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Chicago Art Fairs


#1

Dear All,

We have been accepted to several art fairs in the Chicago area this
summer, specifically the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts
Festival in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and West End Art Festival in
LaGrange, Illinois. Both are produced by Amdur Productions. At a
recent art fair in Birmingham, Michigan, we were told by one vendor
that the Chicago area shows are not terribly secure, and that
jewelers who participate in the shows are regularly targeted for
theft, usually when leaving the show location. While we try to
maintain a vigilant attitude and take the precautions necessary, if
we will be in a higher risk area we would like to know ahead of
time. Perhaps we can institute some additional security measures.
Does anyone out there have experience with shows in this area?
According to my one show is 20 minutes north of
downtown Chicago and one is 20 minutes south of downtown Chicago.
Thank you all for your interest and input.

Brenda
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa


#2

Hi,

I have done West End but not the Buffalo Grove Show. Amy’s shows are
pretty pricey and I have tried to do others. The thing is, even if
the show is new and untested the fee she charges is as high as the
fee for a well established show. On the other hand she promotes them
really well and if anyone is going to get customers there in this
area it would probably be her. She is also pretty responsive to
problems at the show (disturbances or buy/sell people that sneak in)
which some promoters ignore. She is taking over so many shows in this
area that artists are getting a little nervous about too many shows
looking the same and being really too expensive for newer people to
do.

Security…both shows are in upper middle class towns with
relatively low crime rates. That means you can usually leave the
tent, display materials, chairs & packaging in your booth overnight
with few concerns. She does provide good security. I think when you
have jewelry you should almost have the case attached to your body in
some way at all times. This is especially if you have precious
stones and gold. I know 3 artists from Chicagoland that have been
robbed in various ways while out of the area…suspicious flat, break
in at a restaurant they were probably followed to and right as they
were packing with the case 5 feet away. I don’t think this really
has anything to do with the area…thieves will travel for what they
see as a good score. One well known jeweler who sells big gold stuff
all over the country travels with an armed bodyguard. I do two urban
shows in Chicago where the cops have caugh people in my tent stealing
my bags I package things in, a hammer I forgot and left in the tent
overnight and once having sex in the tent a few down from me. On the
other hand I can’t think of any suburban thefts in recent years
except for something petty from the casetop when a jeweler took their
eyes off of it. Around here you can’t target teenagers as someone to
be suspicious of because 10-1 they have their parents credit cards
and permission to spend in some of these affluent suburbs. I guess
the lesson is… act like everyone is a potential buyer while
understanding ANY of them could be a risk.

Karen in Northern Ill (who was sure a browser at a show last weekend
was homeless and then bought a $400 pot from her neighbor)


#3

Brenda and All, Theft is my main concern when doing shows. One theft
can put a single person manufacturer out of business. One moment
you are on top of the world, making money and enjoying the fruits of
your labor and within minutes you can be devastated. In two minutes
20 years work can disappear and never be found. That said, I will
not do a show where the promoter does not put my personal and my
items security first and foremost. Security starts at the loading
and unloading area. This area should have adequate lighting and an
armed, trained security person or persons available at all times.
Inside the show plain clothes security personnel should be watching
the crowd. You should be aware of people checking out your booth.
Be especially aware of people who want to know the details of your
travel and your plans. I do not tell anyone. Remember that every
single contract I have ever signed with a promoter relieves the
promoter of any responsibility for you goods or personal safety.
Safety is your responsibility. If you want more info and experiences
contact me off ORCHID

Gerry Galarneau


#4

Dear All,

We have been accepted to several art fairs in the Chicago area this
summer, specifically the Buffalo Grove Invitational Fine Arts
Festival in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, and West End Art Festival in
LaGrange, Illinois. Both are produced by Amdur Productions. At a
recent art fair in Birmingham, Michigan, While we try to maintain a
vigilant attitude and take the precautions necessary, if we will be
in a higher risk area we would like to know ahead of time. Perhaps we
can institute some additional security measures. Does anyone out
there have experience with shows in this area? According to my
one show is 20 minutes north of downtown Chicago and one
is 20 minutes south of downtown Chicago. Thank you all for your
interest and input.

Brenda
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa


#5

I have lived in Illinois all my life and I understand you concerns
when coming to a more heavily populated area but the two shows that
you mentioned are in suburbs of Chicago which are very safe. The
shows that are more risky take place in Chicago itself like Wells
Street,

and the Gold Coast Art Fair just to mention a few. Use common sense
lock up the money and credit card reciepts first when breaking down.
Always have someone with you and be alert if someone strikes you as
odd be careful. Crime can happen anywhere but for your information
New York and Flordia are much more dangerous areas for jewelers than
Chicago.

sincerely, Jennifer


#6

Brenda, I have done the LaGrange show and had no worries about
security. It’s a small suburb, parking is very close. It’s not
very urban. Amy always does a good job of providing comfort for the
artists. It’s was not a huge $ show for me but I really enjoyed it.
Just use common sense.

Deb