Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Holiday Festival
When the economy got bad I drew back from my participation in the "big shows" with the high entry fees. I was certainly not alone in that. Sunshine Artist, which does artist surveys, found that the majority of artists did fewer fairs, smaller fairs, and fairs closer to home. Last year Red River was as far out of the valley as I ventured.
But I decided to again apply for one of the three Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festivals this year. They have been consistently rated as one of the top shows in the country and they do a bang up job promoting the shows. I have in the past done their Balloon Festival and Spring show but this will be my first year in their Holiday Festival at Thanksgiving.
Angel Fire Community Center used to have this small holiday market that was always good for me. It was only $75 and right in the neighborhood. But they have ruined it. It is so easy to ruin a good fair: poor jurying of exhibitors, bad management of call for entries, bad advertising for the event itself. The AFCC managed all of those in the last year and regardless of new management seems headed to do it again.
A good holiday fair is crucial for artists as summer fair submissions are in January and February and that means you have to have the money to apply. Holiday fairs are your last chance to make that money. So as much a I would like to stay home at Thanksgiving I am going to Albuquerque. I was notified of my acceptance in the festival event yesterday.
I am thrilled on a multitude of levels. First it is always nice to be accepted. It is a competition to get in to big shows. You have to be juried in. And with painting I am up against some stiff competition in this show. Some big names participate like Amando Pena.
Second, it is like old home week. I know so many of the artists that routinely do one or more of the Rio Grande shows and I have not seen them for two years. The staff is known for its kind treatment of artists. It will be fun.
Third is that the RGA&CF's do a marvelous job of promoting their events. There will definitely be a lot of potential customers. I am, of course, hoping for some great sales. But it is also great exposure in a new market. In the art business you pay your money (booth fees) and you take your chances.