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Marge Luttrell

Show Name: Coconut Grove
City and State: Miami, Fla.
Your Medium: 2D mixed media
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2013
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 2-3 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 5 (great)
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Good
Estimated Attendance: 10,001-50,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Please let me preface this review by saying that this was the first time I did this show since 1985, so I can't speak for the last few years as I heard rumblings of unhappiness with the promoter of the show. I have nothing to compare it to. It was an amazing show in 1985 and by all rights from what I saw, it still is. Load in was very well organized, even though it was raining, we were still able to pull up on the curb opposite our booths and unload. It was a really easy load-in that was well organized. Next morning was clear and a little bit cool which brought out the crowds in full force.Miami apparently loves any chance to wear their boots and winter cloths. I have probably done over 25 shows in the last few years so I am still pretty new, but I have never, ever seen crowds like that. It was exhilarating, and people were buying-saw many bags being carried out and also large work. The show provided a great breakfast and a very nice lunc h everyday which was appreciated but also there was lots of food vendors if you were so inclined. There wasn't any bargaining, like at the show the week before (Boca Raton), it was so nice being where the crowd was art savvy but also appreciated what we did and that we are trying to make our living. Those of us that volunteered at inner city schools during the week before the show received a beautiful, very large ribbon in our check-in packet. Many people were drawn to our booths, thinking we were award winners-that was a first, and even though I explained to buyers what it actually was for, I have to say it sure didn't hurt the sales. Overall, I have to say that now I understand why it's rated one of the very top shows in the country. It was a pleasure to be there.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Actually, there is not too many things, as a relative first timer, that I saw wrong with this show. The jury process is done by bringing one piece to a central location and leaving it for about 4 hours as it was judged. I don't know how I feel about that, but I guess with so many artists it's an easier way to get the judging done. I think I prefer the vising of booths to actually see the thread and quality that runs through an artist's work. But I hear it has always been done this way. This was the 50th Anniversary of the show and it seemed that everywhere you looked show merch was being sold and since Britto had designed the t-shirt and poster- they were going like hotcakes! One t-shirt for sale was 80 dollars-yikes! Load out was relatively easy-weather was magnificent and if I am lucky enough to jury back in next year, you bet, I'll be there.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Staying in Miami is very expensive. I couldn't find a hotel or motel for less than around $150 per night. I stayed in an AirB&B and it was very inexpensive and I stayed with a family that was exceptionally kind and accommodating. Either join forces with another artist to defray costs or try AirB&B- it was great!

Joel Hunnicutt

Show Name: Coconut Grove Art Festival
City and State: Miami
Your Medium: Wood
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $5001-$10,000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 3-5 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 4
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 4
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Okay
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Good Traffic
Good mix of young and older purchasers, Affluent area

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Load out and parking, High booth fee, large number of artists

Additional Commentary on this Show (or about this form): I have done this show for 3 years and have had consistently good shows.

Traffic is strong, although there are plenty of people just out for a walk, but I have found plenty of buyers in the mix.

This is an expensive show to do. Booth fee, hotel and parking really add up for this one

Marla Baggetta

Show Name: Coconut Grove
City and State: Miami, FL
Your Medium: Drawing
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great)4
Location: 3
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 2
Sales: 2
Overall: 2
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Crowds good, artist hospitality, weather

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Load in and load out unorganized and difficult, too many artists (400), too many music stages (3), too many food and sponsorship booths. No one from show came by to quality control and check booth art against Zapplication.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: This may have been a 'top' show at one time, but from talking to other long time show artists and from my own experience in 2012, I would never do this event again. It is a 'come down and see and be seen' show. Lots of dog walkers, lots of folks with beers in their hands, lots of non fine art booths such as small plants, wedding cake decorating, etc.

Ian Lieberman

Show Name: Coconut Grove Arts Festival
City and State: Coconut Grove, FL
Your Medium: Jewelry
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $10,000+
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 10+ times!
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 5 (great)
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Great organization, easy load in and load out, good artist amenities. artist around me said they had a good show.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: I have no complaints about the show.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Get out front and talk to your customers, don't sit back and expect your art to sell it's self.

