madshutterbug (madshutterbug) wrote,

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A Very Successful Weekend

The 44th Annual Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival started for me on Friday past, when I went over to the site to set up the Booth Pavilion. I transported only the 'physical plant' as it were consisting of Pavilion and Weather Walls, Art Sidewalls, the folding matted work stands, a folding chair and a bar stool I usually use in Studio as a posing stool. All of this fit into the back of Sydney Subaru Outback easily. Check-in and Setup took a total of two hours, no worries.

Saturday the show started at 09:00 so the day started early. I needed to be there at least two hours before opening to hang selected framed pieces and set out the matted stock. Plus, given how late I got back to the Ranch on Friday and evening chores, Saturday morning involved loading Sydney up with the stock and with the lunch cooler and Office. No worries, though, as it all timed out well. Even with more and larger framed stock, moving the items into the booth and getting set up accomplished with a quarter hour to spare before Opening.

Sunday the show starts at noon, so that several churches located on the street which becomes the Festival may conduct their services without the crowd there. I still went over fairly early to gain close in parking, then walked over to my friends A & K's place for morning coffee and a visit. Once again, I still got all our stock moved back in and set up in plenty of time to sit and eat my lunch before opening. This even given that rather a good number of people either didn't read the publicity about the Festival opening at noon, or didn't care and came early (by maybe a half hour or so).

I made notes on two old and retired Framed Piece Cards via pen, so as to conserve battery on the iPhone. Saturday this truly proved a good idea, as at least two sales on Saturday used the card reader. Sunday all sales transactions involved cash. I could well have used the phone for other things a bit more such as making notes. I'm not disappointed in what I did, however, and do now have two days data of such usage with the new phone, plus the various incidentals I did conduct for how much charge I'm likely to use.

The notes covered things about the Booth itself and the variations put into effect this show, for continued quality improvement shall we say. I also kept quick notes as it were of the people I know that stopped by the booth, at least to say hello. Based on those notes, 19 people I know (plus associates) on Saturday and 23 plus associates on Sunday. I don't know the overall attendance figures for the show yet. The press release estimated a potential 100,000 and based on previous years, that's a safe call. People come from the entire North Central Florida region for this festival. The crowd proved pretty steady and full both days, with some slower periods, and based on prior experience with other Festivals and Ren Faires, a good turnout.

We use some medium size PVC tubing to help support the Art Walls across the top, and we've been thinking this needs some modification. The 'back' wall will be the first we try this on, since this time around I didn't secure that wall to both sides of the pavilion. This provided our back door, and extra stock plus the folding chair sat out there. However, the lack of tension on both edges affected how well that wall could support hanging artwork, so we'll try a couple things here. Using the larger framed pieces as display we could easily add 2 more folding mat bins or the racks for the Greeting Cards, Magnets, Calendars that we're contemplating. Or even on those shows where we can bring Herselfs jewelry, that rack. Depending on which, the back wall even as we set it could do.

I do need to add a Pole Rig to lift the back wall as the sun fly. Do not need to add any more materials, other than the rigging.

We changed up how we do our framed piece title cards. The biggest problem we've had with the other style, post-card sized cards taped to the pieces, is that even light breezes can flap those around enough to fatigue and tear the tape. This time we used business card stock, and put those cards into pin-on holders we purchased at our local business supplies store. Worked very nicely, looked professional and consistent. During the show, though, I thought to print on the back side of the Art Piece Title Cards our Studio Info - Both our names, web site URL, e-mail, though maybe not phone number. PO Box address yes. Then when a framed piece sells, the card goes with the piece. (Possibly print two cards for each piece, the second with Sold/Date on it and that card stays with us.)

On the business side, this weekend we made enough sales to cover Jury Fee, Booth Fee, Petrol to and from (2 vehicles, since Herself also helped our friends and partners with the dairy goat herd while B was off showing most of the dairy goats in a major show – she did really well too!), and while I've not figured out the total sales tax due the Tax Man, that too... and some on top of that. Not a lot, and yet it is profit! Woohoo! Perhaps this means the economy really is turning around (not holding my breath) since (at least this past weekend) people felt like they could dispense some Fun Money on Fun Things (Art). At the very least, we covered expenses.
Granted, with the Festival being a local one our overall expenses are a tad lower (no Lodging, no Food since we are close enough to spend the night in our own home). It is still nice to contemplate a show where for the second time we made expenses, and for the first time a wee bit more.

Herself got to wander through the Festival more than I did, which friends who work any sort of weekend festival or con show will understand. I may have been able to do more wandering if we didn't also provide the support to our friends and partners, and I am happy with how things turned out. After all, I pretty much ran the place solo on Sunday and at least half the day on Saturday. I did make use of a 'booth-sitter' on Saturday. Booth-sitters are a nice concept I've now seen twice in weekend art festivals, where volunteers working with the agency putting on the show are available at reserved times to sit in ones booth while one then gets a biological break, or lunch, or just walk about the Festival. I figured I'd use the second booth-sitter pass on Sunday, but didn't get a chance to turn it in and no one came by to pick up.

Summarising then, the Business side qualifies as a Very Successful Weekend, we enjoyed meeting some more artists & artisans who were our neighbors in the Festival, a good turn-out for the attendance. Enough slow time during the Festival to look at the Booth setup (now a full year in working mode) and evaluate what is working well, what is working and could be done better, and note some ideas how.

And a goal accomplished. I remember well, arriving here early in 1977 and being taken to the Santa Fe Spring Arts Festival by new friends, looking at the show then thinking the quality of the show and art to be really good. Also thinking, one year I will be one of these Exhibiting Artists. Now I am.

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: art, business, life the universe and everything, photography, studio 318

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