Archive for January, 2008

Letters From You: Where Can I Find Reliable Info About Art Fairs?

January 31, 2008


Hi, I really enjoy and use the information from your site all the time…. I have been doing shows for several years now. Last year was the first year I did outside shows.

A lot of the crafters I have met have told me about 2 different magazines that I have not been able to find even in larger book stores:
Sunshine Artist
Crafts Report

I was told they both deal with the aspects of the craft show business, and the trends of the shows. So if you have any knowledge on these I would really appreciate it. Thank you,
Jill Modena
Squiggles, Stitches and Squishes
Polymer clay designs

Hi Jill,

It depends on where you live if you can find these magazines in a book store. I know I have seen them in Borders in Miami and some other places. But instead of trying to locate them on the newsstand, why not go online to: Sunshine Artist and subscribe. It is relatively inexpensive ($34.95) and is full to the brim with art and craft events. You can also see their show listings online at:

As for the Crafts Report, go to their website: There is a link for subscribing ($32.95 for 12 issues) as well as a link that tells where to find the publication on the newsstands.

If you are solely looking for show listings, the ArtFairSourceBook, has excellent listings with a lot of information about each event. It is somewhat pricey, but full of useful information.

Welcome to the wonderful world of outdoor art fairs and good luck!

happy shoppers at Arts, Beats & Eats

On Jan 24, 2008, at 12:16 PM, Jill Modena wrote:

Hi Constance,
I’m not just looking for show listing all though you never can get enough show info….
I really want to start learning as much as I can about the trends of the shows, and all the ins and outs.
How other people set up, where they buy their display racks from etc…
How well other states are doing compared to Michigan where I’m from.
To see if its actually worth going out of state for shows.
So if you have any advise on anything to read I’m game to read it.
Thank you for your time,

Do you mind if I include these emails from you in my newsletter?

January 26, 2008

Hi Constance,

No, I don’t mind at all.

I wasn’t too sure at the start last year, my first outdoor show started out nice and sunny and about an hour after the show began the worst storm with the highest wind I ever saw in the state of Michigan blew in and I swore I was never doing it again.

That sort of weather happened to me twice, but I made it though the summer. And once again I’m printing out applications for the year an trying to squeeze in even more shows.

Thank you, once again

January 31, 2008

Hi Jill,

You can never do enough research on participating in art fairs. Here are a few more online resources:

Alyson Stanfield’s blog —

Larry Berman’s forum —, you can subscribe to this through yahoogroups. They talk about a lot more than photography.

The ArtList —

NAIA forum (need to be a member) —
(This is my favorite source.)

Art Fair Sourcebook forum —

Additionally, Jill, do these three things:

1. Attend any local fairs, even if you are not participating. Talk to the exhibitors, look at their equipment: display racks, tents, etc., look at how they display. Take lots of notes.

2. Any time you are in an art fair set up early then go out and watch the others setting up, see the vehicles, how they get work to their booth, equipment, etc. Find the most attractive booth and study it for yourself.

3. The BEST resource: word-of-mouth. Never miss a chance at an art show to talk to your neighbors and share information. “Done any good art fairs lately?” is a good opening. Then the flood gates will open.

Best of luck to you in 2008, it is going to be fun!


The Passing of Glenn Donovan

January 30, 2008

Glenn Donovan, 50, left this world on January 21.

Here is news I received recently from several artists:

Some sad news to report here. I just learned the Glenn died yesterday from a pulmonary aneurysm. It was sudden. He was having difficulties breathing over the weekend. We have lost a great man, a relentless humorist and a creative soul. He will truly be missed. Our hearts go out to Edie.

A memorial is being planned by his family and Edie Ehlert, his life companion and collaborator on the work. It will be this Saturday, January 26 at 2:30 pm in the Community Building right on Hwy. 171 in Gays Mills, WI. Pot luck dinner to follow. Anyone interested can attend.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Community Conservation project:

Here are two links for Glenn. His website:

Also visit artist Sally Bright’s Art Show Artists website, where Glenn and Edie can be found from an April 2002 visit:

His obituary can be found at this link:

Call for Artists: Shelby Township, MI

January 30, 2008

August 8 & 9
Shelby Township Art Fair

Jury fee – $10
Booth fee – $140 for a 15 x 15 space
Attendance: approximately 20,000
100 Exhibitors
Deadline: April 1

Shelby Township is located in southeast Michigan, about 25 miles north of Detroit, 20 miles east of Pontiac, and about 20 miles west of Lake St. Clair. You’ll find the Shelby Township Municipal Grounds approximately 4 miles north of M-59.

Visit this mapquest link to locate Shelby Township.

Artists and fairgoers alike enjoy this juried show held outdoors on the beautiful Shelby Township Municipal Grounds. Hosted by the Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Department and Shelby Township Art Fair Committee Members it features original works (no buy/sell merchandise) by artists from Michigan as well as from around the United States and Canada.

Learn more about Shelby Township.

Comments from Artists and Customers:

“This is our favorite show! We never miss it!”
“Beautiful grounds…the atmosphere is really nice…”
“This show has been our best for sales all summer!”

This may be the new art fair of the season for you, especially if you live nearby:

  • long-running community sponsored event
  • large metro area
  • shady park on a summer day
  • great date when there aren’t many others from which to choose
  • very affordable booth fees

Please phone 586-731-0300 or to have an application mailed to you, or click the link below to download an electronic copy.

Call for Artists: One of a Kind Wholesale NYC

January 28, 2008
One of a Kind Show

August 16-19, 2008
Deadline: March 15

The new One of a Kind Wholesale Show NYC provides an exclusive opportunity for over 100 of the country’s highest quality artists and artisans to bring their works to independent retailers that differentiate themselves by offering one-of-a-kind product!

One of a Kind artists, artisans and designers who sell wholesale – we invite you to apply!

Be part of the launch and:

  • Leverage The New York Gift Week which draws 45,000 top buyers of gift and home décor
  • Exhibit within 7W New York, New York’s premier high-design and style center for the nation’s buyers of elegant home décor, textile, tabletop, decorative accessories and giftware
  • Access an elite audience of designers and buyers from galleries, museum shops, high-end specialty stores and boutiques
  • Immerse yourself in the New York City marketplace – the world’s center for culture, fashion, and trends
  • Participate in an exciting new wholesale show concept under the One of a Kind Show brand
  • All applications will be juried by a selection committee. Please apply by March 15, 2008, by going to or

    For more information, please contact Kathleen Hogan at or 312-527-7642.

Letters From You: Should I Apply to This Fair?

January 27, 2008

Connie –
What can you tell me about the Birmingham Art show – Art in the Park, Birmingham, MI?

We are pretty new to the business of outdoor shows and trying to get our feet wet (but not soaked).. LOL

Best regardsbachmans.jpg
Jennifer (Genevieve’)
PearlaBella by Genevieve’
W. Bloomfield, MI

Hello Jennifer (Genevieve),

Thanks for your letter. This is a good question.

Did you know there are two Birmingham art fairs?

  • Birmingham Fine Art Fair – May 10 & 11
  • Art in the Park to benefit Common Ground Sanctuary – Sept. 13 & 14
  • They are both held in downtown Birmingham’s Shain Park. The fall show has a great history as it gets the credit for really making art fairs a business in the Detroit area. The spring show is definitely not a piker though, it’s been around for 27 years. Both of the shows have a good reputation for being very selective and good money makers and are fundraisers for important community organizations.

    As we all know the art fair business in Michigan is not what it used to be. I guess you could say that for many businesses in Michigan. Right? Just ask John McCain and Mitt Romney.

    Nevertheless, both of these events are worth a try for an artist living within a days’ drive of Detroit, and definitely for a local person like yourself. Do the usual, use your mailing list, website, etc., to bring your own customers and hope the artist in the neighboring booth does the same. Detroiters still love art fairs and these Birmingham events bring well-employed people out to see them.

    Best of luck with your 2008 season.

    Call for Artists: East Lansing Art Festival

    January 25, 2008
    May 17 & 18
    East Lansing Art Festival
    downtown East Lansing
    230 Artists
    New Deadline: January 28
    Happy shoppers at the art festival

    Produced by the Art Festival Board of Directors under the auspices of the East Lansing Arts Commission/City of East Lansing

    Established in 1964, the East Lansing Art Festival is held every spring during the weekend prior to the Memorial Holiday weekend. The popular Festival attracts 70,000-80,000 attendees from across the region. In addition to the 230 juried exhibitors emerging artists are also invited to participate through a competitive selection process.

    East Lansing is a charming University town with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, galleries and the beautiful Michigan State University campus across the street.

    What to expect:

    • Free performances on two stages highlighting a wide variety of music
    • Free arts activities for children and families
    • An international-style food court

    Having exhibited in this art fair ourselves here is what else you will like:

    • well-educated visitors, unaffected by the economic downturn in the State; professional people from State government and the University
    • well-planned entertainment that enhances the art rather than distracts from it
    • a festive mood as this is the kickoff of the art fair season
    • affiliation with the Public TV and radio stations, bringing the right people to you
    • a well-seasoned staff who “get it”
    • easy load in and out

    New this year:
    The East Lansing Art Festival launches an Artist Welcome Wagon Program as a way to let our exhibiting artists know that we appreciate them and want to help them to be successful at our Festival!

    Sounds good, doesn’t it? Visit: for more information.

    Then, don’t dawdle. Visit: to apply. Today would be a good day to do that, don’t you think?

    Qualifying for Milwaukee’s Lakefront Art Festival

    January 24, 2008

    Rawson-JohnsonHi Connie,

    I hope this is within the realm of questions for you. I was wondering if I could get into the Milwaukee Lakefront Festival of the Arts with my jewelry. It’s not gold or silver but I do hand wrap vintage Czech glass stones with turn-of-the-century pattern filigree using my own two hands without any glue or pins.

    I feel it’s a fine art form and worthy of being in these kind of shows that only except “fine” jewelry. Do you know if I would be wasting my money and time (I have three little children and limited time and money) trying to get into that show (I can’t find out if they take non-“fine” jewelry there) or other shows that only allow fine jewelry.

    Here is my website if you can take a moment to click on it and look under the category of Vintage Trace Ellements (this is the jewelry I’m referring to).

    I thank you so much for helping me out with this topic and feel free to share it on your newsletter,

    Tracy Ellison
    Trace Ellements Jewelry & Gifts

    Hi Trace,

    Thanks for asking this question that I believe could be asked by many other jewelers in this business.

    The Lakefront Festival of the Arts receives around 1300 applications for 170 spaces. Most art fairs receive more applications in jewelry than any other media. So it is easy to estimate that Lakefront must receive at least 200 jewelry applications, probably closer to 300, at a minimum. In 2007 15 jewelers were selected to participate.

    This is information you can take into account before we even think about your jewelry. Most art fairs with this kind of competition are choosing jewelry that is almost completely hand fabricated, start to finish, with each piece having a one of a kind look.

    To get an even better idea of what it takes to be part of a fair of this caliber visit the Lakefront website and look at the work that was accepted in last year’s show. There is a slide of each artist’s work.

    While you are browsing, visit the websites of other well known art fairs and look at the jewelry that has been accepted. A really good site to look at is the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show because it shows an entire set of jury images for accepted artists.

    All of that intimidating information to the contrary, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You live nearby. What do you have to lose by applying? Only a jury fee of $25-$35 and maybe you will be accepted. No one gets into all the shows they apply for. There is a lot of rejection, but there must be a good reason why many continue to apply. Could it be the promise of a good payday? I think so.

