Archive for May, 2008

Artist of the Month: Steve Uren – Woodworker

May 21, 2008

Steve Uren - HutchNorthwoods Rustic Creations

Steve Uren’s work is a natural outgrowth of his love for the woods in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. A lifetime fisherman and woodworker, his original North Woods “lodge” rustic furniture has evolved into sophisticated pieces that are made for a contemporary setting.

He purchases his wood locally, in the Upper Peninsula, whenever it is feasible and economically sound to do so. The wood comes primarily from a local lumber mill that is a certified “green” harvester, because, as he says, “They utilize sustainable harvesting practices which is incredibly important to us – this is our home and our woods that should be here for generations to come.”

Steve is always happy to incorporate a search for wood into a fishing trip to one of the many streams or lakes in the area. Some past customers have asked that we salvage wood from their property to build a piece of furniture for them.

Read more about Steve and his work at:


Call for Artists: Beckman’s Handcrafted Show

May 21, 2008

Nate and Hollie EvansBeckman’s Handcrafted Show
Crafted by Hand. Inspired by Passion!

Chicago Merchandise Mart
Chicago, IL
Exclusively at Living and Giving: The Chicago Market
Deadline: Open

Featuring an extensive collection of artisans and handcrafters, Beckman’s Handcrafted Show offers an exclusive array of distinctive, cutting-edge works to the wholesale retail buyer.

Exclusive to The Chicago Market: Living and Giving, Beckman’s is a “Meet the Artist” show, encompassing everything from mixed media to functional art and home décor, fiber and fine jewelry, delicacies to tempt the palette and traditional country craft-retailers will truly see a little bit of everything!

Tap into the lucrative audience of the Midwest-and beyond! Help the community of retail buyers understand the quality craftsmanship and passion behind each piece, while taking your work to the next level-participate in Beckman’s Handcrafted!

Have you been considering participating in the wholesale marketplace? Are you ready for the largest market in the Midwest? Then this may be the place for you:

  • 91 percent of retail buyers, who come to Market, place orders!
  • More than 80 percent of our exhibitors believe that The Chicago Market is the best way to reach Midwest buyers and service customers they do not see at other Markets.
  • 88 percent of buyers believe that traveling to Chicago is more cost effective than traveling to other markets.
  • Capture the buying power of the Midwest’s best accounts!

To learn more about Beckman’s Handcrafted Show, visit

“How Do I Find My Niche at an Art Fair?”

May 21, 2008

I am going to be out of the country for the next couple of weeks and hoping that some of the artists in this group can answer Julie’s question below.

Birmingham, Michigan, Art Fair

Hi Connie,

After finding your niche in the art fair world, do you have any tips for getting accepted by juries. I think my work is very good, but many local art fairs are not accepting my work. I can’t travel yet–the overhead is too much for that now.

Thank you for any guidance.

As many of you know, Julie is posing a universal question that artists wrestle with throughout their careers. I know you have many good answers for her. Would you help her out by posting your good advice in the comments section below?

Reader says, “Help, I’m Looking For a Jeweler”

May 21, 2008

David Smallcombe jewelrySince I posted this question in Sunday’s newsletter I’ve gotten some good answers.

Hi Connie,

I am looking for this fabulous goldsmith, Giffen Douglas? I just came back from the Sunfest -WPB, and met another goldsmith whose work was similar, but not close he said he new of Giffen and he was at this show. anyway to contact him? I saw his work almost 3 years ago at Cocoa Beach, and could kick my self for not buying this ring. I would love to contact him & find out what show he will be at next, or contact him about making me something or seeing what he has. Please help me.
Julie Taylor

Thanks, Lisa Infantes, for this reply:

I googled the name and found this contact #

Giffen Douglas Designs, Main & Highland Ave, Stowee
Tel. 802-253-5000 Open Thurs-Fri eves., Sat afternoon, & by appt. Fine Art Jewelry Gallery

And here is another answer:

Hi Connie,

Giffen used to belong to the Vermont Handcrafters but I didn’t see him at the annual show this past november. The person looking for him might want to contact VHC and see if they have a forwarding address.

Good luck!
lisa cutler

two son jewelry

Thanks to both Lisas for this info. Julie, I hope you find Giffen!

Call for Indie Art Show: Philadelphia-June 13-15

May 19, 2008

Tiberino Memorial Museum of Contemporary Art

3819 Hamilton Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Be involved and share your art in a beautiful space!
The show is free to everyone!

To participate ..

