Art Fair Insiders

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

Woodland Park Art Festival, Lexington, KY.—Hot temps with hot Lowend sales

This Show is held in a lovely trees park right in downtown Lexington.  Always the third weekend in August.

Lexington is a thriving town.  You have the University there. Then you have all the horse biz.  They raise them, they race them there.  Lot of dinero flowing the town.

Everywhere you look you see new apartments going up.

Not many shuttered stores.

The locals dress up for the show.  This is not a Walmart crowd.

That said, this is not an easy show to sell high end at.

The whole weekend I saw less than a dozen large 2-d pieces go by my booth.

Of course I am at one of many entrances to the park.

I never sold anything over $150 this weekend, yet I had one of my best shows there.

I have onerous criticismdone this show more than ten times, this was the best.

Thisots is craft country so 3-d does well here.

All my neighbors were very happy.  I had a potter to my left and a pastelist to my right.  They both left rich and happy.

This Show is Run by a local art association.  They do a great job.

Easy registration, mellow setup and takedown, nice food and water, lots of volunteers, plenty of storage room and an enthusiastic director.

These are the ingredients for a successful show.

Also this is the only really major art show for the town all year.

My only complaint is that this show is too large, about 200 exhibitors, for the population it serves.

The Show size is such that booths are laid out in meandering patterns thru the park.

Not everybody gets the full crowd because there is not a continuous flow to walk the show.

This more a Lowend crowd that buys, think $150 or less.

I saw only a few big pieces go out the entire show.

I had a record show but I never sold one piece over $150.

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Comment by Nels johnson on August 22, 2019 at 11:50am

Sonja.  Times are changing.

The folks who used to buy often, and large, are now downsizing.

The newer generation buys from different sources as well as art shows.

The Millenials View art as something to be captured on their digital devices and shared on social media.

That is my opinion.

There is a lot of competition for sales of high end art.  Too many artists for too few buyers.

Comment by Sonja Jones on August 22, 2019 at 10:50am

Nels, do you think this is the trend everywhere?  I am rather new to showing, but at the seven or so shows I've done, this seems to be the dominant buying pattern.  Only at Boston Mills show in Penisula, OH did I see more expensive pieces being bought.  In speaking with many older, more experienced show circuit artists, I get the feeling that the art fair crowd has changed.  A couple of glass artists in the booth next to mine, both in their 70's, said that when they started, people would be lined up three deep at the front of their booth to view and buy.  Now, they thought more people were just coming out for entertainment rather than to purchase art.  The show I just completed had an affluent crowd, but most shoppers bought lawn art and jewelry.  So the 2-D artist needs to have more lower end items available that just happen to catch the eye of the crowd - the "I really don't (need, have a place for) it, but I really like it and it's cheap" buyer.

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