I was very fortunate and grateful to have been selected as the Guilds featured artist for my inaugural year in 2010. What I didn't realize at that moment was that it was also the year that I peaked at this fair. Here's the problem. The public seems to be getting tired of it and many of the artists seem to feel the same way. It's the most difficult art fair of the year to do. For most of us it's six long days of exhausting work during the hottest days of the summer not to mention the extreme expense of this show which is at least $800 if you're a local. Much more if you're not. I must sell $800 worth of my product just to get back to $0. I can deal with that as long as I can expect more sales considering the longevity of this show and the sheer number of visitors reported by the fair organizers.
Unfortunately, regardless of what the show organizers are saying, the crowds are down dramatically. I remember when you had to take baby steps to get to the next booth in a tight crowd. Now I could bounce a ball across the street from my booth to the one on the other side and not hit anyone.
Amazingly the show organizers look you right in the eye and say, "the crowds are just as strong this year as ever" or "the buses are always full". The buses may be full however I remember when you had to wait in a long line for 45 minutes to catch a bus. No waiting now!
I read an article on Art fair Insiders that was written by Nels Johnson titled, "Put a fork in it", whos' booth was just a few away from mine. He had a similar view. Here is the link.
I was so looking forward to a long relationship with the Ann Arbor Art Fair however it looks like 6 years is the magic number for me. There was a glimmer of hope that its heartbeat would strengthen, however it's flat-lined for a while now and it's time to pull the plug. This fair has been ridding on the wave of its' former glory but alas it's time to say Good Bye Ann Arbor Art Fair. (Play Taps here).