If you are looking to vend/sell your work, the cost of a space is $20 per day per space. All artists wanting to participate must have at least one piece of artwork to donate for a collaborative wall montage that will be assembled on the morning of the 13th and will hang for the entirety of the show. Anyone who wants to hang their work themselves or wants to help with the construction of the wall piece is of course welcome to do so; just call me.

All pieces you are hanging must be for sale, signed, and titled. If a piece you donate for the wall montage is sold, you will receive 50% of the price. The full profit from any other pieces sold goes to the artist. At the end of the show, all unsold work will be returned to the artist.
If you are a musician, performance artist, film maker, DJ etc., we want you to be involved as well. It would be a nonpaying gig as the show is free to the public; we offer you dinner, an awesome space to perform, an audience, free promotion and a discount, determined by the individual artist/seller, on all artwork that is for sale at the event. If you would like to perform, you must email or call me ASAP as it is first come first serve.. I need names and confirmations as quickly as possible so as i can construct the other half of the flyer.


We are basically open to all ideas, so get on it kids.

Much love,

K. Miles (828) 423 -6999

Popular Event; Low Booth Fee – A Winner For You?

May 19, 2008

Centerville, OH

Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-blue-moon opportunity
to show and sell your art at a discounted rate.
July 4, 2008.

“Art with Attitude” wants support local artists (emerging and accomplished) by encouraging you to “come out of the basement” and sell your work in a professional venue at a significantly reduced booth fee of only $50.00. The jury has agreed to also support this show by waiving their jury fee. This offer is good for the 2008 show only. All fees go up in 2009. Booth space has been made available to those that do not have a tent or want to partner with another artist.

Deadline Extended

Due to the increasing number of applicants, we’ve opened up extra space within Benham’s Grove to accommodate this demand and have extended the deadline to Wednesday, May 28.

Not sure where to start?

But you want to promote your art and get your name out to the public? Americana Festival has over 75,000 visitors each year. For set up help see the attached slide show.

You may also email or call Christine Allen, chair of “Art with Attitude” with any questions, concerns, or comments

If you cannot participate this year but want to support the arts in our community, you may pledge your donation by calling the Americana Festival office at (937) 433-5898 or mail donations to : Americana Festival, Inc., P.O. Box 41794, Centerville, Ohio 45441-0794. The art community thanks you in advance for your support.


Christine Allen
Americana Festival
“Art with Attitude”
(937) 434-4252
(937) 232-3763

This Weekend at the Art Fairs: May 17 & 18

May 17, 2008

Here’s a great lineup of places to enjoy the outdoors and some cool art happenings:

1. Mission Viejo, CA – The 10th annual Fun with Chalk Art Festival features the Italian style street painting as asphalt surfaces are transformed with chalk and paint. There will also be live entertainment, music, strolling performers, hands-on programs and children’s art workshops. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. May 17 and 18. Free. Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veteran’s Way, Mission Viejo, CA, 92692, (949) 470-3062

2. East Lansing, MI – East Lansing Art Festival – May 17 & 18

There’s art, music, food and (sometimes) sunshine. And it’s all free – at least until you buy the art or order the food. Now the 45th festival opens Saturday. There are no weather guarantees – early predictions have scattered showers – but the rest is upbeat,

There will be 239 booths for artists, plus an “emerging artist” area for five more. These are professionals, chosen by a jury. A separate show, at Michigan State University, is unjuried.

To read the rest of the article:

Also read Anne Holman’s blog to learn about the ELAF from an artists viewpoint:

3. Belleville, IL, Art Fair on the Square: May 16-18

The Belleville fair has soared to #1 in the country beating out veteran fairs such as the Sausalito Art Festival in California and the … St. Louisans have the opportunity this weekend to attend what one guide to juried art-and-craft fairs calls an exemplary event.

read the rest of this story:

For even more about Belleville visit this link in the International Herald Tribune. A joke on me!

4. The Art of Craft, Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT: May 17 & 18

The crafts festival is an outgrowth of the Bruce Museum’s annual fine art festival held each fall. The large number of craftspeople applying for the fine …

read this story at:

Last Weekend’s Art Fair (Weather) Report

May 17, 2008

Birmingham art fair in MichiganBeing in the Detroit area last weekend I could not resist attending the Spring Birmingham Art Fair. As I walked from the parking garage I met many people leaving carrying packages, a truly happy sight!

It was great to see many old friends:

Michael Kifer
Annette Morrin (I saw you Annette, but you were busy with a customer)
Ed and Carole Schmidt
Barbara Krupp
Carlye Crisler
John Booth
Bonnie Blandford
Allan Teger
Linda Chamberlain
Mike Barnes
and many, many more.

