Art Fair Insiders

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

Man do I miss those warm winter Florida days, but my wife and I decided to come home to Vancouver, Washington for the winter and I'm off doing some northwest shows.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be updating posts on several shows.  So let's talk about Winterfest. The show is held in two gyms at Peninsula High School in Purdy, Washington.  This is a community about six miles north of the very affluent Gig Harbor, Washington.  The show is put on by the band as a fund raiser and is in its 30-something year.

Set up was a breeze.  They had at least 70-80 young people on hand to help unload, and they unloaded my metalwork out of my trailer and into my booth in about 10 minutes.  Nice!  My only complaint is that they have a mandatory Friday set up.  It would have been nice if it was optional.


The show has no jury fee and a $100 booth fee.  There are about 200 booths, and they advertise hand made by the artist.  They did an excellent job in diversity and quality of what was there.  Very little buy and sell. There was a number of decent woodworking booths, lots of jewelry, several nice functional potters, a nice mixture of fabric artists, and three metalworkers (hey, that's my category so the only one I count).  Unfortunately, I believe that this is about 100 booths too many for the number of patrons.  I had a decent day on Saturday (for a school show) and Sunday sales were about 20% of Saturday. It's not a show to drive any real distance, but it's only two hours from my house, and our son lives about 15 minutes from the show.  So it's a free place to stay and I get to visit him and my grand children.  My thought is that this would be an ok one day show if one has family they can stay with.  Also, I'm starting to foster a clientele in this area and plan on doing the summer fine art show in  Gig Harbor that I understand is pretty good. 


In the days of less is more at the shows, the folks that put this on was great.  They are very attentive and constantly are walking around to see if the artists need anything.  They had coffee, water, diet pepsi, and regular pepsi, muffins and cookies for us each day.  They even made two trips by all the booths with carts of everything for us.  Really nice.


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Comment by Connie Mettler on December 1, 2011 at 5:44pm

Love that show fee! Thanks for this good review, I've missed your input here. Good job of putting it all into perspective.

Comment by Annette Piper on November 30, 2011 at 4:08pm

Thanks for the review Joe and glad you did OK.

Comment by Ruth Finkenbiner on November 29, 2011 at 1:10am

Joe - glad you had better success at this show than we did when we tried it about 5 years ago.  We are local (40 minutes away) and it was not worth our time.  We found it to be very crafty with lots of hobbyists and couldn't compete with our jewelry prices.  Glad it worked out for you.

See you at TideFest this weekend, I've found that a more affluent crowd shows up for that show and the summer show is definitely worth doing.

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