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from the other side of the art fair

updated wed 13 oct 04


Gail Phillips on tue 12 oct 04

Hi, all -

Wayne said I should post this:

I have been trying my hand at some local fairs that were incorporated =
other events, i.e., city festivals. Two weekends ago, I did the Franklin
Fall Festival, south of Indianapolis, and made a grand total of $13. Too =
the booth fee was $30. The organizers stuck all of the flea market/kit =
on the main drag, and stuck me behind a building in a parking lot, =
between a
Greek pastry seller with over-sugared little children and a little =
parties organizer (pink/purple/glitter/mylar/hair updos/face painting), =
across from the Frankiln Shooting Sports Club =
booth. Near the yellow-jacket filled dumpster, too. I found out later =
that I
was the only person there with handmade anything. Whee.

This past weekend, I did the Martinsville Fall Foliage Festival. After =
overcast no-sale Saturday, I returned to a sunny but brisk Sunday, =
for better results. No sales on Sunday, either. What a washout waste of
time, almost.=A0 I got some names for my mailing list, and someone wants =
ceremonial cup for birthdays, which I will try to make. Steve, the
photographer next to me, only sold one small matted print for $15 on
Saturday and nothing on Sunday. I guess the new rule is: If you are =
enough to see the Tilt-A-Whirl sign, you are in the wrong venue. Go =

Once again, the booth fee was $30, which was not well spent. All of the
weird flea market/carnival crap was on the main streets, and the artists
were stuck in places not easy to spot for customers.
While trying to pack my car on Sunday, one of the fair organizers made =
move my car farther away, saying that if I was parked where I was, =
would want to be in there, and there wasn't room (it wouldn't have been =
of a convenient spot for many vendors, so I don't see what he was on =
After I moved my tiny car another 25 feet away, three more people pulled
in=A0with vans and SUVs where I was originally, and no one kicked THEM =
Beware the fair that doesn't assign you a spot, spreads the 'artists' =
all over the place in tiny groups, doesn't offer setup or teardown
assistance, doesn't give you a fairly convenient way to get your stuff =
and from=A0your spot (park 4 blocks away!),=A0and doesn't offer you =
booth relief
for a bathroom break. Also, beware the fair that has someone selling =
string and other crap that kids can throw around and junk up the place.
Sunday morning, I found a horizontal eye-level tear in the plastic that =
had covered the front of my booth with, and a piece of corn-dog coating
inside my booth. Sigh. Nothing appeared to be missing, so I guess it =
have been worse.

Hopefully, a home open-studio event will have better results. That's =

Still pluggin' away,
Gail Phillips, Praying Mantis Pottery (.com)

"Sanity calms, but madness is more interesting." - John Russell=A0