|Key differences between outdoor art fairs and gallery exhibitions
by Garrison Frost
As we head into the season for community fairs with their requisite artists' booths, it is probably time to remind people that buying a hot dog and milling around Fiesta Hermosa doesn't exactly make them art aficionados. Put simply, an outdoor art fair isn't the same thing as a gallery exhibition and vice versa. Here are a few of the key differences.
Gallery exhibitions rarely sell greeting card versions of the art on display.
Art fairs = beer gardens; gallery exhibitions = wine in plastic cups.
In a gallery exhibition, the gallery owner ends up pocketing most of the money. In an outdoor art fair, the local Chamber of Commerce or merchant association ends up pocketing most of the money.
Gallery exhibitions are usually just as much a fashion show as anything else. Community art fairs are definitely not a fashion show.
Artists rarely have to protect their artwork from overexcited dogs and children at gallery exhibitions.
Artists at gallery exhibitions are rarely asked if they also sell refrigerator magnets.
One rarely sees pegboard employed at a gallery exhibition.
Art fairs usually have a much smaller snob quotient.
One doesn't need to wear sunscreen to a gallery exhibition.
With gallery exhibitions, the competition between artists usually takes place beforehand to simply get in. In art fairs, artists compete face-to-face to sell items to the same people.
Art exhibitions tend to last several weeks. With art fairs, it's one or two days, all or nothing.
Artists participating in gallery exhibitions rarely have to pack all their art into a van and show up at 4 a.m.
Artists participating in gallery exhibitions rarely have to worry about getting a good location.
(May 16, 2006)
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