Archive for December, 2007

Holiday Greetings to You

December 28, 2007

Warm wishes for a glorious holiday to all my friends in art fair land. My hope for you in the new year is for you to live well, laugh often and love much and I hope Santa brings you everything you want.

My website, is being rebuilt this week and I hope to have all the 2008 dates online early in the New Year. Thank you for your patience while I am up to my elbows in sawdust during the construction.

Christmas tree-Norm Darwish

Wishing you a time of joy,

a season of hope and peace

at this time and throughout the year.

Photo by Norm Darwish


Call for Artists: Wyandotte Street Art Fair

December 26, 2007
47th Annual Wyandotte Street Art Fair
July 9, 10, 11 & 12
Wyandotte Street Art Fair

downtown streets of Wyandotte, MI
Sponsored by the City of Wyandotte
250 Exhibitors
Deadline: February 1, 2008

Where is Wyandotte, MI? Visit this link.

Here is what artists are saying about last year’s Wyandotte Street Art Fair:

I have heard only really good things about this past fair. Word on the street is that everyone at Wyandotte was up (myself included). Best year we have had at Wyandotte and we are going into the 7th year. Everything went smoothly in our opinion, plenty of set up time and we really appreciate the girls that come around offering water and food. Looking forward to next year!
– Cheryl Buttons

I want to thank you and your staff for allowing me to be a part of the festival this year. The show has been my best all year. I am sorry we did not get a chance to talk longer however, as you can tell people were standing in my booth waiting to give me their money (Ha Ha). Shows this good are hard to come by these days. Many thanks and have a Blessed year!!!!!!
– Jody Walker, The Art Gallery (3-D)

Wyandotte is the second longest running and second largest art fair in Michigan. It is well established and very well attended. This is one of the ‘biggies’ in Michigan and for many customers their favorite. It is usually held the week before Ann Arbor giving artists who are traveling some distance two events back-to-back. It is also one of those fairs where you hear people say that they don’t go to Ann Arbor, giving you access to a different clientele.

Over 200,000 people from around the metro area and Canada attend. The City really turns out to host the event and take pride in it. If you want exposure to a new group this may be the place. Are you feeling adventurous? Ready to get your feet wet in a strong established art fair? This may be the one for you.

Expenses are low: the booth fee is only $225 for a four day event, less than $60 a day, quite a bargain and housing in the area is reasonable.

More good news:

  • pull up to your booth to unload and load
  • awards for best of show, best new artist, best booth
  • showers for artists, booth sitters, water
  • great hospitality to keep you comfortable during the fair

Detroit area art fair audiences are some of the best. For more information and to download an application go to:

Call for Artists: State College, PA

December 25, 2007

Susan Livingston's sculpture

July 13-18
Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

41st Annual Sidewalk Sale and Exhibition

Downtown State College and Penn State Campus
300 Exhibitors

Deadline: February 1, 2008
Applications available online:

Where is State College, PA? Visit this link.

Why should you apply to this festival?

Here are the words of the CPFA Executive Director, Rick Bryant:

  • In the latest Sunshine Artist magazine ranking, we came out at #6 on the Fine Art and Design list. We were listed with the top big city or resort shows, that’s pretty heady company
  • We bring roughly 125,000 people to State College over five days in July (the first day of our Festival is Children’s Day, and our artists set up at the end of the day, so that they are there four days).
  • Show is in its 42nd year and is on Penn State campus and the streets of the Borough of State College. Actually, we were founded by the State College chamber of commerce and Penn State’s College of Arts and Architecture as a “town/gown” event.
  • Penn State alumni return for “Arts Festival Alumni Weekend,” a time to renew old college ties, attend special programs, and, of course, the arts festival. We are strongly supported by Penn State.
  • We hand out over $17,000 in prizes, the top prize, the Arete Best of Show Award (Arete is a Greek word meaning roughly, excellence) is $2500.
  • We also receive lots of support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania-not only the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, but also the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.
  • Our festival features the outdoor show, an indoor gallery exhibition, a celebration of Italian Street Painting, performing arts on three indoor stages and four outdoor stages.

The publisher of says:

If you are sincere about your career at the art fairs, this is an event that you should seriously consider for your participation. The best reason, besides the ones Rick stated above, is that your work will be seen by a clientele who comes from across the country for this annual reunion at their alma mater. The exposure to a new audience could lead not only to success at State College but it will broaden your art fair experience. Lots of Easterners attend and it is a good cultural mix that you will appreciate.