    Best of luck, Tracy. I look forward to seeing you at an art fair soon.

    My Ducks Need to Step Out of Line

    January 23, 2008

    Loved this article by Sherri Winston in the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

    Thanks so much, Sherri, for sharing your enthusiasm for art fairs and the artists showing their work in the sunshine in Florida. It is a great life! Read here for Sherri’s take on whether she should keep her ducks lined up, or be an artist: My Ducks Need to Step Out of Line.

    Call for Artists: Canal Fulton, OH

    January 21, 2008

    Canal Fulton Historical and Art Festival
    Friday and Saturday,

    August 15 & 16
    11 am to 8 pm
    St. Helena Heritage Park
    40 Artists
    Deadline: July 1

    Where is Canal Fulton, OH? Conveniently located near Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Columbus, check it out here. This is year two of the event. The organizer, Dennis Downing, is a trustee of the heritage society, sponsor of the festival.

    Visitors to the event can enjoy a weekend festival of art and history, celebrating Canal Fulton’s historical “canal era” and historical timeline of transportation from covered wagons, canal boats, and trains.

    Canal Fulton is one of the last remaining working canal cities in Ohio with an enriched historical district of over eighty nationally registered buildings and one of four remaining horse-drawn canal boats. This unique festival brings Art & History together: artists, wine tasting, a civil war camp and reenactments, historical displays and lectures, museum tours, live entertainment and more.

    Who should apply to this event?

    • artists with traditional work
    • artists whose work connects with the historical theme
    • artists with work that appeals to families
    • artists who enjoy the ambiance of a themed event

    Please note that the event is held on a Friday and Saturday. The Ohio “Blue Laws” prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sundays and part of the fun of the festival is the presence of three local wineries.

    In the fall, nearby is the ever popular Yankee Peddler show with a similar historical theme, so there definitely is an eager audience.

    Do you live in the region? Have an open weekend? Then you may want to spend it in this lovely community. Expect low booth fees and a good return on your dollar.
    Want to learn more about Canal Fulton?


    To download an application:

    Art Fair News: Belleville, Atlanta & Chicago

    January 18, 2008

    Richard Skelton1. Congratulations to Belleville, IL’s, Art on the Square for being named #1 Art Fair in the country! This just goes to show you what a small community with great support and vision can do.

    “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 from 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.


    2. Big Changes in Atlanta

    Planning on participating in the Dogwood Festival or the Atlanta Arts Festival in Atlanta, GA, this year? I’m sure you have heard about the severe drought in that city. Those festivals and others use the city’s Piedmont Park as their venue. Here’s the news:

    On January 9, the City of Atlanta summoned the organizers of the city’s five large festivals to a meeting to announce that, due to the effects of the current drought in Georgia, all city parks, including Piedmont Park, and the adjacent streets, will not be available for large festivals until the drought ends.

    To read more about this story visit the Atlanta Journal Constitution site.


    3. Art Chicago announces purchase of Toronto fair

    Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. continues to expand rapidly in the art exposition business, acquiring an international contemporary art fair in Toronto even as it prepares for an expanded Art Chicago this spring.

    The Chicago-based Mart announced Monday that it has bought the Toronto International Art Fair, a contemporary art exposition founded in 2007 and held each October. That fair, which had been owned by Universal Fine Arts Expositions Inc. of British Columbia, last fall drew 110 exhibitors and about 18,000 visitors.

    The Mart also co-owns a new fair for emerging contemporary art, called Next, that is to debut here this spring as a satellite show to Art Chicago. The Mart also produces two other Art Chicago satellite shows, the International Antiques Fair and an exhibition of independent artists called the Artist Project.

    The Artist Project, produced by the same people who present the One of a Kind Show, is a new opportunity this Spring for you to expose your work to an international clientele. If you haven’t checked this out yet visit the website: