Archive for the ‘Artist News’ Category

Art Fair Artist Mary Jackson Becomes MacArthur “Genius”

October 2, 2008

Mary Jackson Preserves Tradition

Readers of this newsletter already know that the artists they meet at art fairs are extremely talented people who push the boundaries of their medium and continue to draw you to art fairs to examine their creativity.

It is with great pleasure to learn that one of our own, fiber artist Mary Jackson, has been chosen by the MacArthur Foundation to receive a $500,000 ‘no strings attached’ grant for her “intricately coiled vessels that preserve the centuries-old craft of sweetgrass basketry and push the tradition in stunning new directions.”

Others named as MacArthur Fellows include a violinist, an anthropologist, a music critic, a stage lighting designer and several types of physicians and scientists.

This is a link to an excellent story about Mary Jackson and her art in Crafts Report.

Learn more about the MacArthur Foundation at their website:

Congratulations, Mary! Sure hope we’ll still see you at some art fairs.


Michigan Sculptor’s Work Gets Bit Part in Movie

September 18, 2008

Last winter the state of Michigan aggressively pursued Hollywood to convince them to make some movies in the state. It worked pretty well. “Currently, 20 films described as “anticipated” or “in production” are listed on the Michigan Film Office Web site, and there have been scores of other inquiries,” says Susan Pollack in today’s Detroit News.

It is with great pleasure that I find out that a Michigan sculptor, Tom Crimboli of Eastpointe, has had ten of his sculptures “rented” for use in a movie filming now in Michigan.

“When “Miss January” comes to the silver screen next year, viewers will see Crimboli’s whimsical sculptures in a barn near Ann Arbor that has been transformed into an art studio. Actor Keith David plays a metal sculptor who makes art from found objects, says Lou Trabbie, the set decorator.”

Read the rest of the story at:

Lots and Lots of Art: Art Fair On & Off the Square in Madison, WI

July 12, 2008

This weekend don’t miss the 50th anniversary celebration of Art Fair on the Square presented by the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art on July 12-13, 2008. Located around Madison’s beautiful Capitol Concourse, Art Fair on the Square is a popular summer tradition that regularly attracts more than 200,000 enthusiastic fairgoers.In addition to the displays of nearly 500 artists from across the country, special events are planned to celebrate Art Fair’s 50th anniversary, including live music and a host of free kids’ activities.

One of the Art Fair Insider’s favorite artists, Dolan Geiman, is the featured artist. Madison is an easy drive from Chicago and lots of other places. Here are the rest of the details:

Plus, as long as you are already there don’t miss the Art Fair Off the Square featuring the work of 130 Wisconsin artists only, along King and Monona Terrace and the Capitol. Presented by the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople. More info:

More Reports From the Front Lines of the Storms

July 2, 2008

My thanks to Don Crozier of Best of Missouri Hands for the following information, more fallout from the last week’s storms, in particular the Omaha Summer Arts Festival:Omaha Summer Arts Festival

From Bari Precious:
Dearest Friends and those who have become friends through your love, I am overwhelmed by your response to my wind water hail storm disaster on Friday. I can only say the sight of soggy pizza having floated in and glued to the broken pots under my devastated tent did not stir my hunger but the vase of wild black eyed susans sitting intact in the middle of the heap of shelves, pots drapes and debris gave me a breath of peace.

Photo by Don Ament

It was an unbelievable mess and I have spent the whole day
washing away the crud happily to find many pieces still intact. My
icestorm teapots from last year were under the bottom shelf and
although the shelves were thrown around and heaped in a mess the
teapots (3) MADE IT.

Thanks for your many offers of tents and equipment but I have one from
Sam and Patty for next week’s show and insurance to cover a new one
following that. If anyone is into mosaics I would be happy to furnish
enough pieces to pave a trail to heaven or somewhere close to it. I
will recover and hopefully create better stuff- though I have said a
few bad words as I discovered some cracks in pots I thought were
pretty fine – “in their earlier lives”- So often I have said, as one
broke. “it’s only mud” well now I am having to eat my words.
Your love, thoughts, prayers and well wishes have gone straight to my
heart- I am humbled
Thank you – I hope to hug you all in the future- love Bari

Theresa Gallup writes that she has been doing shows for 10 years and
has never lost a tent or product. Her garage looks like a wet laundry
room with garments hanging everywhere.

Blenda Marquardt
Hi, Don. Noticed the Omaha information and thought you might be
interested in other members who were also affected.

In the canopy next to Bari Precious, Ken Nelson also lost his canopy
and entire setup. Luckily he was able to salvage enough of his
beautiful wood art to keep going. With the tenacity so typical of our
members, Ken bought an EasyUp and a couple of tables, and, with pieces
of his shelving as his display, he was open for business on Saturday
morning. Yea Ken!!!

Suzette Nesbitt also returned from the storm shelter in the Landmark
building to find her canopy twisted but still standing. Not so good
for her display, propanels and all her jewelry, which was scattered
throughout her booth. After several hours of putting things back
together, Suzette was up and running again on Saturday.

The net loss on Friday night was twelve displays that were completely
destroyed, but many others were damaged. Most artists managed to put
things back together and were up and running on Saturday.

