pay more attention in the future.

  • Hello everyone on this thread -- Lawrence I don't recall receiving a message from you. I try to respond to every individual message I receive, yet I do not read all the postings on this site. If there is a problem I can be reached at

    To underscore censoring: we try with all our might to insure that the people who are posting on this site are not fakes. We check out emails and info when people sign up. The other day Geri contacted me about Hugh Jashole -- and it was pretty apparent this was an alias. Not allowed here. I did delete this person from the site. When a person is deleted all of their content disappears with them.

    In addition, when a person leaves the site or quits all of their content disappears. I did nothing with the post about the Villages. If content disappears it is because that the author of the content deleted it.

    I delete people and content when they are being abusive to others or are violating the Code of Conduct here. I have not deleted any posts about Amdur Productions.

    I want to thank Barry for sticking up for Sam and Jean Yao, who are legitimate basketmakers, practicing a skill handed down from their parents.

  • Perhaps when the page opens with the fact it is no longer available with numerous options, it should say removed because he (she) is a scumbag liar using a fake name (oh, I thought that is why we go through the approval process).  The point I was making was that the bottom line is dollars and cents.  WE contract with the promoter.  The contract is clearly written what will happen if we display more than what our images show or are displaying beyond our 10' x 10'.  But folks, the game is rigged for the promoter. DUH!  There are promoters that do a great job, and yes they make a mistake or let in the wrong person.  The bottom line is "what is their reaction".  I did 2 Amdur shows this year.  Largely because of people singing her praise.  I just didn't realize that others who were complaining were being censured.  Would I do her shows if the booth fees were more reasonable.  No.  It's called ROI (return on investment).  To me, an open bowl of pretzels  in the break room is unsanitary and cheap.  To me, when you devise a system to hang a flag so "volunteers" can relieve you, but no one comes for 2 hours... something is wrong.  To me, when a fellow exhibitor is allowed to build an 8' wall of his inventory around his tent, but leaning against yours and it takes 3 hours after notifying her staff to have her come to check it out, something is wrong.  I guess I am the voice of dissent.  I will NEVER do another Amdur show, so I am not afraid of not being jurined in.  And finally, buyer beware.  Overall, other than those shows, I have done reasonably well.  The heat is a kill, of course, but even then there were buyers. 

  •  I am the one that emailed Connie about Hugh.  This person is a fake.  If you google him, you will get nothing but the afi page.

    I was originally thrilled that someone besides me (and Michelle) was taking Amy to task for not following the rules of her own prospectus.  But, I dont' want to give Amy any excuse for not listening to the complaints of people that don't think she is always playing fair.  

    There are over 7000 artists that visit this site.  Amy wants/needs artists to apply to her shows.  This is a large audience that Amy would like to reach.   I don't think she is going to stop advertising here.

    It isn't fair to artists or patrons when b/s and production stuff is allowed in a show.  (I bought a stone duck at a show not realizing what I was buying because when a promoter advertised original handmade artwork I was naive enough to believe it.)  

    If you want to blame someone for the removal of our good friend Hugh and his post I am the one.  

  • I definitely appreciate your efforts Michelle and it is people like you that might really make a difference in 'fighting' the BS.  Because of many of your posts I am reconsidering which shows I will give my money to.  

  • We did a couple of Amy Amdurs shows, and she treats everyone great.  We had a sculpture that would not fit in the trunk of the customers car, so Amy had us make her house the dropoff point for the customer to pick up later when they could.  We  were so tickled, I would do Amy's shows again.  Not a plant either... 

  • yeah I noticed that too Lawrence. I also wonder where the thread went that was titled 'The VIllages'. It also seems to have gone away after I referenced the 'possible' Howard Alan plants. 

  • Yesterday, there was a post  from a Hugh Jashoale re: Art in the Glen and the stone ducks, wood clocks etc.  The poster wondered what happened to Amdur's policy (contract) if these were let in - it is obvious that Amy knows that the ducks are a problem.  I made a posting having to do with $.  I did my first 2 Amdur shows this year and was amazed at how poorly they were run and the things that went on.  I had only heard positive things in the past.  Well, after I posted my comments, several others posted theirs and I got notice to go to the updates.  Lo and behold, the link was broken and I couldn't see any of the comments.  I have tried to get info from Connie with no results.  I posed that I hoped that the negative was not pulled because Amdur is a sponsor.  Geri, I respect your posts and appreciate the fact that you actually bought something from me.  What's up?  I thought this (AFI) was a reliable source and recommend to all the new artists I meet up with.  NOW, I wonder what the deal is since the silence is deafening.  

  • I have 2 business cards from 2 different stone birds (artists)
    the cards are identical only the names are different, I have e-mail these copies to all my art shows and I know I am responsible for kicking them out of 2 area shows at least.

    write me and I will send you the copies I have, I couldn't figure out how to attach them to this.

  • The Yao's are legit.  It's a lot of baskets because, as was stated above, the two kids learned it from their mother and now do shows with their own booths except that they aren't kids anymore.  Go check them out at the State Street show.  One of them is on Thayer.

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