|My first booth shot came from an early January mock set-up in my church hall.|
|I always have a photo of me working in the studio to prove that I created all of my linocuts.|
Why would artists choose to do art fairs?
The biggest goal for many artists is to get “eyeballs on their work,” and art fair can do this. The shear number of people attending a festival is multiplicatively greater than at a Friday night art opening. Many of these people come because they like to buy art.
But doing a festival is a complete crap-shoot, entailing a fair amount of physical effort and financial risk. The booth fee can run from $250 up to $1000. If it is an out of town show, the artist must figure in food and lodging, plus gas. And have a vehicle to haul everything.
I only do a few art fairs, mostly within driving distance of my home. They are a great way to meet people who might not go to art galleries. They are also the perfect way to practice talking about art.
Art festivals are a lot like gambling — or as my psychologist husband would describe it, a variable reward system. Many times you have bad weather, or poor sales, or both! But there will be that one time that you sold a big piece or won a prize. It is those occurrences that seem to stick best in your memory, especially in the winter when the applications open for the next spring and summer.
|Sometimes you win! This is me at the Broad Ripple Art Fair several years ago when I won first place.|
So the next time you visit an art festival (maybe the Fourth Street Festival in Bloomington, IN) be sure to say hello to the artist, ask them about their work and thank them for bringing their portable tent gallery to your city. (Maybe buy something!) You will make their day.
P.S. The Fourth Street Festival runs on Labor Day weekend in downtown Bloomington, IN.