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Brenna

Overall, the art festival was a fun show/ event. I, like quite a few others, came to the art show more than once considering how much the event had to offer and the fun location.

Much of the art seemed unappealing to my eye, but it could have been the heat and watching poor little dogs nearly suffer heat stroke as their owners brought them out. I feel that art shows are a hit or miss, for artists and the buyers. Personally, here's what REALLY popped out to me (pardon me as I do not recall the names of the artists).

1. Punched/printed jewelry bracelets with hilarious phrases! At $28, it was too much for me. I would have paid $15, or $20 tops. The artists were not engaging with customers. So.....you end up walking on.

2. Dogfish prints of MN, etc. They had a nice crowd over the weekend! Affordable, yet unique.

3. Fairy garden houses, bright colors and art for outside! The art was expensive, but unique! A nice crowd they had all weekend.

4. Prince, Amy Winehouse, Bob Dylan print art. VERY cool. Now, this is a really neat style of art. I'm not sure of the prices, but the artist probably did fairly well!

5. After you pass under the Stone Bridge, where the food and entertainment was, there was a guy selling Steampunk/vintage style lights/lamps/bases. VERY COOL. He seemed attentive and I almost regret not inquiring about one!

6. I forgot to mention the leather journals, near the beginning of the stroll. They were very cool looking, but the people/artists working the tent looked a bit busy and there were no prices. They could have used some extra help with answering questions etc to the buyers as there were quite a few people looking, but nobody really seemed interested after standing there for a few minutes without being greeted.

There was beautiful art at the festival! All different types, from classic pottery to new modern prints, and everything in between. When comparing a few particular art festivals I have been to, this one being included, the main differences were the artist greeting customers, selling art that has a unique technique/style, and if it is a traditional form of art, to just hang in there because this art show seemed to attract a different type of crowd!

Overall, a great time was had by most it seemed!

Lawrence Sawyer

Medium: Photography
Year you most recently exhibited at this Show:
2015
Your Estimated Sales at this Show: $500
Price Range of your Work: $35-$2000
Number of Years You have Exhibited in this Show:
2-3 times
Number of Years You have been doing Art Fairs overall: 2-3 years
Attendance: (1 is poor, 5 is great) 4
Location: 5
Facilities: 4
Ease of Participating: 5
Sales: 1
Overall: 3
Booth Fee vs. Your Sales Ratio: Poor
Estimated Attendance: 10,001-50,000 people

Good Things about this Art Fair:
Zapp application is easy enough. Jurying in is pretty easy. In other words, there's not a ton of demand from really high-end artists, and the jury philosophy is far from snooty. They welcome most anyone with decent work.

As far as set-up goes, on the main drag, you can darned near pull right up to your booth. Ample room on Main Street to pull up very close to your booth spot, if not smack dab in front of it.

Location: Theoretically, the location is perfect. A huge park, hundreds of yards long, on the scenic riverfront in downtown Minneapolis. Neighborhood condos house thousands of people with some level of disposable income.

High density in the immediate area as well. Crowds are invariably good if the weather is good. This location is within walking distance for many thousands of people.

Bad Things about this Art Fair:
The bad news is, this is an out-for-a-Sunday-stroll crowd. Nearly everyone.

The weather for the entire weekend in 2015 was perfect, the crowds were huge, and I sold nearly nothing.

I saw very few pieces being carted away, and the artists (and craftspeople...and there are plenty) I talked to said the same thing. Sales were slow.

On paper, this makes little sense, relative to the demographics of the area. But once you see and experience this location in an upscale urban area, it does start to make sense. Many of these people are single and art on the wall means nothing to them; or they are young with new families and can't afford art for the walls; or they're retired, they've sold their house in the 'burbs, and brought art with them when they moved into a condo on the river.

Buyers here are impulse buyers of small things that cost little...because these people are just out for a Sunday stroll to look at all the cool stuff. If they buy, it's on a whim and they're not spending big $$. There are exceptions of course.

Advice to Other Artists Considering this Show:
If you want any chance at all of selling here, have a huge selection of low-priced items. I mean, like $35 tops. For many artists (me included) this will mean "no thanks".

And even then, even if you do have a good selection of inexpensive stuff, you still have to recognize that mostly, buyers are just grabbing something that appeals to them and doesn't cost much. That's the crowd.

Additional Commentary on this Show (or about this form):
The woman next to my booth was a painter and sold all originals, at prices from $75-$1500. She felt the same way I did: not a great show. She was surprised, given the size of the crowds. Guy to my other side had small monochrome prints of nature scenes in simple barn wood frames. Very little over $50, and tons of items in the $25-$40 range.

Same deal for him: not a great show. It's kind of depressing because the location is great, the setting is great, the crowds are great, but really solid sales will be hard to come by at Stone Arch.

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

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