Archive for September, 2007

Featured Artist – Don Ament

September 28, 2007


For many years Don Ament has been known at art fairs for his fine large format color photographs handprinted in his own darkroom. He is one of those lucky people who has been able to turn a serious avocation into a profession. Coming from the demanding background of a commercial photographer he has turned his love of nature into a means of support as well as self expression.

This is not about pretty pictures. Don has a deep technical knowledge of photographic processes and can ‘talk the talk’ as well as ‘walk the walk’ with just about anyone. Don’t miss his philosophy about photography on his website, you will soon learn that this media is about much more than automatic exposures and pushing buttons on a digital camera.

His portfolio of images is varied but mostly is dominated by sweeping landscapes, exposing the planet at its most beautiful.

When you visit his site do not miss Gallery Mountaintop Removal with its strong images and poignant story. Proceeds from the sales of these photos will be donated to educate the public on the short and long-term effects of these mining operations.

Where to meet Don:

To see more of Don’s work visit:


Wade Steffey Memorial Endowment

September 27, 2007

Purdue University and Parents Agree to Settle

Wade Steffey, the 19 year old son of artists Dawn Adams and Dale Steffey of Bloomington, IN, died accidentally last winter when he gained access to an unlocked electrical vault at Purdue University. Purdue has settled with Wade’s parents and have agreed to a one-time $500,000 payment to the family and have established a $100,000 endowed scholarship in Wade’s name. The Wade Steffey Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to students from Indiana to attend Purdue. Dawn and Dale have given up any further claim for remuneration.

“The settlement provides financial compensation for the family and also assures Wade Steffey’s memory will live on through the students who have access to a Purdue education because of the scholarship,” Purdue Vice President for University Relations Joseph L. Bennett said in a statement yesterday.

Friends of Dawn and Dale donated artwork for an auction held in May that raised almost $20,000 for the fund. Our condolences go out to them for the great loss they have suffered. Expressions of sympathy will reach them at: 315 South Arbutus, Bloomington, IN 47401

For more information visit:, click on “Purdue, family agree to settlement”; also visit for additional details.

Jobs Listing – Virginia Arts Festival

September 26, 2007




DESCRIPTION: The Virginia Arts Festival is seeking a detail oriented Operations Director passionate about the arts to coordinate and communicate event and artist logistics with staff and artists. This is a full-time, year round, salaried position with benefits, retirement plan, and paid vacation.

This position requires working nights/weekends to support events and artist needs.

Info: submit cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and references to

Job Listing – Craft Center Ops Director

September 26, 2007

Job Listing – Art Center Operations Mgr
Peters Valley Craft Center
Operations Director Position

Peters Valley Craft Center is located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area near Layton, NJ (60 miles northwest of NYC). Throughout the Summer Peters Valley provides workshops in all craft media serving beginners and advanced students.

Fall through Spring the center hosts artist residencies allowing them the time, space and equipment to concentrate on their work. The center has also recently initiated programs for youth. The store and gallery are open year round and feature fine crafts and art items from over 300 artists. .

DESCRIPTION: Peters Valley Craft Center is seeking a detail oriented Operations Director to manage the day to day operations of the Craft Center. This is a new position created to free the Executive Director to concentrate on fundraising and development of new programs. The position reports directly to the Executive Director.

This is a full-time, year round, salaried position with health benefits, voluntary retirement plan, and paid vacation. The position includes a house and on-site residency is a condition of employment. This position requires working nights/weekends as necessary, particularly in the summer months.

The ideal candidate should have a minimum of 10 years managerial experience, display strong organizational, detail oriented, and multi-tasking skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills. He/she should have the ability to interact in a professional manner with artists, students, board members volunteers, and vendors effectively. Bachelors degree or commensurate experience required.

APPLY: The intended start date of the position is October 1, 2007, but will remain open until an appropriate candidate is identified. For consideration, materials should be received no later than September 21, 2007. Please submit cover letter with salary requirements, resume, and references to or by mail to: Peters Valley Craft Center 19 Kuhn Rd, Layton NJ 07851.

Art Fair Feedback – Part 1

September 25, 2007

Goral's jewelry
There are not many places for artists and art event organizers to go to air their grievances with one another. This is the first post in a series that will serve this purpose.

Carmel Art Fair – held in a lovely area of Indianapolis, did the unthinkable this year by adding an additional 86 artists! Art show organizers, what were you thinking? An art fair cannot continue to be a cash cow for you if your way of adding to your revenue stream is to add artists booths.

This only dilutes the sales for the good artists who have been loyal to your show and the quality will go down. It is like shooting yourself in the foot, a very self destructive plan. Did you also add to the number of patrons in order to insure the success of the additional artists?

There are other ways to increase the revenue necessary to meet your fiscal needs: finding good sponsors, designing a t-shirt for sale that is irresistible, charging a small gate fee, applying for grants, etc.

Usually artists will prefer higher booth fees than adding additional artists. Do not increase the size of your event unless you are certain that sales for existing artists will not be hampered by the increase.

Plaza Art Fair Wrap Up

September 24, 2007

So you didn’t make it to Kansas City for the Plaza Art Fair this weekend, or you did and it was so terrific you want to read more about it. Here are some reports:

My niece, Jennifer Vincent’s husband Scott and his law partners opened a new office on the Plaza in Kansas City recently and hosted an open house Friday night, bringing visitors to their party and also bringing shoppers to the Art Fair. Thanks, Jenni!

Jenni’s report is that it was packed on Friday night until a heavy cloud burst at 8:30 cleared the streets and sent people packing.

Here are a few links to get more information on the Plaza Art Fair:

In the Kansas City Star’s online version you can see a nice promo of the sights and sounds, plus read a report on the fair:

In the Needle and Clay blog dollmaker Thessalyrose visits the Plaza and writes an interesting story about artist Karen Woodward‘s amusing small glass sculptures.

Tony’s Kansas City blog has a nice wrapup of the weekend. He lists all the things to do then says he he’ll just stay home alone. Such a shame, lots of ways to spend the weekend.

Another critique on the event itself: In which Randy goes to the Plaza Art Fair and ends up disappointed is another perspective of an artist and someone who really enjoys art fairs. Sounds like a lot of us.

The weather in the Midwest this weekend was perfect. My informants tell me that artist Patricia Hecker brought home a purple ribbon from the Carmel Art Fair in Carmel, IN, this weekend. Congrats, Pat.

“100 Square Feet” – by Patricia Hecker

September 22, 2007

We criss cross the country
in our vans of white-
to sell what we’ve made
at an art fair site.

This is the life
we’ve chosen by trade-
to sell to the public
things we’ve hand made.

The booths we fill
with displays 10 feet wide
are secured in our vans
for a long distance ride.

Created by day
and driven by night
to arrive in town
at your art fair site.

This gallery we build
in our 100 square feet
can withstand mild wind
but not snow or sleet!

The sun and fair weather
are art fair friends
as we hope for blue skies
and upward sales trends.

The consumer is fickle
when stock markets dive.
Collector confidence
keeps art fairs alive.

With jewelry and pottery
and paintings so bright-
we offer our best
for the publics delight.

To future young artists
we meet in our booth-
imagination and crayons
are part of their youth.

We might light a spark
by something we say-
and meet them again
as artists some day!

To share and inspire
are what we do best.
‘Making a living’
is put to the test.

We want to feel safe
in our 100 square feet.
It gives peace of mind
to all that we meet.

Booth fees oh my-
And jury fees too…
We pick and choose
by what shows we’ll do.

We too are consumers
of this thing called a ‘fair’
to decide to apply
with the art we will share.

These shows stay alive
by the art we all do
not just white tents
but advertising it too!

This dual commitment
for artists and shows-
To give it our best
as everyone knows.

This isn’t a hobby
or part time thing.
This is what fuels us and thus what we bring.










We’ve supported ourselves
and put food on the table.
Sent kids to college
and donated when able.

We’ve seen each other
at our worst and our best-
and keep making art
with an undying zest.

We’re in this together.
We’ve accomplished great things.
Artists and directors-
the art that it brings.

This tight knit group
is why we’re all here
to hold securely
a lifestyle so dear.

Proxy exhibitors
hurt what we do-
by faking all out
on just who’s who.

With imports off shore
and buy/sell so cheap-
it’s the honor of our trade
we fight hard to keep.

This is our life
its critical to see
that I respect you
and you respect me!

by Patricia Hecker…

This Weekend’s Big Art Fair: Plaza in Kansas City

September 22, 2007

Like most big art fairs in other cities Kansas City is host not only to the Plaza Art Fair this weekend but also the Unplaza Art Fair takes place this Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23, on the grounds of the All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church at 4501 Walnut Street hosting more than 85 artists.

Want to know more about the Unplaza, billed as “a little more crafty, a little more crunchy and less slick?” Read Tony Millett’s story at this link.

There are definitely differences between the two events: the Unplaza does not have corporate sponsors or food from fancy restaurants, nor frankly, the quality of art you will find on the Plaza. What is cool about it though is that it benefits PeaceWorks Kansas City, a nonprofit, all-volunteer group. “Percentages of the artists’ income also benefit “Adopt-A-Minefield,” a U.N. sponsored effort to clean up some of the debris American adventuring has left behind.”

At the Plaza you will see some of the best of the nation’s touring artists (especially good is the painting), winners of the juried competition to be present in K.C. this weekend. 230 exhibitors meet the public at the Friday night festive opening.

Watching them setting up in the heat of Friday afternoon it is quite amazing to see the transformation of a somewhat motley gang of workers become sophisticated purveyors of fine art by the end of the day.

Have you ever been present during the setting up of an art fair? It might make you realize that the price tags on the artwork is much fairer than you thought at first glance.

To read more about the Plaza Art Fair on the Country Club Plaza visit the Kansas City Star at this link.

Artists Just Wanna Have Fun

September 20, 2007

How many art auctions have you attended and just never found that compelling object? Inspired by the upcoming NAIA (National Association of Independent Artists) Director’s Conference, artists Jon and Pat Hecker of Indiana have devised an auction that will thoroughly engage the winning bidder.

What do you know about crop circles? Visit this link for an intriguing adventure and to appreciate the creativity lurking in the fields of Indiana.

A signature mixed media piece by Patricia Hecker

The Truth About Free Wireless Credit Card Machines

September 12, 2007

Making the sale at the Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair

One of the sponsors of this newsletter is, an electronic card processing company serving mobile merchants – that means you- for over 25 years.

Recently the President of the company, Micheal DiGiovanni, sent me information about fraud that has crept into this industry concerning “free” wireless credit card machines. It is very informative and addresses a serious issue in this business.

Newsletter from Michael DiGiovanni of

Increased competition in the credit card merchant services industry has prompted many of the vendors to resort to unfair, crooked and intentionally misleading marketing and sales tactics in order trick merchants into signing with their companies. All too many unsuspecting merchants are falling victim to these dishonest companies while getting the false impression that they are getting a fair, unbeatable, and too good to be true, deal.

Unfortunately, the “Free Wireless Credit Card Machine” deal is too good to be true and any merchant that sets up this account is going to get burned. The fact remains that nothing in life is free, especially a wireless credit card machine that costs all merchant service companies in excess of $600.00 to purchase. There is simply not enough monthly residual income generated off merchant accounts to justify these merchant service providers taking a $600 to $700 up front loss. So why do they do it?

They do it because the sales reps are only disclosing about one third of the fees and commitments applicable to the account. The naked eye will see a low up-front set-up fee, a seemingly competitive qualified discount rate and transaction fee, and a fairly average monthly service fee. What these shady companies do not disclose is an extremely long-term commitment with a severe early termination fee, a very high monthly minimum requirement, excessive mid qualified fees and non-qualified fees, and additional wireless transaction fees.

The truth is that a merchant account with this type of set-up will generate about ten times the profit than a standard account and the merchant will actually end up paying for the terminal several times over within the 1st year, but the merchant will never own the machine.

To top that off the companies are protected from the merchant skipping with their equipment because they have them locked into a long term 3-5 year contract with a cancellation fee ranging from $750-$2000. So the risk has been mitigated entirely and the deceptive tactics of using the word “FREE” is successfully generating an enormous amount of business. As a result, an extremely large percentage of merchant service companies are in a panic because of their lost market share and are therefore mimicking this deal, sacrificing their honesty and their integrity, taking unfair advantage of unsuspecting merchants all over the United States and blackening the eye of the entire industry.

We at 1st National pride ourselves on honesty, full disclosure and superior service and support. We have so much more to offer to a merchant than simply low rates and upfront fees although ours are the most competitive in the industry. Forty percent of our business comes from referrals of customers who have found that our word is gold and our service is second to none. We would never consider sacrificing our impeccable reputation in a crooked attempt to generate more business.

To compete, we do offer the same “Free” credit card machine deal but any merchant who inquires gets a detailed full disclosure list of every single fee and detail that would apply to that type of merchant account. They also receive our expert opinion and explanation of why it is simply not a smart business decision to opt for the “Free Wireless Credit Card Machine”.

We are appalled by the practices of these other companies and what it has done to our industry. Our sales reps now have to spend significant amounts of time explaining to perspective merchants that the companies saying “Free, Free, Free” are not being honest. The purpose of this newsletter is to educate perspective merchants in an attempt to spread the word throughout the industry and to finally put an end to these ridiculous business practices that are all too common.

On our website, we have listed three sample deals. The 1st is the typical “Free Wireless Credit Card Machine” deal, which is crooked and only discloses about 1/3 of the information about the account. The second example is a full disclosure of the same “Free Wireless Credit Card Machine” deal pointing out all of the fees that were hidden in example one. And the 3rd example is a deal in which the merchant buys a credit card machine for an up-front fee of $619, owns the machine, and saves a significant amount of money in the long run because they are getting the best possible rates and monthly fees in the industry.

We seriously encourage all merchants to view this information because it clearly displays in dollars how badly you will be ripped off if you fall victim to the “Free Wireless Credit Card Machine” scam.

We sincerely hope this newsletter helps merchants to make educated decisions and to avoid getting burned when choosing a merchant service provider. For more information on this or any other merchant service related question please call us Toll Free: 866-499-5722 or visit our website at