Art fairs and art festivals are effective for displaying and selling art to people who do not normally visit art galleries. Artworks are displayed in a more casual setting under a canopy.
You will have an opportunity to interact with people, answer questions, and represent your art in a positive manner.
It is often easy to find local art fairs and festivals to participate in. Look for them in newspapers or community channels. If planning on showcasing at an art fair, apply right away and begin preparations. Read the requirements and rules for the art fair so you will know what to expect.
Preparing a Booth for Art Fairs and Festivals
Here are some things to consider when preparing for an art festival/ fair.
- Art to Display
Make sure there are plenty of artworks of varying sizes to display and sell at the art fair. Consider creating more than is needed, and bring the extras along with you. When an art sale is made, replace it with another.
Consider having a collection of similar styled artworks and frames, instead of an eclectic mix. People will be more inclined to see you as an artist with a distinct style.
- Indoor or Outdoor Art Sale?
Is the festival indoors or outdoors? This can make a major difference to how you prepare for the event. For outdoor art fairs, a tent or canopy is the standard - for protection from rain and wind, and shading from the sun.
- Hanging Paintings
There are many ways of displaying paintings at art festivals, but some work better than others. Think about presentation and accessibility when arranging the display booth.
Paintings look much better attached to a wall than lying on a table. Many artists use folding room dividers with hooks or lattices to attach artworks.
Have the paintings mostly hung at eye level, and keep the best ones out front where visitors may easily see them.
- A Table With Folding Legs
There should be plenty of space on the table for placing items. Keep the booth display organized and neat. Have a neutral coloured cloth covering the table. Leave a clear space in front of you for accepting art sales and wrapping. Also, allow plenty of room for visitors to go behind the table, to get a close-up view.
- Art Fair Guestbook
Include a guestbook for visitors, and have headings for name, place, and email address. Attach another heading at the end asking “Add to Mailing List?”
Those who grant permission may be added to your art fair mailing list, and be notified of future art fairs, festivals, and shows.
- Create a Sign
Either get one printed or make your own. Create a sign that is attention grabbing and attractive. Show off your artistic expertise here.
- Art Business Cards
Have lots of art business cards on hand. Some people may be interested in purchasing, but may not have cash on hand. Give them a business card including all your contact information, and an art website where they can see some of your art. Consider having flyers printed as well.
- Small Artworks
Consider creating some small low priced artworks. Create quite a few of these as they tend to sell quickly. Include a sticker on the back with your contact info plus artist website. Also, think about producing small sized prints. These may entice the art collector to purchase a larger print or original at a later time.
- Art Demonstration
Think about doing a demonstrational artwork while at your art festival booth. People love to watch others paint or draw, especially children. Also, consider having raffle tickets, or some way visitors can win one of your artworks near the end of the day. This may encourage most to return to see if they won the prize.
- Other Items
There are a lot of items to consider for an art fair. What you bring depends on the particular art festival. Create a list of things you will need and organize them in boxes.
Here are a few things to consider bringing:
Notebook, pens, calculator, price tags, price list, receipt book, bubble wrap, garbage bags, scissors, tape, utility knife, wrapping paper, paper towels, Ibuprofen (for head aches), Windex, water, snacks, spare cash, change of clothes, small first aid kit, etc.
Please refer to these articles for further advice:
Have you taken part in art fairs or festivals? How was your experience? Do you have any further advice to add to this list?