Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Uptown was held on first weekend of August in a very trendy shopping,eating, and partying area of Minneapolis.
It is a theee day show with setup the day before except for those on Hennepin Ave.
The Show is held in two distinct sections: booths are setup on the street and grass of a mall that runs about five blocks long. Those booths setup in staggered times on Thursday. The second section sets up on Friday on Hennepin Avenue which runs across the top of the mall.
Some artists swear that sales are better on Hennepin. Others, like me, prefer the mall.
Hennepin has very little shade and you have moving traffic going by the rear of your booth. There is a metal barricade that separates booth from cars.
You are on hot burning pavement in the height of a Minnesota summer.
Reminds me of an old joke about this. “Minneapolis has two seasons, August...and winter”.
The mall is shadier(typestyle just changed, do not know why.) and a lot more mellower.
I have done this show since the late 80-ies. Many years sales were in my top ten show range.
The last three times have been showing a serious downward slide in sales, mostly, Lowend.
This year was no different.
They charge a big booth fee and frankly, most people are lucky if they do $3500. Not good.
The crowd tends to be young and tattooed with little disposable income.
Lots of people with dogs and they do not buy art.
Lots of the Zombie Walk going on, they do not even look at the booths.
Uptown claims over 300,00 in attendance. I would question that.
This year they instituted a new wrinkle that contributed to a decrease in sales.
At the lower end of the mall they had a number of tents setup that were giving away free food in boxes and bottles.
So all show long I had people clutching three boxes of macoroni in hand. Others with frappe bottles from Micky-D.
None of them bought anything.
I sure hope the committee revisits their thinking on this. It is not good for the artists.
They are following the current trend of too many shows who are calling them an “art event” when they are really just an event to attract crowds.
Our whole biz is slowly getting sucked down the drain.
We had lovely temps which we’re slightly marred by a freak rainstorm about 5pm on Saturday.
It did not even show up on the radar but lasted an hour.
It flooded the gutters and made water rise high in booths. It also drove away the crowd who never returned.
Sunday we had great weather and crowds, I did more then the other two days combined.
I talked to many artists in different mediums, very few were happy.
Sales were off by 30% or more. This has been the trend this year.
For those of you living in the Midwest this is still a doable show. If you live further, like Florida, I would have second thoughts.
Oh well, I am in Lexington, KY right now waiting to setup and hoping for better sales.