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Alyn Federico

2017

I participated in this year's show at Westport, it was an experience.

This year the show was moved from its former location up to the main street. the bad part about that is that instead of having booths on both sides of the street, they had one-row against the curb on one side with a second row out in the street. It appeared as though the booths in the streets made out better, more foot traffic than the sidewalk.

Sales were fair but in no way did it equal the $450 dollar booth fee, not to mention the application fee as well as other expenses.

Parking was easier for some than others, the shops that you set up in front of were open, so most had to park in the Town Hall parking area or fight with the customers for a spot.
Speaking of which, they did have overnight parking in the Town Hall lot.

Sue Brown did a good job of presenting this show, it was well-organized, and the Artists Dinner was killer, the only recommendation that I would make is to have the booths on either side of the road.

Great booth sitters that came around and booked you by appointment, even if you didn't have to go you still got a half an hour to check out the show.

I'll really have to consider whether or not I will do the show next year, the profit vs expense factor did play well this time.

Dolores Fawkes

Very nice show with upscale art, but almost no craft. Seemed that the patrons were interested in the fine art. Saw plenty of 2-D leaving. Not a huge amount of traffic, but the customers who spent money were not at all price resistant. Unfortunately, there were not very many customers. Saturday it rained in the morning and it seemed like the customers were waiting for Sunday, although Sat afternoon was good. Sunday was very hot and it seemed like that kept the traffic to a minimum.
Easy set up and take down. Like the previous reviewer said, it sounds like sales are either great or terrible... Not much in between. Everyone who did it last year said that traffic was way down. I can only guess it was the weather.
I would try it again as my average sale was very respectable.

Carol Joy Shannon

Medium: Painting
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show: 2014
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $501-$2000
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: 4
Sales: 2
Overall: 3
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 501-10,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Beautiful setting in a very upscale environment. This is one of the highest per capita income zip codes in the country. Nice layout with artists well mixed. Lots of painters and photographers; almost no crafts, except jewelers and woodworkers.

Good hours. Relatively good attendance. Saw mention on NYC news station Sunday morning.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
Not enough buyers. LOTS of lookers. Not enough attendance either. Saturday very slow. Sunday better but not enough to really do well. The largest group of exhibitors is across a small bridge from the riverside exhibitors and there are a lot of people who never make it over there.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
There is no gray area to this show. Two painters in our area did 5 figures. MOST artists in our area did 0. Seriously, zero. A lot of artists who were here last year doubled their booths. There were more double booths at this show than I have seen in a single show ever. This was not necessarily warranted. Apparently last year was a VERY good year, with lots of artists doing 5 figures. This year not so much.

There's no rhyme or reason to the sales, either. One high sales artist was local and had local images. The other had very large, pale paintings. Artists who didn't do well were a former prize winner, a fantastic maritime artist, a contemporary mixed media artist, and a very good photographer. I barely made expenses.

Additional Commentary on this Show:
It's a lovely venue and the whole area is pleasant, but it should be a lot better show than it is in terms of sales. The people who run it are great, and want to please, but the way to please exhibiting artists is with sales!

Carrie Jacobson

Show Name: Westport Fine Arts Festival
City and State: Westport, CT
Your Medium: Painting
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: 1st time
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 3
Location: 4
Facilities: 3
Ease of Participating: 4
Sales: 3
Overall: 4
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Okay
Estimated Attendance: 10,001-50,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
When the weather cooled on Sunday, the people came out, and they bought.

Set-up is pretty easy. Take-down is not as easy.

The site is gorgeous, along a tidal inlet with beautiful buildings across the water.

Organizers provided a coupon for lunch one day.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
The brutally hot weather kept people away.

Sales are apparently erratic (see my comments)

Parking is a drag, five blocks away. That's a lot, if you don't have a good memory. Or if you're lazy.

Additional Commentary on this Show:
The Westport Fine Arts Festival seems to be one of the more erratic festivals, sales-wise, in which I've participated.

Two artists whose work I love told me, before this show, that Westport had been their best show ever in terms of sales. By mid-afternoon Sunday, neither had sold anything. One, I believe, ended with a zero show.

The show takes place along a tidal inlet at the edge of a parking lot behind a row of stores on Main Street. There are two distinct areas of the show - at the edge of the parking lot, and on "the Island."
The Island is a second parking lot that's down a short driveway from the main exhibit line. It is shady, but there is little wind there. On a weekend like the one in which this show took place, that meant it was even hotter there than elsewhere. One artist called it the "Island of Hell." However, one of the ones I mentioned earlier had that top sales day on the Island.

Set-up is not difficult in and of itself, though you can't begin to set up until evening (7 p.m., I think) because police have to reroute traffic for the duration of the show. Along the main exhibit line, there is some storage space behind the booths, but no breathing room on either side.

By this time in this very hot summer (July 20-21), people had really had it with the brutal temperatures. The crowds were not what they had been in the past, according to people who had done the show before. And honestly, I couldn't blame people for not coming out. If I hadn't been doing a show, I'd have stayed inside, too. It was cooler on Sunday, and that's really when people showed up and bought.

I had an OK show, selling $1400 at the show, and then selling a $2000 painting over the internet. I sort of count this as part of the show, because the buyer saw it in the booth shot that I posted on my blog the day of the show. The booth fee was $450.

The quality of the work was very, very good - this was another show I felt honored to be included in.
There are lots of kids and dogs at this show. The view across the inlet is really lovely, and I think that counts for something. There's pretty good food, and the organizers provided a coupon for lunch for Saturday (but not Sunday, unless someone missed me). There was a guy miming being a statue (I'll attach a photo), and I found him amusing - but I know some people are a little freaked by stuff like that.

I would definitely do this show again, if I am lucky enough to get in again.

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