ART FAIRS AND FESTIVALS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
During the summer months, the sun is shining, and art fairs and festivals are in full swing. The Pacific Northwest has a few art festivals that are worth visiting. While the festivals are outside and it's summer, the PNW can have some weather issues like rain and wind. However, if the art fair participants are willing to brave the weather, as a visitor, you can put on a rain jacket and enjoy the arts and crafts. Maybe bring some rubber boots as most of the shows are on grass fields so mud is a possibility.
So what is the purpose of an art fair or festival? In short, to celebrate the richness of creativity and culture through many forms of arts and crafts. The arts and crafts can be anything from photography, carvings, dance, theater, and music to name a few. As an artist, I enjoy visiting the fairs and festivals throughout the area I live. Not only to see the amazing arts and crafts but to help support the artists. Even though I don't purchase anything, I enjoy talking with the artists and finding out where their inspiration comes from and how they create the art.
ANACORTES ART FESTIVAL
In 1962, Dr. Jack Papritz and other art patrons wanted to create a festival. With the help of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce and a little money, the first Anacortes Arts Festival was in July 1962, and billed as the "longest art display in the world". From the beginning, the art festival has a focus of fine art in a festive atmosphere. The Anacortes Art Festival has judged amateur and professional divisions along with venues for all artists to display their work. For 2022, the festival is August 5-7. For the artists wanting to join the festival, a booth fee of $360 plus 10% of all sales are given to the festival. Aside from all the art to enjoy, live music on several stages is big part of the festivities. A unique aspect of this art festival is the "working studios" where visitors can interact with the artists while they are creating art. This year they have chalk art, blacksmithing, and wood turning to name a few.
BELLEVUE ARTS MUSEUM ART FAIR
Known for being the largest, award-winning arts and crafts festival in the northwest, the Bellevue Arts Museum Arts Fair has over 300 artists showcasing their work. This art fair runs July 29-31, 2022 and is celebrating 76 years. The fees for the artists are $45.00 application, $945-$2000 booth fee (depending on size) and 20% of sales for the online marketplace. The online marketplace started because of the pandemic and continues as another way for the artist to present and sell their fine art. Started by a handful of volunteers, the Bellevue Arts Museum was started because of the Arts Fair. The Arts Fair was created in 1947 and the Museum in 1975. In 2001, the museum opened it's first permanent home and continues to contribute to cultural vibrancy of the region.
EDMONDS ARTS FESTIVAL
Held for more than 60 years, the Edmonds Arts Festival has become one of the more prestigious shows attracting artist from around the country. This festival offers free music, juried gallery art exhibitions, and sales. Over 240 artists have their unique art for sale along with food booths and a background of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Along with the festival, Edmonds is a great walking town with lots of eateries and breweries. The artist fees for this festival is $650-$1300 per booth depending on size. I couldn't find information about if they take a commission of the sale like other festivals so that is something the artist will need to find out. Throughout the festival, the Artists in Action on the Plaza have artists creating their unique art and the visitors are able to interact with them. In 2022, the festival runs from June 17-19. Being June in the Pacific Northwest, think about bringing rain gear. The festival is in a grass field and could be muddy.
ART IN THE PEARL
In 1997, the Art in the Pearl Fine Arts and Craft Festival was started by 15 artists who dedicated their time to showcase high quality, hand made works. Now in its 25th year, the festival is run by volunteers and not paid employees. Art in the Pearl was created in response to the downfall of the Artquake show that relied heavily on corporate sponsorship money. To prevent the same demise, Art in the Pearl is a non-profit run by a volunteer board of directors. In 2022, the festival will be on Labor Day Weekend September 3-5. This year will feature 130 artists and approximately 85,000 visitors. All artists will be chosen through a blind jury process over 2 days. Booth fees for the artists ranges from $650-$1295 depending on the size of your booth. Since the festival is nonprofit, there are no commissions on the sales of artwork. This is great news for artists as they keep all profits. Since this festival is in Portland, Oregon, no sales tax is applied to sales.
SALEM ART FAIR & FESTIVAL
Running for 73 years, the Salem Art Fair & Festival is one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest. This 3 day event is a celebration of the visual and performing arts. Approximately 35,000 attendees show up each year to view and purchase the high end, fine art presented by each artist. 220 artists will be chosen through a blind jury process which consists of 5 professional working artists. This year, the art festival will be held July 15-17 in Salem, Oregon. Fees to enter the art fair for exhibiting artists is a $45 application fee, $525-$1225 booth fee depending on booth size, and no commissions for each sale. The artist keeps 100% of the profits.
SUNRIVER ART FAIR
Voted one of the ten best art fairs in the country, the Sunriver Art Fair will be held on August 12-14, 2022 in Sunriver, Oregon. Sunriver is located south of Bend Oregon and close to Mount Bachelor. This area of Oregon offers the outdoor enthusiast many options with mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, and hiking to name a few of the options. The Sunriver Art Fair is sponsored by the Sunriver Women's Club and and is their major fundraising event each year. The artist fees are $35 application fee with $360 booth fees for a 10x10 space. Each additional 10 feet is another $360 so if you have a 10X20 booth, the fee will be $720. The Sunriver Art Fair does not take a commission from art sales. This art fair is a bit smaller than the others with only 70 artists chosen by the jury to present their work. If you decide to visit this art fair, it's in the Oregon desert and will be hot so bring lots of water with electrolytes to keep you hydrated.
Art fairs and festivals are a great way for many artists to show their work to potential clients. Although I have not entered an art fair due to initial cost set up, I go to several throughout the year to enjoy other artist's work. Many photographers I've talked to that do art shows say it's about $10,000 to acquire everything for your first show. That's a lot of money for an artist that works for the federal government full time. Maybe when I retire and have more time to dedicate to shows but for now, it's not possible. It's always fun to talk to artist at the shows and learn where the inspiration comes from or why they chose the medium. Seeing other photographer's images inspires me to get out and create more photos or I see new locations to visit. Art fairs and festivals are a great way to purchase art directly from the artist and establish a connection for when you want to make another purchase.