My first participation in a sculpture show was tough. I will share below what I learned from the experience.
1. Two Sculpture Shows Simultaneously The Loveland Sculpture Invitational and the Sculpture in the Park were held next to each other. Seasoned artists compared the pros and cons of each before they applied for the booth. The Loveland Sculpture Invitation, in which I took part, required a large fee, $570 for me, and no commission. The other charged around $100 for the booth fee, but they would take 30% commission from the sales. The first gives you a 10'x10' space, and you're free to display your items any way you want. The booth space in the Sculpture in the Park is 8'x8'. You are allowed to bring in only 16 pieces. You can display 8 pieces at a time on pedestals that the show provides. Once you're juried into the Loveland Sculpture Invitational, you're automatically invited to the show in the subsequent years. It is tougher in the other show. Unless you make more than $6000, your application has to go through a jury selection again. If you're a bronze sculptor, you will probably want to be in the Loveland Sculpture Invitational. Most of the sculptures displayed there were bronze, and people generally went to see them. If your medium is not bronze, you may do better in the Sculpture in the Park, which showed wide varieties of artworks.
2. Sales in general were bad this year. Those. who usually sell out, did not. Some did not even make the expenses. I barely made enough by selling lots of inexpensive functional ware. The change of management seemed to be the biggest influence. A seasoned artist told me the show used to be packed with people. They had been lined back to back in the aisles. That never happened this year. Rain, which we had every day, also chased the customers out, as they did not want to get wet walking from tent to tent.
3. Moral Support from Fellow Artists Artists came around to chat with me when the show was slow. They did not linger when customers were around. I did the same. Two best advices I received from the fellow artists are:
Don't get disappointed even if I do not sell well this year. As my art is unique, it will take a few years to establish clientele.
Act confidently even if I have to fake it. People could see that I was not confident of my works. Boy, this is the most difficult assignment I have to tackle if I am going to try a show again.