About 8 years ago I joined a group of Artists getting ready to start a tour of their studios. It turned out to be an incredible experience. Prior to that, I was doing Festivals and Art shows to get my work out to the general public. Some shows were great and others drew people interested in having a free festival experience complete with music. In other words–“Looky Loos”.
Whether a show is labeled Art or Craft, the quality can vary wildly. If a show is juried it still may simply be about collecting fees rather than meeting a certain standard. Fairs are often interested in filling the space rather than quality. Be aware that on some shows you could end up having your Fine Art booth next to imports from China.
I also learned that it is a lot of work to haul around all the “stuff” you need to set up a booth, not to mention the Art to put into it. You can learn a lot about what people like about your work by being involved in an outdoor Art show, so I would encourage everyone to try it. It would be wise to preview the show for participation the next year to see how it looks and feels. Now I am very careful about the shows I do, choosing to do only one or two shows a year outside my studio.
We open our studios in the area of Beavercreek, Oregon twice a year, in June and October. We have so much fun doing it and people really enjoy seeing the studios where the artists do their work, that I have continued to do that as one of my recurring shows each year. I guess it goes without saying that people who are driving to a group of Studios to see Art are more committed than people who attend an “Art Fair”.
So, if you are in the area June 15-17, 2012 go to Open Studios of Beavercreek and download a map to attend.
See you there and Keep Making Art.