For more information about the Central Pennsylvania Festival of Arts visit their thorough website.

Re: How Does This Booth Slide Look To You?

December 25, 2007

Condon at St. Joe

A few weeks ago I published an email from an artist in Florida who had consulted me for advice on moving from the classroom to exhibiting at outdoor art fairs. You can read it and my reply at this link on this blog.

A second question she asked was about where she belonged in this art fair business, what niche would work best for her. You can read the answer to this question also at this link in this blog.

I was intrigued as to whether or not my advice about her booth was helpful to her. I really felt validated when she replied with this answer (doesn’t it always make you feel good when you find out you really do know what you are talking about?):

Connie: I’d love to hear what you learned at last weekend’s art fair after you solicited my advice.

E.S.: Well … that it’s not my art, it’s my set-up. The photo that I sent you was of my first tent (I have a new one now) so I put the new tent up, laid down a rug, and made make-shift covers for my grid panels. I had lots of compliments and sold lots of art – and had as pretty a booth as anyone else.

Truthfully, I learned a whole lot more from you than I did from looking at the other art displays – they didn’t have booths even as nice as mine was when I took the first photo (the one I sent you with the open grid panels and older tent). But I guess not all artists are striving to get into the really big shows; and since this is something that I would like to try to do, all the details really matter to me. I want to always work to improve and push myself to be better.

With my new tent and rug and covered panels, I was the prettiest tent at the show last weekend. I know that I need to use January and February to make slipcovers for the grid panels that are permanent use-them-every-time covers and take another photo then. It is frustrating that shows don’t tell you what they want, so my husband and I are going to visit some art shows before we try to get in them. I would have made improvements before now, had I known what to do. Thank you again for your help.

Call for Artists: Art in the Park in New Jersey

December 23, 2007

39th Annual Art in the Park
A Juried Arts and Crafts Show
At the Montclair Art Museum
Montclair, NJ

Preview & wine reception: May 2
Show dates: May 3 & 4
150 Artists


  • Hardcopy mailed applications: December 14, 2007

Art in the Park caters exclusively to craftspeople interested in presenting their work to a clientele in an affluent community setting. This year the show moves to the grounds of the Montclair Art Museum and coincides with the art museum’s hosting of the New Jersey Craft Annual, entitled “Tribal Roots in the Garden State.”

Where is Montclair, NJ? Click on this link.

Why haven’t I heard of this art fair before? You may be asking yourself this question as I am asking myself. I don’t know. Maybe it is one of those events where you only tell a friend and tell them not to tell anyone else. A visit to their website: shows a well organized event that is set in an affluent area twelve miles from New York City. Like the 57th Street show in Chicago, it is a highly anticipated event for this area and its surrounding communities.

Why you should be interested:

  • a great date when there are few art shows
  • a visit to their website shows many familiar names in the 2007 show
  • exhibit spaces in the art museum as well as on the lawn
  • experienced professional organizers who know and expect quality
  • an art museum sponsored event in an area with few fine art venues
For more information visit their information filled website:

Featured Artist – Dolan Geiman

December 22, 2007
Contemporary Art With a Southern Flair
Dolan Geiman

This month’s artist can be descirbed as Southern, ruralist, rescued, green mixed media designer of art machines, rescued and repurposed clothing, collages, furniture, paintings and wood constructions.

Growing up in the South he made art all the time. Every day he and his brother made something, “Whether it was a corn husk doll, or a t-shirt that we dyed ourselves with berries, or a sculpture out of sticks that we found. Every activity had something creative in it.

If we went for a walk, by the time we came home we’d have some much stuff in our pockets it would take us a whole day just to look at all of it. This kind of intrigue never died for me, or disappeared like it does when most people grow older. I think mine actually became more intense.”

Interested? Learn more about Dolan Geiman and his multi-faceted talents at his website:

Call for Artists: Ann Arbor Street Art Fair

December 19, 2007

The Original! – July 16 to 19

At the Tower

On the streets of Ann Arbor, MI
175 Artists
Deadline: January 10
Applications online at:

The Street Art Fair is one of the highest ranking art fairs in the nation and for good reason.

  • It draws collectors who rarely attend art fairs
  • It attracts the finest artists
  • It works with many cultural community and educational institutions to produce exceptional community art activities
  • It works throughout the year to be a blue ribbon presence in the Ann Arbor community

This is the original event on which the other Ann Arbor fairs have patterned themselves, as well as many other fairs across the nation. It is the creme de la creme of art events.

The Street Art Fair has an excellent jury process, unlike that of any other art fair. Under the guidance of Shary Brown, the director, there are five separate panels jurying specific media or related categories.

There are 4 to 5 jurors per panel, one of whom is a member of the Jury Group. The Jury Group meets in a sixth session after all the panels are complete to review the submission with high scores and determine invitations in each category, balancing the scores, the range of work and the strength of category. Artists selected for the wait list are also determined at this session. They jury over two weekends in late January and early February with at least two sessions mid week. All images are projected, statements read with additional information available upon request.

The strength of this approach is that they have jurors (who are paid an honorarium) working 4 to 6 hours only in their own area of expertise, or related areas. Jurors see the work multiple times and are able to ask questions and to discuss the work, moving back and forth to compare it to other submissions in the category. Jurors are generally working artists and are often educators at area colleges or museums. They mix new jurors with experienced jurors.

The Jury Group member brings a familiarity with the fair and knowledge of the goals and programs from having juried the fair on site the previous year. They will bring the overall sensibility of the panel to the final session.

One of the unusual aspects of this jurying is that there is no booth slide required, but rather five images of your work.

For more info on the Street Fair visit their excellent website:

To view the application and apply today, visit:

To read more about preparing your work for jurying search in this blog for “Getting Ready for the Art Fair Jury.” While you are there, also read “Notes From A Juror at Cherry Creek.”

Des Moines Art Festival – Ranked #10

December 19, 2007

Des Moines Art Festival

I am happy to report that one of my very favorite art fairs (they do everything right), the Des Moines Art Festival has just been ranked #10 by the readers of American Style magazine. Hum. I wonder who are #1-9? Well, I went looking at the American Style website and found the winners for 2006, and they are a wonderment:

1. Kentucky Crafted: The Market (Louisville, Ky.)
2. Paradise City Arts Festivals (Northampton, Mass.; Marlborough, Mass.; Philadelphia, Pa.)
3. St. James Court Art Show (Louisville, Ky.)
Scottsdale Arts Festival (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
5. Bayou City Art Festival (Houston, Texas)
6. Festival of the Arts/Pageant of the Masters (Laguna Beach, Calif.)
7. Ann Arbor Art Fairs (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
La Quinta Arts Festival (La Quinta, Calif.)
9. Downtown Festival & Art Show (Gainesville, Fla.)
10. Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival (Midway, Ky.)

Now, mind you I have been in this business for 30 years and three of these “Top Ten” events I have never even heard of. How about you?

Nonetheless, I am pleased to see Des Moines rated so high for 2007. About 10 years ago, a whirlwind of a woman, Mo Dana, came to town and sold the powers-that-be on developing a high profile art festival that would draw art lovers from throughout the region. She did an excellent job. No stone is left unturned by the festival organizers in providing support and hospitality to the artists who vie to be participants.

Another day I’ll write up the story. In the meantime, visit this link for more info and congratulations to this terrific art fair!

Holiday Shopping Ideas Off the Beaten Path

December 15, 2007

Poshtini Thursdays

Tired of the same old, same old? Live in the Seattle area? Then read this cool list of places to shop which includes shopping at the Goodwill (!), a trunk show for the hip art crowd, shopping ‘green’, For Men Only, cool indie events, shopping parties and fine boutiques and gallery shows.

This should be enough to get you primed for the holiday season. Read all about it at:

Art Fair on the Square Ranked #1 in the Country

December 15, 2007

Congratulations to Belleville, IL’s, Art Fair on the Square! This just goes to show you what a small community with great support and vision can do.

Duncan McClellan

Belleville show tops in terms of sales

Belleville’s Art on the Square has become the top art fair in the nation.”This is like a big Christmas present,” director Patty Gregory said. “I have absolutely been blown away by this.”

Art on the Square received its No. 1 ranking for the 2008 Art Fair SourceBook. The Portland, Ore.-based book judges art fairs on their sales figures. This year, Art on the Square generated about $1.15 million in sales, or an average of $10,842 for each of the 106 artists who participated.

Gregory said those numbers are “amazing” for a town of 42,000 people.

To read the rest of this article visit: