Archive for March, 2008

Art Fair News: Catherine McClung, Howard Alan & More

March 31, 2008

1. Perhaps you have met artist Catherine McClung at an art fair. That is quite likely if you live in Michigan. Even if you haven’t met her you probably have seen her work. Her fine wildlifewildlife painting paintings have been licensed to Lenox china, she has been featured on HGTV, illustrated a children’s book and continues to paint daily.

There was a lengthy article about her this weekend in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press. It tells a familiar story about an artist finding her way one brush stroke at a time. Visit her website: Catherine, and do visit her this summer at the Ann Arbor art fair.

2. There was extensive article about art fair promoter, Howard Alan, this weekend in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. The reporter, Bill Hutchinson, spent a long time talking with Howard and the artists’ forums this weekend have been burning up discussing it.

One of the favorite quotes from the article:

“Artists are very needy people when it comes to business,” he says. “Their left lobes don’t work so good.

“And thank God for that, because that’s where I come in.”

Howard is an enterprising man and his festivals have enabled many artists to establish and continue their careers. Read the article for another view of the art fair business, from the standpoint of a promoter.

As always we are interested in your comments on the article and any other info you want to share with the artist community. Post your comments below.

3. I just discovered this excellent blog about being an artist and planning to begin to exhibit at art fairs: The Extraordinary Pencil where you will find the musings of artist Marcia Robinett.


Tales of an Art Fair Aficionado: Ed Seidman of Chicago

March 28, 2008

I know that many of my subscribers love art fairs and seek them out on their travels2customers.jpg and trade information with other art fair lovers and send me tips also. A couple of years ago I started hearing from a man from the Chicago, Ed Seidman, who has developed his own calendar of art fairs that he distributes to friends.

Thanks Ed, for keeping me on my toes and sharing your list with me.

Here is his story: Ed and Judie moved from the Los Angeles area to the Midwest in 1971 with three paintings and a few ceramic hippos. In addition they brought along one dog and four teenage boys. Over the years the boys and their wives have added 14 grandchildren.

Over time, the ceramic hippos have produced around 300 offspring. Many of them are true pieces of art by known artists. The media includes cloth, ceramic, glass, stone, ivory, silver, clay, jade, wire, wood, paper maiche, etc.

In the mid-eighties we found Door County, Wisconsin, and visit on a yearly basis. We got involved with Edgewood Orchard Galleries. It is one of the finest in the country. Through the gallery and a variety of local Door County artists, we began to collect a variety of media and artists.

We then started attending the local art fairs in the Chicago area. Over the past 20 years we have been putting out an art fair list for a group of four couples. The summer became art fair time and filled up most of the summer weekends. With the help of the Internet, it became easier to track the fairs from year to year. Currently copies of the list are sent out directly to about 40 couples. Each of these forwards the list to as many as ten other people.

We are now at the point where many of the artists know us by sight. Some have made special pieces (like hippos) in their media. It is great to stop and chat with them as old friends. Many we have watched as they had kids and the kids have grown up. Some we have been in contact with when they were ill. It is like being part of a family. Knowing the artists personally, adds another dimension to the art, as we have watched some grow and change their media.

Thanks, Ed, for sharing this story with me and for being what every artist needs: an appreciative audience. Thanks also for doing something else important: sharing this love and bringing your friends to the art fairs. I hope to see you soon at an art fair near you!

Reader, I’d love to hear from you too. Are art fairs an important part of your life also? I’d love to hear about your experiences and loves, hates and collections. Email me: or add a comment below this article.

Destination: Village of the Arts, Bradenton, FL

March 28, 2008

Village of the ArtsNext ArtWalk:  April 4 and 5

Village of the Arts is an old downtown community, three blocks south of the Courthouse. Seven years ago it was inhabited with drugs dealers and hookers. A lot of the property owners had moved out and were renting their places out because the neighborhood was so bad. A couple of the residents were artists and very involved in local arts community and got the idea to clean up the neighborhood and turn it into an artists community.

It started with four or five Galleries (local residents turning their homes into galleries) and a lot of hard work. It took a lot to get the town on board, but it launched a Downtown revitalization program, and got some low interest loans for the artists, and a little matching grant money for the front yards of the galleries. There was rezoning to be done, sidewalks and street lights, etc.

There are now almost 40 Galleries mixed in with a some places that are still private residences, and a lot of artists in the community who do not have their places turned into galleries, but because they are artists they like living in the community. Out of the 40 Galleries, there are two book shops, several writers, three eateries, (the newest a Silican Restaurant with wonderful food), three potters, a sculpture, a couple of jewelers, a cute clothing boutique, leather workers, a quilt designer, water colorists, a frame shop and many more.

The first Friday night and first Saturday of every month they hold an ArtWalk and all the Galleries are open. They also hold other events once or twice a month during the winter season. During the winter months because of the influx of Northerners who come to Florida for the winter they hold more events.

To learn more about this Village visit this link:

Many thanks to Christina Lee of the Lee Shore Gallery for sending me this information.

Edna Hibel Fine Art Fair: April 5 & 6

March 27, 2008

Edna HibelHibel Museum of Art
Across from the Roger Dean Stadium
Jupiter, FL

I am shamelessly copying here the following information by Karen Knapstein in the Antique Trader Blog:

“Returning from New York City only a week after being designated a National Women’s History Month 2008 Honoree, Edna Hibel will greet her many followers and other members of the public at the Edna Hibel Fine Art Fair.

In addition to greeting Edna Hibel and viewing her renowned art, the public will be able to see educational exhibitions featuring the complex art of stone lithography, and the complicated work of putting together an art book.

Edna Hibel, 91, has been painting for over 80 years. She is the only American woman to win the Leonardo da Vinci World Award of Arts. Her paintings, lithographs, serigraphs, and sculptures have been exhibited in more than 20 countries spanning four continents in prestigious institutions, including six national museums.

Admission to the Edna Hibel Fine Art Fair is free, as is valet parking. Directions and other information may be obtained by contacting the Hibel Museum of Art at (561) 622-5560. “

Hibel’s romantic paintings have been reproduced on just about any conceivable consumer product, yet retain their freshness and capture the better side of contemporary life.

Pretty amazing that she is still painting. If you are intrigued as to how this older woman lives this artful life I know you will enjoy visiting this link:

A lifetime of art: Edna Hibel welcomes the opportunity to connect with her devotees.

Visit the Hibel Museum of Art site for more info.

Alternative Arts Market at the Majestical Roof

March 25, 2008

Alternative Art Market

Its a boutique, its a gallery, a studio and a guerilla store, a little bijou with an audacious vision!

Don’t miss this very cool alternative arts market crammed with products designed and created by local artisans under the Majestical Roof Artist Collective umbrella, with over 80 artists and designers represented you can get anything you want….aboslutely no MMP* here (Mass Manufactured Products).

Website for more info: roof

Take Me To The Armory – March 27-30

March 25, 2008

Any chance you can get to NYC soon? Next week sees the opening of the Armory Art Show, but not only that but also “major buyers can choose from a smorgasbord of other activities: panel discussions; tours of the Whitney Biennial; visits to New York collectors’ homes, and separate cocktail parties hosted by the French Cultural Services, the Belgian and Swedish Consulates, and the general director for cultural affairs of the Netherlands,” reports Kate Taylor in the New York Sun.

Please, take me there.

It is certainly a plethora of stimulating art activities. Fabulous as the art may be, many of the prices are beyond the reach of many of us. More reason to visit to find an art fair where you can find “great stuff at great prices.”

Call for Entries: Elk Rapids, MI

March 21, 2008
June 28
3rd Annual Art Rapids!
Approximately 75 Artists
Deadline: April 1

silk-scarves.jpgWhere is Elk Rapids? Visit this link.

Elk Rapids is at the center of some of the most affluent real estate in northern Michigan, on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay, near Charlevoix and Harbor Springs. This area has really blossomed with new homes, golf courses and galleries in the last ten years, making it a desired vacation, second home location, for people from Chicago and Detroit.

Held in Veteran’s Memorial Park, by Grand Traverse Bay in the heart of this charming harbor town. Patrons can walk two short blocks where they will find restaurants, antique shops and art galleries. Elk Rapids already attracts an art-loving clientele the year around.

Patterned after the very successful Charlevoix Waterfront Art Fair, the organizers have planned every detail including: The night before, a reception (appetizers and wine) was held for the artists and volunteers. The next morning volunteers were on hand with golf carts at 5 am to unload artists vans and help with setup. Then the sun came out and the people showed up.

How about these testimonials from artists:

“This was a terrific show, well organized, advertised, and well attended. Glad to be in the show.”

“My compliments to all involved. The art presented was upscale. Very well done.”

“Thanks for selecting fine art (as opposed to crafts). It’s very difficult to find art shows, and if you continue to keep a high standard and accept only fine art, you will get that reputation and buyers coming with the knowledge that it is an art show and they are prepared to spend accordingly.”

For more information and to download an application visit:

Call for Artists: St. Clair Art Fair

March 20, 2008


June 28 & 29
On the shores of the St. Clair River
St. Clair, MI
130 Artists
Presented by the St. Clair Art Association
Deadline: March 31

Where is St. Clair? Click here for this beautiful show location.

You can be the fresh new face at this well managed event. St. Clair is an upscale community south of Port Huron and near Canada. Its residents live in a quiet town along the banks of the St. Clair River. Imagine spending two days in this setting.

Artists may request space in the park:

  1. along the boardwalk & river
  2. along the sidewalk by Riverside Ave.
  3. or under the roofed area or open courtyard of Riverview Plaza across the street from the park

Are you ready for a laid back event with all the amenities of an art fair the way they used to be? This may be the one for you.

Things to like about it:

  • convenient site – easy in and out
  • large booth spaces – 10 x 15
  • small enough for everyone to get a chance to be seen
  • community sponsored
  • artist friendly – you are the reason for the event

Artist hospitality includes breakfast both mornings, booth sitters, postcards, early set up, electricity, professionally judged and juried with prize money.

More information? 810-329-9576.
Applications can be downloaded at: Teleseminar and More News

March 20, 2008

1. Last Thursday I hosted my first teleseminar. I had asked artists to sign up ahead of time and send me their questions. I was overwhelmed with the number of you who wrote me and called in for the discussion. Thank you so much.

Here are some of the comments we received afterwards:

Thanks – it was a very helpful seminar. I had no problems hearing.

I’d prefer seminars with a general selection of questions. I’m at a place where I feel I still need to know something about everything, rather than dig too deep into one subject.
Paul Messink
Turtle Bay Glass

Hi~ I was unable to call in because I had to work…was it recorded for rebroadcast? I really would love to hear the information presented!!
Thank you!

I didn’t realize the timing for the seminar was Eastern time, so when I logged on at 3PM Central time, I missed it. Is there any way for us to get that info — I believe you were recording it?
Thank you so much,
Peggy Sutton

(Several people got confused about the time. Next time we will fix that.)

I make jewelry and I wanted to thank you for the teleseminar.

The best resource information that you gave me was for the PMA craft show. I went to their website and looked at the slide images and that helped me to see where the bar is set for jewelry slides in an art show submittals.

I have been in business for 2 years and have found that getting into the shows is very competitive. From what I understand, jewelry and photography are the 2 most competitive fields for these shows.

I think more helpful information for some of the new comers would be a list of the up and coming new art shows that don’t yet have artists fighting to get in which you alluded to in the teleseminar. Do you think you could provide a more comprehensive list of the newest shows with the most potential? That would be really helpful to new people like me trying to break into this competitive market.

I have already seen that after you are in a show in a lot of cases you can get in the show again the following year after they site jury your booth and see the quality of your work. I think the hardest part for me is actually getting into the shows. I had already found the Sunshine Artist magazine and website and used that as a basis for what shows to submit to in my area. The problem there is that everyone else with a lot of experience is using the same resource.

I did manage to get into the St. James Court Show in Louisville last year. That was the largest show I was accepted into and I also had the best sales there. Now I was already accepted back again this year based on their on site jury system. That system is great once you are in but being on the outside looking in at some of the other shows is frustrating.

Another question I thought of while listening to the teleseminar is: How much in sales should you expect to make over the booth fee? I had heard somewhere that 10 times the booth fee should be a sales target and if you make more than that, great, if not, then reconsider if the show is worth it the following year. Is that a good rule of thumb?

I would love to hear more category specific teleseminars. For me, one on jewelry would be great! Angie Dresnie

Hey Connie,

Great job! I enjoyed the teleseminar very much. As I recall from talking to you at SMC, Scott is your son. How great to have a partnership like that! Both of you did well, gave good information, and were interesting to listen to throughout the program. If you’re considering doing other programs, I’d love to hear one dedicated to photography.

Thanks for including me!


There were many inquiries from people who were unable to join in the call about a recording of it. Yes, we did record the call and we are in the process of transcribing it now. It will be available for sale on soon.

2. Readers, you probably know that this newsletter and website are pretty much a labor of love for me, so it was pretty exciting when I recently received some new signups for the newsletter from Toronto. It seems as though Scott Fox, author of Internet Riches, was on a talk show and was talking about Internet businesses and he used as a good example of a niche business that could be only exist because of the Internet. Welcome, Canadians! And, yes, Scott is my son.

3. In this month’s issue of Corp! (a magazine devoted to business in Michigan) I was interviewed and quoted in an article about how people were building new businesses in our state. Thank you, Francis Lieder, for the good article and the publicity.

4. In Wednesday I attended an Arts Advocacy Day in Lansing, MI. It was a gathering of people working in the arts there to lobby the legislature for more money for the arts and also to enable us to network with one another. Shary Brown from the Ann Arbor Street Fair and I were the only ones there from the art fair biz.

I was very pleased to hear from Eric Cedo (a presenter on doing business Web 2.0 style) that his company,, had used to write a story about art fairs in Michigan. Gee, I hope lots of writers are using it and bringing you the patrons you deserve to the art fairs.

Call for Entries: Bethesda, MD

March 18, 2008

October 18 & 19
11th Annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival
Bethesda Row: Woodmont Ave., Bethesda Ave., Elm St.
and introducing, Bethesda Lane
185 Artists
Deadline: May 31

Where is Bethesda, MD? It is in the heart of the DC Beltway, where you will meet patrons from around the world, an exhilarating atmosphere.

This preeminent urban festival attracts art lovers from the metropolitan Washington, DC, region, displaying the works of a select group of highly creative and talented artists. What makes the event unique is its continuing tradition of free attendance while financially helping kids through NIH Children’s Charities and the Corcoran School of Art + Design. The art fair features juried artists, selected for technique, originality and art quality, showcasing their work in Bethesda, MD’s, Arts & Entertainment District.

New for 2008:

  • Increased media partnerships to boost event advertising
  • Online application & digital jury to ease the submission of applications and images
  • Addition of Bethesda Lane to improve the flow of patron traffic and enhance the event experience for buyers and artists

A bit about our patrons:

  • This year’s show is expected to attract more than 45,000 visitors
  • They come from one of the nation’s most affluent regions, with 40% of households earning $100,000 and over
  • The area is ranked 6th in the nation for the number of households attending arts/cultural events with 38% of households attending arts events and purchasing fine arts

To take part in the jury for this event, please fill out an application or download a copy at

For more information about the festival, please visit the website at, e-mail, or call 301.637.5715.

Have you attended any art fairs in the East? If not, this is a very hospitable event with many patrons where you can find an audience if you have distinctive and sophisticated art. The date should be attractive to artists from the Midwest whose art fair season has ended.

It is always exhilarating to exhibit in a new area of the country and being in Bethesda you find yourself in the heart of the nation’s capital with the chance to meet the people attracted by the proximity of the federal government and its agencies. This festival has excitement and new opportunities for you.

One of the perks of participating in art fairs is that they often take you to interesting places and you bring home much more than income but enriching experiences. To my thinking being in the D.C. area in October with the national elections taking place soon will present you with information and experiences that you will long remember.