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Wickenburg, AZ Art Club's Artisan's Fair at Gold Rush Days 2020

Just The Facts...

Show Hours and Dates: Wickenburg Art Club's Artisan's Fair and Fine Art Show at Gold Rush Days 2020. February 14, 15, 16, 2020 9 - 5 all three days. Load-in was Feb 13th from 8 - 5. 

Logistics, Load-In/Out:

Load in for the show was Thursday  starting at 8 am. Depending on your location load-in/out can either be frustrating or less so. Local police were assisting with the move-in but it didn't seem to make things any less confusing. Artists had to check in at the front of the library and as a first time exhibitor that also added to the confusion. Those on the south side of the library had more congestion as there were more booths set up on that side. Artists had to park in diagonal spots to unload. If you had a booth on the north or east side of the library it was much less congested.

Amenities:

There was a "continental breakfast" on Friday consisting of coffee, bagels and sweet things. This show relied on the artists to figure out their own plans for food, the usual "fair food" is available. I had leftovers and there are nearby regular restaurants and a grocery store that I got sandwiches from the night before. The occasional volunteer booth sitters came by. Water was being vended for $1 a bottle by the show.

Storage, Booth Space:

Most booths, that I could see, had some limited storage space behind/near them. Booths were in some cases irregularly spaced, some were adjacent to the sidewalk. 

Demographics/Buying Trends:

Can't speak to "buying trends" as I didn't see much buying going on. I guess that is a trend in-and-of-itself! Low end was the rule of the show. I didn't see much large artwork walking by on my side of the show. Although the show started early, 9 AM, people didn't start to turn up till after 10, it was even later on Sunday.

Quality/Range of Art:

The range of "art" was very wide. From my survey of booths content was variable. There was some "fine" art and a lot more craft items, jewelry and wearables.

Food:

You either brought your own or went to the typical "fair food" vendors. See above for more details.

Weather:

The days were sunny and bright. Although earlier weather reports that I had read suggested temps in the mid 60's it turned out better as temps were in the mid 70's. I was hoping for some respite from the cold in Denver but not so as my booth was on the back (north) side of the library it was pretty chilly most of the day.

Reflections:

Wickenburg is a nice little town to the Northwest of the greater Phoenix metro area. Far enough away so that it has no association with the hub-bub of the larger city. It has a nice historic downtown with shops and restaurants of varying flavors. This was  a first time show for me. I was looking for something new to do in February as I haven't participated in the typical Thunderbird or other Arizona shows for a while, snowbirds and older second home owners are not buyers at those shows. I thought that a rodeo, car show and parade might make a good mix for my work, not so. This is what I would consider a nice little local show though I suppose there are exceptions to every rule. It should be noted that this wasn't the only show going on in the general area. The Chamber of Commerce also sponsors a show right across the street from this one with booths featuring replacement windows, realtors and the ubiquitous blow up toys. Interspersed were the occasional artist/vendors. This time of year in Arizona is when all the activities are happening and the hotel rates sky rocket. It is not cheap to stay in the area unless you are camping, live nearby or use flight miles to pay for lodging.  

Okay, now for the star rating! I'd give this show 2  out of 5, as far as the buying goes, I'd give it  1 ✩ and that's being way too generous. I will not be returning.  

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Comment by S Brian Berkun on February 26, 2020 at 3:52pm

Hi Connie, 

I often do winter shows in AZ, Tempe in the Spring and Fall, used to do the Thunderbird shows in Jan and Feb so I was looking for something different. Overall driving hours are 15 but I usually go from Denver to Gallup, NM and then on into AZ the next day.

Cheers!

Comment by Connie Mettler on February 26, 2020 at 3:05pm

Excellent review, Brian. It gives all the points that would tell an artist what to expect, even your rationale for participating, which was perfectly logical and "why not?" You know as well as most of us this can be a hit and miss business with successes popping up in the most unlikely places and vice versa. 

How long a drive was this for you? do you often participate in Arizona shows?

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