Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

What color do crowds and judges like best?

I'm getting ready to order Pro Panels for a new set-up and I'm stuck on the color. There are eight colors to choose from; oatmeal, buff, teak, pine needle, moonbeam, light gray, dark gray, and black. The most common color I see used is light gray. I've never seen the teak or pine needle used, but that may just be a local thing.

I've seen the black used with large abstract paintings and it looked great, but I think it would overpower my smaller frames. Is there a reason I see so much of the light gray? Do judges prefer it or does it wear better? I need some feedback from artists who love or hate the color Pro Panels they have. I don't want to make such a large investments and then find out later there is a reason the color I chose is uncommon.

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Comment by merritt m menefee-johnson on July 3, 2011 at 7:10pm

I am new to the Art Festival circuit.  I've done 3 major shows...and change my booth every time.  I was having POOR sales in the Spring Tempe AZ show...POOOOOORRRRR sales.  My amazing artist tent neighbors were having great sales...and were gracious to give me 2 great tips...1.  keep my space open so that public can not feel trapped...and 2.  Put my lighter glass art against the dark background...and my dark glass art against the white tent background. Things picked up immediately the last day after I made those 2 simple adjustments...too bad it was on the last day...I chalk it up to "learning".

I too am struggling with the Pro Panel color.  One artist had the dark grey with metal shapes mounted on them...the other artist paints vivid colors on metal and had the black.  She has traveled over 22 shows last year...and her black looks fine...new...and not 10+years old. 

I love the idea ruth j mentions about the slipcovered ProPanels...that tip alone just relieved my stress of what color to select.  excellent idea!  thank you!

Comment by Ruth Jellema on July 1, 2011 at 9:18pm
Also, it's not as if this is a lifetime commitment.  I have dark gray pro-panels that are probably 20 years old.  Depending on the colors I was using in my work I've changed them at least 3 times by making pillowcase style covers for them - currently I'm using dark green - but underneath they're dark gray pro-panels with all the normal function.
Comment by lori kay on July 1, 2011 at 2:44pm
I use teak, I've had them for 5 years and they still look brand new. I use wood neckforms for my jewelry and the teak color compliments without being distracting. It really depends on the colors you use in your work. The teak is more of an earthly tone so bright vibrant colors with silver or black framing probably would not look as good.
Comment by Larry Berman on July 1, 2011 at 2:18pm
It should be in your welcome e-mail. Go to the forum and click on the link to be notified of new threads. It's at the bottom of the page beneath the list of forums.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100
Comment by Ruth Jellema on July 1, 2011 at 2:06pm
I've NEVER had e-mail notification of a new forum thread.  Is it something extra I have to sign up for?
Comment by Larry Berman on July 1, 2011 at 1:54pm
Not to worry because no one really knows what to do and there are really no instructions. Blogs are supposed to be for show reviews and calls for entry. Everything else should be posted to the forum where there's a place for it that makes the most sense.

The problem with posting to the blog is no one knows it's there unless they stumble across it but everyone gets immediate e-mail notification of a new forum thread.

Additionally starting a blog means that after a few more blogs have been started, you're off the first page, but each time a forum response is posted, it brings the thread back up to the top again in that respective forum so it's much more visible to more artists to participate.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100


Comment by Leslie Turner on July 1, 2011 at 1:33pm
Thanks for the input, guys. This really helps. And I'm sorry if I put my request for information in the wrong place, Larry. I'm a total novice when it comes to computers, and AFI is the first, and only, place I've had anything to do with a  blog. Please be patient with my mistakes and let me know when I have done it wrong.
Comment by Jim Parker on July 1, 2011 at 11:50am

I originally had moonbeam in the breakdown panels. They got dirty easily. I moved on to dark gray (not black) in 7' panels with extenders. It is a dark combination, but I have dark frames, and it helps the images to pop off of the background. I like the grays better than oatmeal, teak or pine, because they are neutral. I have seen most of the colors, and they all look good, depending on your work. But for 2D work, I would recommend the grays over teak or oatmeal, as they are color-neutral as opposed to warmer tones which will influence how your art looks in sunlight.

Comment by Knox Steinbrecher on July 1, 2011 at 10:56am
I recently took the plunge and ordered oatmeal panels.  I chose a light color as I want a lighter background for my work. I had trouble deciding between moonbeam and oatmeal until I looked at my then current booth and saw the tan-ish color already there.  A friend also recently sold her black panels in favor of oatmeal as she felt the lighter color was more similar to colors in homes...the thought being that it would be easier for the public to picture the work in their homes.  Just more confusing input <G>  Whatever you choose, you'll love it.
Comment by Suzy Jones on July 1, 2011 at 10:24am
I don't use propanels, yet.  But I think most artists use the gray or black for that neutral, professional look. I think most tend to lean towards the gray color for it may show less dirt.  I think the black may be tough to keep black.  I am sure you can clean them, but I think the gray would show less dirt over time.

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