Why I love the Krasl Art Fair
Posted by Melissa Banks on July 07, 2011
I'm getting packed for my first July show! It's one I always look forward to, The Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff in St. Joseph, Michigan. From the artist perspective, there are many things about doing art fairs that can change from show to show, and these things can affect our experience dramatically. How well the show is run, how helpful the staff is, if we can set up our booth the day before, or have to scramble in the morning, how large of a space we are given...if it's exactly 10'x10' we have to hope to squeeze our tent in, or if the show layout allows for extra footage, if we have access to a decent bathroom, if we are offered any extras like free water, food - if they are having a party for the artists to blow off some steam, and of course the amount of people they bring to the show....I could go on and on.
The Krasl Art Fair does a great job supporting us artists, and it makes for one of the most pleasant shows of the summer. Here's why:
1.) Artists are allowed to set up Friday day/evening without stress, with an artist party afterwards. We also walk down to the beach and wade in the water. This year I may actually swim ;)
2.) Artists are greeted upon arrival by a friendly volunteer who makes sure they have everything they need with other volunteers coming around with cold water and treats - cookies! Yes, we get cookies :) You may also see a volunteer with a wagon full of shims for the booths that are on uneven ground - this helped me out tremendously one year, and I was amazed at their foresight and generosity.
3.) Artist booth areas are generally 12'x15' - almost unheard of! It makes such a difference not to be smashed up against another tent.
4.) Sunday morning artist breakfast with "artist roundtable" where artists can voice concerns, share thoughts, etc, and awards are given out. Although the breakfast and awards are pretty common, the chance to speak about any concerns is not, and I found this to be pretty great.
5.) The people who run the show are SO NICE and helpful, they really care about the artists.
6.) The SETTING! The setting is gorgeous. The booths are set up along the bluff of Lake Michigan, looking down over a park and the beach. The downtown area is all walkable from the art fair location - complete with brick roads and quaint shops and eateries. An ice cream shop where you can catch them making fudge in the window? Hello!
7.) The hotel. I spring for a nice hotel twice a year for shows, and this is one of them. We can literally walk out to our booth in the morning, and it has an excellent breakfast buffet :)
8.) The customers! I have many loyal fans who come see me at this show every year, and I enjoy seeing them all!
I like to use blogging as a chance to reveal to customers and art fair goers a little bit of what goes on behind the scenes and what the life of an artist is like. Hope this was another small step in accomplishing that. I'm off to pack! Looking forward to an excellent weekend...