Additional Commentary on this Show (or about this form): Parking charge of $30.00 reasonable, it's a charge from the city not the show, close by

Bert Herrera

Show Name: Coconut Grove Arts Festival
City and State: Miami, FL
Your Medium: Photography
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $501-$2000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 2-3 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 2
Overall: 3
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Feed you well, and I like the way they do the judging.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Sales are all over the place, and the costs of doing this show are very high for the return.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Research it well to make sure you can sell enough to make it worthwhile, especially if you're traveling long distances.

name withheld by request

Show Name: Coconut Grove Arts Festival
City and State: Miami, FL
Your Medium: Photography
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 5-10 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 4
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 2
Overall: 3
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: I have done the show for the past several years and generally do pretty well ( for a Florida show ). Last year was better than most, but this year it was down significantly for me and most of the artists I talked to. I agree with the other review that, especially Saturday and Sunday, it is a party/event crowd. Monday's crowd did seem to be more serious and focused on the art. Overall, this show, like most of the Florida shows, has the ability to draw a crowd, but not always one that is interested in buying art. It is still the best Florida show for me, but it always seems to be up and down.

Mary Johnston

This was a difficult show for me this year. First time there (I got off the wait list on Monday before the show and drove to FL) and had heard great stories but that did not equate to sales for me. In fact, it was the only show of the year that I walked out with a '0'! (although I just this week booked a commission from someone I met there...). I almost felt 'out of place'. While I show on black pro-panels, I noticed that painters doing well had extremely 'tall' booths and white walls. I received many, many complements on my work, some people came back multiple times but the sales were just not there for me. The show was well attended, lots of families with kids. Weather for 2011 was beautiful. I just was off for some reason. Did another show in Naples the following week and had a great show. This just was not my weekend..... Also because I came there so last minute my hotel was expensive too :( The people on both sides of me did well but both said it was because of repeat customers from previous years. Would I go again? Maybe but with a different 'look' to my booth. I tried to jury back in this year (although I don't know why I did) and was rejected.

Approved Reviewer; name withheld by request

Show Name: Coconut Grove
City and State: Miami, Florida
Your Medium: Digital Art
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2011
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $10,000+
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 3-5 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 4
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 3
Sales: 4
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Good
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Although it has not always lived up to its reputation recently, I find that my sales and sales for my neighbors were very good this year. Like many shows, sales are still down for many, but it seemed people were more ready to buy this year than in the past 3 years that I have done the show.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
-artist hospitality
-parking
-traffic in the area
-cost of lodging

Amy Flynn & Phil Crone

3D Mixed Media
We had a pretty good show overall, liked the artists and their work, liked the organization, liked the crowd, and we’d certainly come back.

The show seemed too spread out with too many entrances creating a lot of smaller flow patterns without a big cohesive one. I hesitate to say it being new, but maybe too many artists? Lots of sponsor booths also seemed to contribute to the sprawl. We were terrified by the “microburst” of high winds that hit us in the middle of setup on Friday - we didn’t like this part much.

Sales-wise, we did well. Our prices range mainly from $160 to $600ish with a few higher priced pieces and we had sales at all points, but the midrange, $300-500 sold best. Saturday and Sunday were best for us; Monday a little slower. Some other artists around us didn’t do as well. A painter behind us (lowest price $1400) sold nothing all show.

Breakdown went well. We packed the bots, took down the display & tent and getting the van in to load was only mildly irritating (folks blocking access while saying goodbye); we were out in two and ½ hours.

We hope to come back next year.

(See the rest of this review at ArtFairInsiders.com)

Nels Johnson

Photography
COCONUT GROVE ART FAIR--IT AINT LIKE THE OLD DAYS, BUT IT WILL DO.

It was off for most of us. I'd say a lucky 10% of exhibitors had a five-figure show. There were many who barely broke even. For a number--like me--it was ok. I was hoping for more but it just didn't catch on fire. I made good money, mostly out of the browse bins and will thankfully be able to pay off some bills. Being there is still better than a big poke in the eye.

It was a strange show for sales. People did not buy a lot of framed pieces. I saw the occasional canvas-gallery-wrap go by, saw some long horizontals in wood go buy. But most people, when they did have something in their hand,, it was small matted pieces, smaller than 16x20.For the whole show, I sold one 30x36 framed piece, took an order on two others. I sold just 5-16x20 framed pieces. The bulk of the sales came from the browse bins.

This is considered one of the top selling shows in Florida, and yet it felt like just another ordinary show. Most days, when the gates opened at 10 am, the crowd barely trickled in. Setup,teardown can be tough, the booth fee is awful high, Miami traffic is a free-for-all, restaurants are expensive, nobody speaks English,much, and sales can be slim. That said, the show is till worth applying to.

(See the rest of this review at ArtFairInsiders.com)

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