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John Lamar

Medium: Metal
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2016
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $2,001-$5,000
Price Range of your Work: $25 - $1,800
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show:
5-10 times
Number of Years You have been doing Art Fairs overall:
Forever...
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 1
Location: 4
Facilities: 5
Ease of Participating: 5
Sales: 3
Overall: 3
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Okay
Estimated Attendance: 501 - 10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Artist amenities are great. Load in & out is very easy.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Music so overpoweringly loud that customers did not want to even come in many artists' booths because conversation was impossible.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
Request the Walkway for booth location. It will help avoid the loud music in the other area.

Seems like fewer artists this year. They extended their application deadline to Oct. 1st for a show taking place Oct. 7-9, but only had about 65 artists.

There is no final list of artists on their website, so it is hard to count. Like many shows they were a bit high on jewelry, around 23%.

The URL of your profile on ArtFairInsiders.com.
http://www.artfairinsiders.com/profile/JohnLamar

Heather Holland-Daly

Medium: Jewelry
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: 3-5 times
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 3
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 4
Sales: 4
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Good
Estimated Attendance: 501-10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
When the weather is good, this is a great show. The good news is in Southern Illinois (St Louis Metro area) this weekend in OCT is often lovely fall weather. Only one year did I feel weather played a big part in making it an unsuccessful event.

The artists are treated well. The prize money is generous, and the arts council does a great job of promoting it.

They have "funny money" pre sold money that promoters sell prior to the show, that customers pre buy to guarantee sales at the show. So, You get this monolpoly looking money throughout the weekend that you cash in Sunday at show close. I have always had several of these sales.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
The artists involved are not always perfectly placed. They have a mixed media category which is kind of a catch all category to fill booth spaces.

Seems like there is a lot of vendor turn over.

I do pretty well at this show, but I sell a LOT of $20-$30 items. Every time I am next to a vendor who has higher end items, they sell very little, or nothing. I have had the best of show vendor next to me three years in a row (different vendors) who sold nothing all weekend. The Best of Show prize saved their weekend from being a bust.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: If you are in the St. Louis metro area it is a no brainer to at least try.

Kathy Czopek

Show Name: Art in the Park, Highland IL
City and State: Highland IL
Your Medium: Painting
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2012
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: < $500
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 5 (great)
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 5 (great)
Sales: 3
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Okay
Estimated Attendance: Not really sure.

Good Things about this Art Fair:

• Well-organized fair, helpful volunteers, concise information provided to accepted artists.
• Perfect access for loading and unloading: pull up to booth. Generous schedule for setup. Plenty of help on hand.
• Ample storage space behind booths on edge; some booths back-to-back in middle of fair had limited storage.
• Generous monetary awards.
• Reasonable perks for artists (meals, helpers, etc)
• Children's Art Program draws families, and after the kids make their project, they seem to take more interest in the artists' work.
• A reasonable amount of "extras" for the crowd: live music, a few food booths... but not so much that it overwhelmed the art presence.
• Great community support and advertising; I saw this fair on billboards, on TV, in the newspaper, etc.

Bad Things about this Art Fair: Rules not uniformly enforced:

• Some artists placed easels, etc outside of booth & impeding traffic to others.
• An artist showed up just 30 minutes before opening (hours after setup window) and set up a table to sell his work... with no lights. In the dark. He dragged his table out into the walkway for light.
• Several artists filled booth's walls with both prints and originals, rather than confining prints to a bin. At least one had misleading signage concerning which were originals.
• Some "art" of questionable provenance; jury could improve research on artists before acceptance.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show: Deadline for applying was extended; spots were still available a few weeks before the show. This may seem to be a red flag; however, artists appeared to be reasonably juried. Some crafty/production work, some fine art. Perhaps St. Louis-area artists don't realize how close this is; there were no other big area shows that weekend.

Sales were good for some, not as good for others. (Don't judge the show by my sales; I'm still working out which body of work sells best well, and this was a bit of an experiment for me). High-end photographer sold very little; 2D fine artists sold prints but not many higher-priced originals. Traditional, nostalgic, & functional work sold best (coffee mugs, photo prints of local sports stadiums, jewelry, small fabric items, prints of drawings of local landmarks).

Additional Commentary on this Show: Friday night is exclusively for patrons who have already committed $100 or more in purchases. It was a very small crowd. Several bought jewelry and textiles; I didn't see anything else sell Friday on my end of the fair. The 2012 show was marked by extraordinary weather. Strong winds took down some tents Saturday night, and more came down Sunday (the wind took them, or the artists chose to pack up). At least a third did not stay for the whole show. Staff was considerate and accommodating with artists who wanted to leave, as well as those who stayed. The artists who remained Sunday had better crowds and sunshine, but high winds continued, and the rain came right at tear-down time.

Many locals say this about the Highland art fair: "Belleville (Art on the Square) is nice, but too expensive for me. In Belleville we look and eat, but in Highland I can actually buy". It's a happy crowd, and the folks want to buy, but go for lower-priced items than at the top-tier fairs. Artists should consider this when thinking about applying.

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