The Unartist was participant in this years juried festival
The New Hope Arts Festival takes place in New Hope PA yearly at the start of the Fall season, usually in October. Located on the Delaware River just north of Philadelphia with Lambertville New Jersey right across the bridge. This was my first year to participate and these are my impressions.
The Festival - Unlike Artscape or the Manayunk Arts Festivals, New Hope would be considered quite small. It only takes up roughly 5 - 6 blocks. It seems rather clear now that the Festival only does word of mouth advertising at best or none at all. I questioned the visitors who stopped by, how they knew of the festival and all would give the same message, "we just happened to be coming to New Hope for a visit". To my surprise, many of the visitors were from New Jersey and more than a handful from New York City. New Hope is known for it's art and more important, an antiques haven. But one cannot call New Hope "cutting edge", but more traditional, with pretty landscapes as a staple with slightly countryfied furnishings available in selected shops. Public restrooms are limited but most businesses will allow visitors to use their facilites. Also, no live entertainment, no face painting et al, and no food vendors (with the exception of the local Fire Station selling hotdogs and such to raise money). The show was run very nicely, easy set up & break downs, with extremely accessible volunteers and staff. The show runs from 11:00 - 6:00 Saturday and 11:00 - 5:00 Sunday. This year, rain threatened most of Saturday which might explain the small crowd.
The Crowd - You cannot depend on the crowds for energy. The crowds were mixed, but dominated by "our parents" or empty nesters. More hidden tattos than Manayunk yet lacked the "orange" hair crowds of Artscape. I need the 20 & 30 something crowd for my stuff, but they were a minority for the 2 days of the festival or just weren't enough of them to go around. I can safely say these were the smallest crowds I have ever seen in shows I have participated in, yet my sales were quite reasonable and not the smallest. Who'da guessed...
The Arts - The usual array a fine talented work could be found, from beaded jewelers, photographers, painters and mixed media. I even ran into an artist featured here a few years ago, Andrew Criss of Rehoboth Beach Delaware. Small world isn't it?
Bottom Line - My bottom line was acceptable but not enough to make me have to come back next year. If I did participate in 2005, I would certainly change some of my work to appeal to a wider maybe slightly older crowd. I did sell items that were more "serious" pieces, but a piece that sold in EVERY show I did this year did not sell in New Hope. What does that mean, I have no idea.
The New Hope Festival is only $200.00 for a 2 day show which is reasonable. With the right stuff, who knows... I rate this a STRONG C+ and warrants a second try, hope to see you next year.
the UnArtist - "I really know nothing about art other than what I like and if it's more than that, then I must be lost..."
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