The Annual Art in the Park event took place on 10/11 here in Bergen County NJ, and the weather was just outstanding for this outdoor event. Originally scheduled for previous weekend, but the threat of bad weather caused it to be postponed a week. From the artist turnout, it appears that most of the artists were able to accommodate the change.
100 artists is the limit in this event, with those getting in on a first come/first served basis - meaning, the first 100 artists who reply to the Call to Artists are in. The work is not juried to get in, but it is juried to win the awards (& cash prizes). There is no entry fee for this, so it's a very popular event and is filled up quickly. (if you hesitate too much about whether to enter or not, you will miss out!)
Each artist is assigned a spot on a pair of long, wire & wood fences, to display however many pieces they can fit. Some bring many (and I do mean many), while others bring only a handful. I did see 1 artist yesterday with only 1 single, large abstract painting. Most artists bring a table or bin to display additional items for sale, however the judging is on the items on the fence only. The items on the fence can be sold, but buyers need to wait until after the award ceremony to pick them up.
This is my 3rd year in this event. The first year, I brought a lot of paintings - all matted, none framed. I had cards for sale on a small table along with various brochures & postcards. That year, I had both my architectural works along side my floral works. The only sale I made at the show was a package of notecards for $4. Many brochures & business cards went out, but no followup calls for commissions. My website did have increased flow for a few days after, but no new sales.
My second year I decided to focus on architectural only (I was advised by the judges the previous year to focus on only 1 genre otherwise it's too confusing). I filled my fence section. No sales of paintings, a couple of small prints sold as did a few cards. However, I did get a commissioned job from that event that resulted in 2 paintings being done.
This year I went with a different approach. My "Slices of Life" series - which is a group of 6 x 12 paintings, mostly scenery. Each was canvas mounted on hardboard, then set up to hang free form - no frame. To let these stand out (on the fence they would have been lost), I used 2 larger pieces of foam. The foam was hung on the wire, my paintings were hung on the foam. Along with the paintings, I offered for sale an assortment of wide cards of the scenes that were on the fence.
The exhibit was an absolute hit among the people walking through! They loved that they were locations that many of them could identify with. And although I did not win anything in the judging (I had hoped, but alas, not to be) - I did sell 2 of the paintings & numerous cards. There was some interest in the paintings from a few others but they left without buying - and you know the saying "if they walk away, the sale is lost." Still, I talked with so many - and I just about ran out of cards to sell & business cards. Fingers crossed that more sales will follow.
Here's my simple display. Sold were the top left "On the Cliff" and the vertical "Roman Windows" which had the abundance of red flowers. As I've said in the past, red sells and Italy sells. It still amazes me!
Oh, and the artist's eye is never without wandering to find something. Color, contrast, textures, light-shadow -- whatever it is, the artist (& their camera) will try & capture it. For a future painting I think: