Art Fair Insiders

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

I have tried searching the blog posts for discussions about woodworking art at the shows and I was not able to find anything. I notice alot of artists here are photographers, painters, jewelry and numerous other categories. but no wood art.

I was wondering why I do not see more woodworkers and wood artists at shows. Most shows seem to have a huge number of all categories ...except woodwork. Are most wood artists not interested in doing  shows?

I am a wood sculptor creating jewelry boxes and furniture and have started doing shows during the last 2 years after retiring... What I have done so far in the way of shows has been well received and finiacially rewarding.

What, if anything, have you noticed about woodworkers at shows?

Thanks!

Greg

www.FineArtBoxes.com

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Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on March 4, 2012 at 10:12pm

Greg, maybe your post will inspire the woodworkers to become a little more vocal here.  The photographers are very vocal and that is why you here about them.  If you want to get the woodworkers to be noticed more here, become more vocal.  Post what is happening with you and your work.  Everyone would love to hear.

Comment by Derek Voigt on February 29, 2012 at 11:49am

I have often thought the same thing.  I'm a wood worker and I haven't done any "art shows" but I did do a Holiday show last year at a local yacht club, which was great because they provided the tables and coverings, I just had to bring my stuff! 

I do alot of turnings (pens, bowls, peppermills, wine stoppers) and flat would like cutting boards and some furniture.  Which is probably not considered as much "art" as wood sculptures and the like would be - but it is certainly above the level of "crafts".  I like to think of what I do as "functional art".

It isn't that woodworking doesn't have a place at art shows, I think in general terms, when someone says "art" they don't immediate think wood.

Comment by Kathleen Taylor on February 29, 2012 at 9:19am

14 of our exhibiting artists at the Naples National in Florida were woodworkers. One took home the Best 3D award. To echo some of Jim's sentiment, I can confirm that we aim to balance our main festivals with all different types of artists, and wait-listed artists are called upon particularly when an artist of their same medium must cancel. Wood art is certainly a part of our ideal mix though. Best of luck to you this season!

Comment by Greg Little on February 28, 2012 at 2:10pm

Thanks for the great reply Jim. What got me started thinking about this was when looking at the artist lineup for some shows i am doing and have done. I am doing a show in Houston next month and noticed only about half a dozen woodworkers listed compared to huge numbers of jewelers, photographers and numerous other categories that were listed. This seems to be the normal percentage/ratio at most shows. I could not figure if woodworking was not popular or profitable at these shows or if many woodworkers were just not interested in participating.

Comment by Jim Harris on February 28, 2012 at 1:34pm

Hi Greg,

Great work.  I too am a woodworker.  I do sculptures mainly equine and figurative.  I agree there's not a lot of discussion on this forum about woodwork at shows.  There is a woodworkers group you can join, but not a lot of activity there either.  This is my second year of doing art shows.  Last year was so so, but I got started late and deadlines for some of the better shows had past.  I have found it's very important to have good pictures for jurying and a good booth shot.  I've also learned consistency in the pictures is important.  I missed a couple of shows last year because I had shots of my 3D work and my relief (2D) work.  This year I focused on my sculptures and let my relief be seen in my booth shot.

Regarding woodworkers at shows, I don't see a lot of them there either but I don't think it's due to them not applying.  I think it's due to the number of spots available for woodwork.  In the shows I've been in only about 10% have been woodwork if it's a fine arts shows.  If it's a craft show then the number is higher, maybe closer to 20%-25%.  I'm focusing mainly on the fine art shows so I know there will be fewer woodworkers at those and higher competition for the spots available.  The other thing I've noticed is that most of them are furniture or turnings (bowls and vases).  There are very few that do carvings like I do or boxes like you have. 

You have a very unique style in your work which should draw a lot of interest.  Your finish also stands out in your pictures.  I'd be interested in learning what kind of finish you put on your pieces. 

Trust you have a great year this year.  I'll be posting  as I do shows this year as others do and try to add my thoughts from the stand point of how the show went from a woodworkers perspective regarding sales and customer experience.

Comment by geri a. wegner on February 28, 2012 at 1:17am

Your work is beautiful.  There are woodworking artists here. Two of them won awards at the recent Coconut Grove Arts Festival.  In fact, Best in show at CGAF is a woodworker. 

One thing I notice about wood art is the beautiful use of wood and how the grain of the wood is used to its best advantage,  It is probably the most tactile of all the media, I always want to touch it!


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