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Coconut Grove show


#1

Friends–

I received a form email this morning from Geri at the Coconut Grove
fair. Partial text: “I recently saw your work at a Fine Arts
Festival and thought you may be interested in applying to
participate in the Washington Mutual Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
The festival is taking place February 14-16, 2004.”

Does anyone have input to offer about this show?

Noel


#2

Hello Noel, Interesting that you would receive an email invitation to
apply?! I wasn’t aware that they did that. I have a bit of input, but
I’m sure others might have more… Festival Link:
http://www.coconutgroveartsfest.com/ Have a look around their
website if you haven’t already. I think you’ll get a bit of a feel
for the show from it.

*According to their site info.approximately 4 million dollars of
artwork was sold in the 3 days of the show.

*There will be a $5 admission fee to the Artist Area, to fund the
Festival.

*They have an attendance of over three-quarters of a million people
each year.

*There are approximately 330 artists and craftsmen exhibiting.

*In my opinion it can be a hectic show to do due to the amount of
people, but I’ve heard it can be a good show.

*And a lot of prize money.

*Also it is a difficult show to jury into just for the shear numbers
of applications they receive for the available spaces.

*There is also another show "St. Stevens Coconut Grove Art Festival “
that runs through the same weekend, and is right next to the
"Washington Mutual Coconut Grove Arts Festival,” which makes it even
more hectic. I have only participated in the St. Stevens Show, not
the Main Show.

Hope this is of some help.

Best Regards
Sharon Scalise
@Ornamental_Creations
http://users.netconnect.com.au/~sscalise/


#3

Noel, here is the editor’s critique of the Coconut Grove Arts
Festival in the 2002 edition of Art Fair Source Book. From what I
remember the 2003 critique was not substantially improved. (I
loaned out my 2003 and haven’t gotten it back, when I do I will let
you know if there is any change in the critique. Also the 2004
preview edition is shipped out in September. I love this book!)

Coconut Grove: “This show has been in decline in recent years.
Attendance has fallen to a fraction of its peak 5-7 years ago. It
tends to draw a ‘strolling for something to do’ crowd, content to
eat, drink and listen to the music. It appears to be on its last
legs for high-end fine art sales. Those who are selling well here
are in the low-mid price range, mostly. They tend to buy fun,
functional, colorful work. Few painters did well in 2001! Prints
are not allowed to be sold by exhibitors, but the Festival has a
booth selling new and vintage framed posters (so much for not
confusing the public.) Try for locations on McFarlane Rd, traffic
is better than on Pan Am Drive. Good prize money, and a free
breakfast and lunch the best part of this show for many! MEDIA: FA
– painting-30, photography-23, sculpture-19, printmaking and
drawing-28, watercolor-29; CC–clay-45, fiber-20, glass-32, jewelry
and metalwork-39, mixed media-28, wood-33.”

Some points to consider:

A craft jeweler was robbed of his line in southern Florida last year
after hours at a show. Be really careful of your things. Don’t let
them out of your sight.

Also, don’t let the fact that someone from the show emailed you
color your decision. The organizers of a non-commission show like
this one want to have a show that is FULL of artists and looks a
certain way, maintains a certain quality of vendor, but it in no way
means that they think you personally will be successful. If they
really want you they would prejury you in. Otherwise it seems to me
that they are just asking you to spend money with them with no
surety that you will get in. In general over the last few months
shows have been dismal for jewelers. Even the jewelers who always
seem to do well at shows that suck for me have been complaining.
This show is not known as a jeweler’s show. It is more of a fine
art show.

I visited the website and couldn’t get the links to work. I like to
see festivals list past artists so I can get a feel for the show. I
like to call people who I have done shows with in the past and ask
them if they are going to reapply. That is always an indication
that they are confident. Plus it’s a way to keep up with friends I
make at shows. Email her back and see if she will provide you with
sales broken down by catagory (fine art vs craft) and if
they will give you the names of the jewelers who did the show last
year. Then pull out your SNAG and ACC directory, get thier phone
numbers and call, call, call.

Good luck with your decision,
Larry


#4

noel & people: if this is a repeat of already posted
about the status of the coconut grove show please delete now:

the coconut grove show apparently has not gotten wind of its sad
state of affairs regarding the artists, attendees & sales since it
was again rated the number one Fine Art Show in the country by the
industry flagship of auditing/reporting publications Sunshine
Artist. Sunshine Artist collects audits/reports from artists
exhibiting at such shows & annually ranks the top 100 in each
category: fine art; fine craft; traditional craft in its september
issue. okay, okay, to be honest, the Coconut Grove show did come in
4th in the Fine Craft Show category nationally behind the
Smithsonian show (1), the Philadelphia Museum of Art show (2), & the
Port Clinton Art show (3). arrrggh, the shame & degradation of
fourth place!

Sunshine Artist has audit/report forms in every issue, passes out
more at some shows & to grade the following criteria from 1 to 10:
overall sales; quality of work; balance [of categories exhibited];
prestige of show [perceived]; advertising; management [staff];
treatment [of artists by staff]; layout; judging & awards; parking;
artists’ amenities; weather; & attendance. the resulting information
does not come from people strolling the shows or reading emails but
from those exhibiting at the show.

 "It appears to be on its last legs for high-end fine art sales." 

ummm, let’s see the paltry totals here for the 2001 show, estimated
at $4,800,000.00, with average an exhibitor grossing: $15,074 - many
did less but also a lot did a quite a bit more than that average.
(don’t you wish your ‘last legs’ carried home that amount?)

 "Attendance has fallen to a fraction of its peak 5-7 years ago
... It tends to draw a 'strolling for something to do' crowd" 

well, it seems that three quarters of a million people got up that
weekend & couldn’t find anything to do so they strolled over to the
grove show.

"Prints are not allowed to be sold by exhibitors, but the Festival
has a booth selling new and vintage framed posters (so much for
not confusing the public.)" 

every show artist knows the ongoing debate on selling reproductions
just as every show artist knows that 90% of shows have sales of
posters that have been chosen from entries by exhibiting artists;
buyers cannot mistake a show poster for an original painting, photo
or other work as has happened with reproductions.

"A craft jeweler was robbed of his line in southern Florida last
year after hours at a show." 

yes, this part is true; it is also true of many other locales &
shows. Sunshine Artist has article after article on security
successes & failures written by those involved.

noel, for the coconut grove show your concern is not hearsay from
those not involved (of the thousands who repeatedly aren’t accepted
some aren’t too complimentary about the show - unsugared vineyard
product?) but what you can do to get accepted. base your decision to
apply to any show not on “Good prize money, and a free breakfast and
lunch the best part of this show for many!” [plus $15,000 in sales]
but on reports from artists who were actually at a show; Sunshine
Artist has florida show reports in every issue; january issue lists
the month & page to find the previous year’s report on the show you
want.

good luck -
ive
nope, don’t even know a soul on the Sunshine Artist staff.