It was also a pleasure to meet face-to-face ‘online friends’ Jim Parker and Kevin Kaye. I went late on Saturday, it was a lovely day and I heard that there were good crowds most of the day with some happy artists. However, when I went back on Sunday in the pouring rain it was sad to see the show had been called because of the weather. The artists, however, were stoically packing up and heading home.

In case you are interested the reports on the event ran the gamut from “great sales”, “I love Birmingham” to “what was I thinking?” In May, after the winter layoff, artists are so eager to show their work and get started on the season. It is really disappointing when the weather doesn’t cooperate. This event has seen a fair share of beautiful days as well as an infamous year when there was snow.

Disaster at St. Louis Art Fair:
I also have a report on the Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair in St. Louis, MO, last weekend from artist Dolan Geiman.

Dolan and his partner, Ali Walsh, suffered great losses from a storm that came through during the night. They arrived at the park on Sunday morning to find their tent with its feet up in the air. Their entire display was destroyed, along with some of the artwork, as well as that of many other artists.

For more information and to see the damages visit Dolan’s blog:

Safety in bad weather at art fairs is always a source of anxiety for artists. Dolan and Ali were aware there was a storm on the way and had taken precautions, but it still wasn’t enough.

Here are precautions we always took:

  1. a sturdy tent – we preferred the Majestic made by KD Kanopy, a hefty 45 pound tent that had strong braces. A lot of artists buy Craft Huts, we didn’t because we did not want to be putting all those pieces together. We also liked the good light that came through the KD on overcast days.
  2. each leg of the tent had 40 pounds of weights, weight bags that we bought from a cinematography supply
  3. if we were on grass we ran a rope from the top of each leg and staked it into the ground with coiled dog stakes
  4. if bad weather was predicted, at the end of the day we would pack all framed work back into its boxes and make sure none of it was on the ground, wrap it in tarps and then use ties to wrap around the stack and fasten the ties to the tent

Also we carried a weather radio to stay on top of developments. We only packed up early once and left, when we were at Brookside in Kansas City and tornadoes were heading our way. We got out in time, but people who stayed had a heck of a time packing and practically got blown out of town.

Call for Artists: Rochester Hills, MI

May 7, 2008

Fine Art at the Village
August 2 & 3
The Village Shopping Center
Saturday – 10 am to 8 pm
Sunday – Noon to 6 pm
100 Exhibitors
Deadline: May 31

The Village of Rochester Hills is THE place where the residents of Oakland County (the U.S.’s third wealthiest county) love to shop, stroll and dine. This art fair was developed a few years ago by Donna Beaubien, herself an exhibiting artist, but also an experienced fair producer. She provided the impetus for the Fine Art in Birmingham many years ago and has several other events in her resume.

When this upscale shopping area was built recently Donna knew it was the perfect location (just the right demographics) for an art fair and she has been a part of it ever since, taking over sole management two years ago. She knows what artists need and does her best to provide it.

The event is held twice a year making this a great place for you to establish a clientele who loves to shop and comes here to do it. Questions? Donna will be glad to answer them. Call her at 248-689-8734; or email her:

Visit the website and download the application:

Interested in learning more about this affluent location?

Learn How to Create Better Paintings with Peggy Brown

May 6, 2008

Painting by Peggy BrownYou know how it is when you hear from an old friend. Us old art fair folks have lots of friends who have retired or go on to do other things, so I was very pleased to hear from painter Peggy Brown last week. I’m sure a lot of you remember her and her husband, Jim, one of the original art fair couples.

Over the years we had lots of fun together traveling across the country to art fairs and rendezvous on the interstate in Missouri and Tennessee and we’d celebrate Peggy’s birthday at the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival.

Recently Peggy was interviewed for an article and it was featured on this very cool website:, and she wrote to send me the link. Not only was it great to see her newest work, but also the web site was very intriguing. It is a subscription-based site for painters of all levels are striving to improve their work. There are step-by-step stories on how painters do their paintings, tutorials, and many great ideas for learning and networking.

The webmaster agreed to let me share the login information for free for the month of May. This is a very impressive business and a wonderful resource for artists.

Here is the information:Peggy Brown
1. Start by going to
2. Click on the Member Log-in link in the lower left-hand corner
3. On the Member Log-in page, input this e-mail address:
4. Input this password: mayguests (all one word, no caps)
5. Click the Login button
6. At the top of the new page, click the link Go To Website Home Page
7. Back on the home page, please click any link to any article of your choice

If you experience any difficulty logging in to the site, please contact the editor, Jennifer King, at Please do not request a new password, as this will re-set the password and lock out all other guests.

And, if you’d like to see more of Peggy’s work or send her a greeting visit her site: