The Art Festival Newsletter
May 2018
presented by:

Risk, Reward and Gambling

I have been gambling at least 20 weekends a year for the past 25 years. By that, I mean being an artist at juried art festivals. The classic definition of a gambler describes the life of the traveling art festival artist quite well; "wagering money (jury fees) or something of value (time) on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent on gaining money or material goods. Gambling requires three elements be present: consideration, chance, and prize," elements present at every art festival.
The difference between a simple gambler and an artist who is successful largely falls on mitigating risk. As artists, the first risk is choosing which shows to apply for and hopefully attend. Any great art festival is a collaborative effort between the show and the artists, creating an open and honest process is key to the success of both parties. When choosing a partner to gamble with, artists should consider art festivals that provide the following:
Jury Process (when applicable): Shows f ind competent, knowledgeable jurors to conduct a professional jury process that reflects respect and impartiality. This mitigates the risk of showcasing at a poorly curated show.
Communication : Make all artist information readily available including show policies, instructions, and layouts so that it can be referenced easily. If an artist still has questions the festival should be responsive via email or telephone.
Safety:  Provide security before, during and after the show to mitigate physical and mental risk.
PR and Marketing : Promoting an art festival takes creative thinking balanced with practicality. The artist has the right to ask where the event was publicized. The festival should provide digital art to the artist so they can market the information to their clients.
Layout Plan : Should be thoughtfully prepared so artists with a similar look are not placed next to each other.
Site Evaluation : The Festival should inspect the site before the event. Making sure that there are no hazards to the artists and if there are - reworking the layout to safely accommodate everyone.
Not all risk can be assumed by the festival, for once at the festival it largely falls on the artist to ensure they have a great show. Here are some basic items to take into consideration:
Market Yourself: You have purchased a storefront for the weekend. It is essential that you market your location, new work and your story. It is much easier to make a sale to an existing patron than acquire a new one.
Weather : Be sure you have the appropriate gear to secure your display and protect your art. Having insurance on your work also mitigates risk.
Put your best foot forward: Make sure your display is professional and unique as your art. A great display creates a welcoming atmosphere for your new or existing clients. When you are selling your art, you should dress as sharply as the situation allows.
Be Engaged : Being an active seller and sharing your story will result in better customer engagement that leads to higher sales

The combination of partnering with art festivals who are vested in developing strategies that benefit the artists and the artist assessing risk and analyzing what they can do to mitigate risk, changes the odds.
Robin Markowitz

This discussion is based on my personal experience as an art jeweler and show director for the past 10 years (Bethesda Row Arts Festival and A-RTS at Rockville Town Square). I welcome your feedback and suggestions at
Las Vegas, NV
Application Deadline: 6/2/18

Last Chance to APPLY:  Click logo for more information!

Art Santa Fe
Santa Fe, NM
Rolling Application
Historic Blufton Arts & Seafood Festival
Old Town Bluffton, SC
Application Closes: 5/31/18

Durango Autumn Arts Festival
Durango, CO
Application Closes: 5/21/18

Summer Festival of the Arts
Youngstown, OH
Application Closes: 6/8/18 

Click HERE to view more Calls to Artists:
Spotlight on Shows: Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Shows

This month I had the opportunity to talk with Nancy Glenn, Owner of  Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Shows

 Please talk about the philosophy of the Harvest Festival® Original Art & Craft Shows.
The philosophy of the Harvest Festivals is to celebrate arts and crafts and spotlight independent American artisans in a fun and festive environment. We started 47 years ago as a small craft show in San Francisco with the idea of bringing together artists and craftspeople to showcase and sell their wares. Today, our event has grown to eight shows spanning all over California and Nevada. 

In terms of curation, how do your shows differ from other art festivals in California?
The Harvest Festivals have many fine art exhibitors, but we are not a fine art show by definition. We are very proud to be the largest indoor arts and crafts show on the West Coast. What makes our show different is the variety of artists featured and the eclectic mix of products. From folk art to steampunk jewelry, wood inlay to gorgeous landscape photography, we have over 24,000 different items featured at our shows. All of our artists must also be juried into our show to ensure that their products are handmade or embellished here in the USA.
The other thing that sets our show apart is that we offer live music, strolling entertainment, hands on activities for kids, artist demonstrations, prize giveaways, and a delicious selection of festival food. Our mission is to make the Harvest Festivals a truly unique experience that melds one-of-a-kind shopping with good old fashioned family fun.

What advice would you give to an artist aspiring to exhibit at one of your shows?
Contact us! We always love to meet new artists and even offer special rates for first time exhibitors. You can actually get an application directly through our website at But be sure you are ready with enough pieces because our attendees come to shop! We've had several first time artists who don't come prepared with enough product and end up selling out of their merchandise by the second day of the show. 

When you look at the next decade - what do you see for this industry?
When we look ahead, we see continued growth and innovation. It's been inspiring to see the next generation of crafters join our show because they are utilizing new technologies and materials to build their products, things like laser etchers, 3D printers, and repurposed or up-cycled items. We've seen such a resurgence in the American crafting industry and there seems to be a renewed appreciation for things that are made in the USA.

This Issue's Quote: 
Creativity is intelligence having fun - Albert Einstein

From the Directors Chair: The Devil is in the Details 
Robin Markowitz

There is no such thing as a typical day for an art show director, which is why I really like this part of my life. My role involves everything from strategic vision to hands-on delivery. When I first joined the Bethesda Row Art Festival I thought I understood all that went into being a director. I knew the job was to oversee setup and breakdown, create materials such as maps and signage and coordinate festival staffing. What I did not take into account was dealing with city bureaucracy, insurance coverage and projecting risks for the event.
These are my 10 basic steps to organizing a fine art festival - the devil is in the details and I will be asking fellow directors to share some of their organizational secrets in upcoming Art Festival Newsletters.
Set the Date (not always simple): We work to secure the same weekend the following year within a month of the previous event. This involves three different property managers within the footprint of the show and Montgomery County.
Create a Master Plan: Includes budget, staff, charitable beneficiary, contractors, parking (artist & public), site plan, sponsors, entertainment & hospitality.
Create a Publicity Plan: PR and Marketing (social media, web listings, print, broadcast and radio).
Artist, Entertainment and Festival Food Outreach: Email releases, phone calls, social media and word of mouth
Organize a Team: Jury, Street Captains, Festival Staff.
Logistics: Permits, insurance, police, contractors, tax authority, artist hotel, artist parking, and merchants.
Artist Communication: Jury results, site plan, load-In schedule, advertising opportunities, press opportunities, general information to make the show as smooth as possible.

Festival Website: Participating artists (photos and contact info), music and festival food, festival information for the public, map and parking directions.
Show Site: Executing site plan, coordinating merchant participation, traffic control for both artists and the public.

Show Weekend: M ark streets, parking signs, traffic control, on- site judging, hospitality room setup and maintenance and a thousand small details that make the show work but are really boring!

Wishing everyone wonderful festivals, amazing weather and safe travels this summer!
Quick Links:

Application Deadline 5/31/18
Rolling Application
Apply Today
Limited Space Available
Show Producers:

What Can Art-Linx Do For You? 

*Increase applications to your festival
*Create a positive impression of your event
*Maintain ongoing "share of mind"
*Tell artists about important developments
*Expand your pool of loyal artists
*Create a focused, cost effective marketing program to potential exhibitors
*...and much more!

 At  Art-Linx, we focus on a single goal: connecting artists with art festivals and art festivals with artists. Hundreds of festivals have found our services highly effective ...and very cost efficient.

 Call or email us today for a no obligation consultation on your artist marketing needs!

  Click HERE for more information


10 NEW Topics for your Art Blog from Art-Linx for May 2018. 

Get customers excited to buy your art by telling them more about your artist story, as well as promoting the exciting happenings in your art career.


10 New Blog Ideas 

*How to care for your art


*Art Trends - Your Thoughts


*Take a photo of what inspires you


*Donate a piece of art to charity - why did you choose that particular piece or charity


*What piece are you sorry you sold


*What piece would you never sell?


*How does color effect your mood?


*What are you grateful for?


*Collections - what do you collect?


*Art in everyday life

We would love to hear what works best for your blog and any advise you have to give other artists.

Let us know what topics interest you and Art-Linx will work to include them in the next Art Festival Newsletter - Published  July 18, 2018

Contact Robin at

Looking for information on festivals?
Deciding where to apply?
Need updates on festival participation trends?

Visit Our All New Website!

 It's your artist's home on the web! 
The Art Festival Newsletter /  /  

    Like us on Facebook