Show Review of the Month Grand Haven Art Festival
June 24-26, 2022; Grand Haven Art Festival, Grand Haven, MI. Contact: Chamber of Commerce of Grand Haven, Spring Lake, and Ferrysburg, Antoinette Martin, One South Harbor Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417; Phone: 616-842-4910; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: grandhavenchamber.org; Application fee: $30; Space fees: $285 to $570; Space sizes: 10x12 to 10x24; 100% outdoors; Exhibitors: 90; Admission: free.
Compiled from FastAudit reports
The Grand Haven Art Festival featured almost 100 artists from throughout the country. The artists who reviewed this year’s event gave it mixed reviews, with 67% saying they would participate again.
A fiber/textile artist who made $4,300 would do this show again.
One mixed media artist reported sales of $3,000. “The staff was exceptional with delivering snacks and water throughout the show,” the artist said. “I had good sales, and it was a very pleasant atmosphere.”
An artist whose mediums included fine art and painting said it is a beautiful area. However, this artist was disappointed in the attendees, saying they seemed “more interested in ice cream than art.” This artist did not report a sales total and is not interested in doing the show again.
A wood artist who made $3,000 felt the opposite about the show and would participate again. “It was a well-run show. Beautiful location and a very clean and diverse community of Grand Haven,” the artist said. “It was a well-attended show with a good quality of other artists. The audience was serious buyers and very friendly. The town and chamber made the artists feel welcome and supported.”
One photographer is not interested in returning to the festival. This artist did not report a sales total or explain why.
A jewelry artist who made $1,500 hopes to be invited back. “Sales were very good. Load-in and -out were simple. There was plenty of space between tents,” the artist said. “It’s a great town on Lake Michigan. The weather was perfect. I was told that they would have had a bigger crowd except for the show the same weekend in Muskegon, Michigan.”
Grand Haven is about a 20-minute drive from Muskegon, where the Lakeshore Art Festival took place on June 25 and 26.
Antoinette Martin said, “After not having the festival in 2020 and then a bit of a rough return in 2021 with awful weather, this year’s festival was a major success, with some of the artists saying that they almost sold out in the first day of the festival!”
She is the festival’s director and estimated attendance at between 15,000 and 20,000 people. Martin shared some of the feedback received from artists. “The Grand Haven area is a pretty conservative area, so the type of art that sells the best falls into the category,” she said.
Something learned at the show that will improve future shows is the importance of having a green event, Martin said. “With the challenges of the pandemic, having a more sustainable event was put slightly on the back burner, and next year we plan to have water filling stations for artists and to have recycling bins out,” she said. “We might also have concessions close at 4 p.m. on Friday due to it being slow from restaurants.”
The best improvement made this year others might learn from was “making sure the focus was on the artists when marketing, not just the additional things the festival offers,” Martin said.
Her message to those considering the show in the future is that “we see a great amount of artists returning year after year to the Grand Haven Art Festival because of our focus on selecting only fine artists, marketing their products, and offering exceptional artist hospitality.”
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