Behind the scenes of an Art Fair

I recently did my first art fair in almost 2 years! (All of my 2020 and half of my 2021 art fairs were canceled due to Covid.)

Lisa's booth at the Gazebo Park Artists Market
Lisa's booth at the Gazebo Park Artists Market

It was a small artists market in Gazebo Park, Webster Groves, Mo. The arts organization putting on the event, Webster Arts, did everything in their power to help artists with advertising the event, setup and tear down. They were amazing! Even so, I was a bit nervous as well as excited!


Will people like my new paintings? Will I remember to bring everything? Will there be rain or even worse, wind?


But first, let me back up a bit. If you want to do an art fair, you submit your application to the event you want to be included in. Most fine art fairs are juried, meaning a group of jurors must approve your art in order to do the art fair.


Once you know you're accepted into an art fair you need to prepare. And there's a lot of preparation of having everything you are going to need to present and offer your art to live in new, happy homes.


So not only do you need to paint, or create your art, but, you must photograph and pack the art (carefully to protect your beautiful paintings), title, make an inventory, have a hanging system to hang the art, have something to hang the art on, have something to protect the art on display from the elements. Have a system for displaying prints. The list goes on and on.


An incredible amount of work goes into doing an art fair. All the preparation, and the work of setting up your display and art. An artist must wear many hats.


After the painting is finished, I begin by loading my van. The panels and tent go in first.

Lisa's van waiting to be loaded with happy art!
Lisa's van waiting to be loaded with happy art!
Halfway loaded van
Halfway loaded van

Then everything else gets loaded. The art, prints, print bins, the canopy and walls of your tent, weights (very important to secure the tent), the cart, ladder, etc.


Everything is loaded and ready to go!
Everything is loaded and ready to go!
Everything's unloaded
Everything's unloaded and ready to set up.


When you arrive at the art fair location, you find your booth spot (there may be hundreds of artists!) and unload everything. It's super awesome when you can unload right by your booth. Otherwise you need to cart everything to your booth in multiple trips. Muscles!


Once unloaded, the van is moved so other artists can unload. Then you set up the tent.

"Bones" of the tent
"Bones" of the tent

Setting up the tent
Setting up the tent

It's great to get the canopy up and get some shade!

Lisa's tent and canopy
Lisa's tent and canopy
Lisa's tent and canopy

After setting up the tent, the panels go up, then the support rods. The art is hung next, along with arranging prints in print bins. If you have electricity then you set your lights up. Placing title cards and finishing touches are all that's left.


The fun starts when you see happy faces and get to meet art lovers from all over.


Art Fairs are wonderfully interesting and culturally stimulating events. Not only do you get to experience beautiful art, but you actually get to meet the artist! There's usually live music, food and drink.


Do you have a favorite art fair? My next art fair is Schlafly's Art Outside, October 1 - 3, 2021, Maplewood, Mo. I hope to see you there!


Lisa's booth set up and ready for happy, smiling faces!
Lisa's booth set up and ready for happy, smiling faces!



33 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All