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Matt Estrada

Medium: Wood
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show:
2016
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $5001-$10,000
Price Range of your Work: $90-$200
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show:
1st time
Number of Years You have been doing Art Fairs overall: 3-5 years
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5
Location: 5
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 5
Sales: 5
Overall: 5
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
An army of volunteers constantly offering water and snacks.

Fairly easy load in. Unload. Park. Set-up.

Same for load-out. Break down. Load up and drive off.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Long hours. Parking is about 4 blocks away.

If it's hot it really affects the crowds. Mid day Saturday it was in the low 90s and it was almost a ghost town but once 6 o'clock rolled around it really picked up.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Get there early. Especially Saturday. There is a HUGE farmers market downtown and many of those patrons drive over to the show after that.

The URL of your profile on ArtFairInsiders.com.

http://www.artfairinsiders.com/profile/MattEstrada

Ginny Herzog

Medium: Painting
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show:
2015
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2001-$5000
Price Range of your Work: $150 - $6000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show:
10+ times!
Number of Years You have been doing Art Fairs overall: Forever...
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5
Location: 5
Facilities: 5
Ease of Participating: 5
Sales: 3
Overall: 5
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Okay
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Extremely well run show. High quality of art. Great attendance. Awesome volunteers. Easy setup and load out. Good layout and sited around the beautiful sculpture park. Host families.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Often has bad weather - storms and heat - although this year it was perfect!

The huge number of volunteers and staff are there to assist in case of inclement weather. Sales are not always great.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Make reservations early as there are often other events going on the same weekend.

Steven Skinner

Medium: Pottery
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2014
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: < $500
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 2-3 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 3
Location: 2
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 1 (poor)
Sales: 1 (poor)
Overall: 1 (poor)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: Not really sure.

Good Things about this Art Fair:
The citizens of Des Moines get excited about this fair and support the artists in a variety of ways. It feels like a city- wide celebration.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Typically, Des Moines's weather in late June is problematic. This year it was horrendous with heavy winds and rains. Many tent locations face directly into the prairie wind, and are on a street that easily floods.

Compared to 2013, BlackTree Studio had a particularly negative experience this year with the DesMoines Art Festival management and I asked myself: Why? One reason is obvious, and others more subtle.

After completing my tent and pottery installation on Thursday evening (the show opened Fri. morning) I received a call at dinner from a VOLUNTEER to dismantle my tent, rent one of the "authorized" tents for $300, or leave the show.EZ-up tents were no longer allowed, management said, for safety reasons. This was a major request (at least from an artist's point of view and wallet) and should have been made directly by the show's director, Stephen King, especially since he had made exceptions to allow other artists to install EZUP tents. I requested that Mr. King examine my tent as I had intentionally engineered structural additions to secure the tent and protect my pottery in case of wind and inclement weather. The request was refused through a volunteer. I never saw Mr. King.

I removed my tent and rented the so-called approved one; however my decision turned out to be disastrous. The installation crew failed to secure the rented tent's heavy flaps and a gust of wind blew the flaps into my pottery installation which crashed to the ground destroying many pieces. Incidentally, the heavy canvas tent cover did not add one iota of stability to the tent.

That decision by Stephen King not to respond to me as an individual and an invited artist was unprofessional, and disrespectful. It is also unfortunate for all potential artist participants because this art venue's emphasis has shifted from helping the individual artist to primarily promoting and staging an "event". Booths have to stay open until 10pm as a vanity gesture, to make the fair look good while wine, food, and music venues operate, and the artists make very few sales during these hours.

If you're wondering, I packed up on Saturday. Stephen King showed up as I was leaving hardly offering any word of solace. Needless to say, I will not be returning to this show.


Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Don't use any EZ-up tent. Be prepared for inclement weather. The artists who are in this show are the best.

christina towell

I heard this is one of the best shows in the country, do you think so too?

Julie Powell

Show Name: Des Moines Arts Festival
City and State: Des Moines, IA
Your Medium: Jewelry
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: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 4
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 10,001-50,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Beautifully run, great volunteers, great crowds- both in numbers and ready to buy.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Weather- not the show's fault!- Stormy at times, very very hot.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Stephen King is a great show director. Nice party and recognition of artists on Friday night.

Aaron Hequembourg

Show Name: Des Moines Arts Festival
City and State: Des Moines Ia
Your Medium: 2D mixed media
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2011
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $5001-$10,000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 2-3 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 4
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair: Stephen King is as good as it gets, he is a positive force in the industry and completely professional.
Also, layout is very good,I can't think of a bad spot.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Always keep an eye on the weather there.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Weights, Broad range of price points.

Approved Reviewer; name withheld by request

Show Name: Des Moines Art Festival
City and State: Des Moines, Iowa
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) 5 (great)
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 5 (great)
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 4
Overall: 5 (great)
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Great
Estimated Attendance: 50,001+ people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
-quality of exhibitors
-organization and artist hospitality
-sales
-location downtown around sculpture park

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
-Due to dates of show, almost always have to contend with storms. Like last year, they primarily happened after show closed. Can be very hot or stormy.

Amy Flynn

3D Mixed Media
We had a very good show, but once again, Mother Nature proved how much she hates artists. Strong thunderstorms both Friday AND Saturday nights wiped out several artists. For the first time ever, our tent actually moved--slid a few inches south during the first storm, and a few feet during the second.

Setup was as easy as it gets. Streets were wide, there were two days available to set up, and we drove the van right up to the spot. Plenty of space behind booths. No bad locations.

The public came out in force on the first day and sales were brisk. They seemed intelligent and savvy, and NICE! Everyone thanking us for being there! Strong sales again, right up to the last minute, followed by an easy and well-organized tear-down.

I can't say enough nice things about the organizers. They went out of their way to arrange housing for artists in the homes of their patrons.

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

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