Will The Show Go On? The Future of Art Shows

Will The Show Go On? The Future of Art Shows

2020 was supposed to be my breakout year; I had HUGE plans in regards to expanding my business with art shows and wholesale.  I, like thousands of artists who rely on art shows for most of their income, got the proverbial rug pulled out from under me on March 13, 2020 as our country cancelled thousands of public events to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  I had 29 art shows scheduled for 2020:  3 of which I did before March and currently I have 4 that are set to go in August and September.  As of now that will be 7 shows for 2020, a 76% decrease.

I have done a pretty good job hanging on; Jen Lesea Designs is my livelihood and the only source of income for my family and me, so shutting down the business never crossed my mind, because its what I've done for the past decade.  I quickly pivoted to increasing online sales, and now wholesale is slowly coming back. As far art shows...I love doing art shows; it's where I have met most of my customers!  

So the question is: what is the future of art shows?  How will the show go on?

Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival, held outdoors August 6-8 in Breckenridge, CO, is scheduled to happen.  It will be my first art show in 5 months.  This juried fine art show will be one of the first to occur in Colorado.  Here are the modifications and safety measures that are set by the show director:

  • Booths will be spread out 10 feet apart reducing number of booths to about 35 at each Main Street Station and The Village. 
  • We request that artists adjust booth layout to allow for people to easily pass through. For example, open a wall and utilize outside walls when possible
  • Face masks are required to be worn by participants and patrons
    • This is a requirement for all businesses in town as well 
  • Limit the number of patrons in booth at a time when possible
  • Traffic flow to be directed one way when possible
  • No live music to prevent groups from gathering
  • Kid area canceled
  • Each booth will have a sign displayed with social distancing requirements: 
    • Encourage only 1 person in booth at a time 
    • Mark 6 feet in front of booths 
    • Wear masks while in booth
    • Wear gloves/use sanitizer if handling art- glass, ceramics, etc 
    • Prefer credit card- discourage cash handling 
  • Signs throughout event encouraging face masks, social distancing, wash hands often, and stay home if feeling ill
  • Stations throughout event with hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks for the public
  • Volunteers throughout event encouraging social distancing and wearing masks
  • Each booth will have hand sanitizer
  • Paper programs will not be provided this year. We will utilize QR codes on signs and advertising for layout maps and show information for patrons

Here are the additional measures I will do:

  • Have a UV sanitizer to sanitize all jewelry after handling
  • Install a sneeze guard in the middle section of my booth
  • Most jewelry will be behind glass
  • For payment, have customer put credit card into chip reader on a tray, no signature required.  Sanitize chip reader and tray after each use

I know this is a lot of information, but I want you to know what's being done to have art shows continue and that you feel safe attending.  Art shows are good for the city, good for the patrons, and good for the artists!  If you have ever been to a juried art show, you can just feel the good vibes.  This is one of the reasons why I love to do them!  

You can view my show schedule and see where I will be in the late summer.  I hope to see you soon and give you an "air hug"!