Just to show how unforgiving the weather can be, there was another
storm on Saturday night. They called it a microburst…about three
blocks wide with about 60 mph winds, that lasted about 5 minutes but
took about 6 more canopies. Unfortunately for Suzette, she caught it
again. True to BOMH strength of will, she put it all back together
and was up and running again for customers on Sunday…yea Suzette!!!

There were several other BOMH members at this show including the
Marquardts, the Clements, and Robert Lyall, who had little damage and
were able to keep going.

Kudos to the art show staff and the folks of Omaha. The staff saw to
our safety, helped clean up, and took good care of us in oh, so many
ways. On Saturday and Sunday, there were many folks from Omaha who
had damage at home, or lost their electricity who made a point of
coming to the art fair in support of the artists. Thank you, Omaha.

There is a good discussion about the effects of the storm also at the NAIA artists site.

Free Call-in Teleseminar-June 26: How Do I Get Started in the Art Fair Business?

June 19, 2008

Do you have questions about how to get started in the art fair business?

  • how do I find about the good art fairs?
  • how can I find an art fair that works for me, and is worth my time and money?
  • how do I put together a winning application?
  • how can I get in the good shows?
  • why am I getting so many rejections?
  • what can I do about that?
  • We are pleased to present you with this exciting opportunity to get some sound answers to these questions,

    • Thursday, June 26, 7 pm EST
    • we are hosting a fr*e call-in seminar, #2 in a series
    • discussing the theme of getting started in the art fair business

    As publishers of this newsletter we receive a steady stream of inquiries about how to succeed at the art fairs, and here’s your chance to get those questions answered, for fr*e!

    How To Participate:

    1. What it is: a 45 minute fr*e seminar, a conference call
    2. Who can participate: only subscribers to this newsletter
    3. When: Thursday, June 26, 7 pm EST
    4. How: respond to this email: for call in instructions
    • Email us with your questions. What question would you really like discussed?
    • We will take the best questions and Connie will answer them LIVE on the phone with you
    • Email us to register and submit a question to, OR you aren’t required to submit a guestion
    • preference will be given to the first people who email a question
    • Respond to this email to register your interest and receive the call in number. Do it now so that you receive the call-in number in advance and don’t miss a minute of the discussion.

    The call is not totally free, you must still pay your regular long distance charges to reach the call number.

    What Artists Said About Teleseminar I

    Just wanted to let you know I attended and found it to be time well spent. Please do it again soon.

    Thanks for the opportunity to hear from a professional.
    E. ShanleyGreat job! I enjoyed the teleseminar very much. 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.
    I make jewelry and I wanted to thank you for the teleseminar.

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

    Angie Dresie

    Teleseminar I: 17 Secrets for Success at Art Fairs is still available as an e-book. Visit and click on the link in the upper right hand corner.

    Who is Connie Mettler?

    In addition to publishing this newsletter and its partners the website and the blog, The Art Fair Insider, Connie has traveled the roads of the U.S. for twenty + years with her artist partner, photographer Norm Darwish, doing art fairs. Additionally, she has started art fairs, consulted with art fairs and been art director of others. Her expertise is sure to be helpful to you.

    I look forward to speaking with you on Thursday.

    Artists, I Need Your Help

    June 19, 2008

    I am looking for artists to be featured artist of the month for the upcoming months. Please help me. The requirements:

    1. for June: someone who is participating in either Des Moines, Cherry Creek or Ann Arbor
    2. for July: someone participating in Ann Arbor, Uptown or similar high profile event
    3. or, someone who has a string of smaller shows but is busy exhibiting

    Michigan artists Antoni Kozlowski & Diane Edwards

    The reason for these restrictions is that not only am I trying to give you fr*ee publicity but I am trying to bring patrons to the art fairs, my main impulse in hosting this website: to bring you customers

    What I will need from you:

    1. You must have a website
    2. You need to add the link to that site (there are directions on how to do this on my web site)
    3. A written statement about your work and yourself
    4. Your favorite five images, or access to your website so I can use those

    The sooner, the better!

    Now Get My Updates by Email! Free!

    April 4, 2008

    We’ve just upgraded our services, so now you can get my Art Fair Insider blog updates by email!


    Just click here to sign up – you’ll get future blog entries delivered directly to your email inbox.

    Now it’s even easier to keep up with all the latest from the art fair and craft show community!

    Who Is This Man and Why Is He Waving at You?

    February 13, 2008

    The mystery man is glass artist Ken Pellar from the Detroit area exhibiting at the One of a Kind Show in Chicago in December. We were neighbors of Ken at our first art show in Royal Oak, MI, in 1978!

    Ken is still at it, exhibiting one of a kind mixed media pieces that evolve from one year to the next. He specializes in dimensional glass carving of tables, doors and wall pieces.

    It was great to see you and Dawn in Chicago, Kenny. We hope 2008 is good to you.

    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:

    Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s – A YouTube Video

    December 3, 2007

    Ready for some great music? My friend, photographer Jack Stoddart, sent me this link to a live performance at his art and music festival on his farm in Tennessee last Labor Day weekend:

    If you haven’t been seeing Jack and his wife Lynne quite as often atTim Krekel art fairs it is because they are having a great time with their son Jason and the rest of the family producing twice yearly music festivals on their rural property. The videos of the performances have been picked up by PBS and produced as “Jammin’ at Hippie Jack’s.”

    Visit Jack’s website to see his photos and to start planning to be jammin’ in Tennessee yourself next Memorial Day weekend.