Rickie from The Rickie Report stopped by our office the other day to interview Howard about our art festivals, in general.
The interview is posted below:
TRR: What criteria do you look for in choosing a venue?
HA: Our team will go to an area and spend some time visiting the local art galleries, interior designers, museums, hotels and shops. We find that art show afficiandos like to incorporate our events as a “stay-cation”. We need to get a feel for the community, taking into consideration its own flavor and taste, before we can bring in artists. If the area is contemporary or more nature-oriented, that will affect which artists we will promote at the show. Our artists travel from all over the country. We want to offer different, fresh work that is affordable to the community and at the same time be saleable. Our number one goal is to take of the artist.
HA: We are also growing and diversifying. A number of surprises are in the works! Also, you notice there is no music program at our shows. We feel it takes the attention away from the artists who are showing their work. We want the artists to be able to interact with the attendees with no distractions.
TRR: Tell us more about the exhibitors.
HA: This may come as a surprise, but the average age of the exhibitor is 63. These are people who work very hard. Many of them had former careers and gave up the security of a regular pay check to do what they are passionate about. We are very proud to offer “handmade in America” products. About 20-25% of the exhibitors in each show are new to the show. Our artists’ following is very loyal. There are some artists who follow us around the circuit for the season.
TRR: Each show is juried. Artists must send photos or videos of not only their work, but of them working on their pieces of art. Tell us about the jurying process.
HA: We have an independent group of judges who are knowledgable about their particular art area. We strive to keep everything in our shows handcrafted. Do some things slip by? Yes. But, it is rare. When we are putting a show together, we also look at categories. Typically, 45 out of every 100 applications is for jewelry. That category is only 20% of each show. We want diversity to not only be fair to the exhibitors, but to keep the shows fresh for the attendees. With the advent of the zapplication www.zapplication.org there is increased competition to get into a show.
TRR: Have you met any particularly innovative artists?
HA: I live in an art show! Event posters decorate the walls of the offices, along with unique pieces like the British telephone booth; the vintage gasoline pump, and other sculptures.
TRR: What tips would you offer an artist/artisan who has never done a show?
HA: Know your audience! If you have not sold anything over one season, it is time to reinvent yourself. Fresh work and good quality emanates no matter how large or small your work is. Consider your display very carefully. It needs to be aesthetically appealing. It is not enough to put objects on a shelf or hang artwork on a wall. Talk to your potential buyers. Tell them what inspired you to make what you are selling. Have professional business cards and a sign-up book to capture email addresses so you can contact them when you are going to be in the area in the future.
TRR: Note to TRR readers – see archives and more helpful hints in article posted 09/25/11.
Thank you, Rickie for stopping by our office! She is always writing about what’s going in the art world in Palm Beach County – you can check-out her site HERE. You can also continue reading the interview HERE.
If you have any questions about this post – please don’t hesitate to contact us at 561-746-6615 or firstname.lastname@example.org.