Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival E-mail



DATES: March 11-12, 2011


ATTENDANCE: N/A (2 requests)

BOOTH COST (10X10): $450.00




riogrande-1Craft/art collectors in the Southwest can choose any number of jewelry and Native American art focused shows throughout New Mexico to visit, but few where you can find contemporary home furnishings, glasswork and pottery alongside Native American inspired paintings, sculpture, jewelry and more.

A Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival is one of those few.

The one element that has makes this show – as well as the producer’s two other shows – a general success for 23 years, is that there is a great mix of work available.

Yet while the overall quality of work in this show is very good, there do seem to be some exhibitors selling work that would normally not be juried into a show that emphasizes “handmade” art and crafts; but the kind of work that you would see at an outdoor fair or street festival. For the most part the addition of that work doesn’t really affect the feel of the show, but it does make one wonder why they were juried in.

riogrande-2It didn’t seem to matter however, to the shoppers that were at the show on Saturday when, according to a majority of the artists interviewed, they did most of their buying.

And because a large number of the artists exhibiting this year have done the show many times before, the regulars who shop the show know what to expect for their admission price.

The problem with this familiarity is that, without enough new exhibiting artists, the show will eventually just become something for the regulars to do that weekend instead of a place to go and buy new stuff.

So the challenge for new artists considering applying to next year’s show is whether there will be a slot available.

riogrande-3This show is not a big money maker, but if you think you will be in the Southwest this time next year, by all means apply for the show. The marketing for the show is strong – which accounts, according to the artists we spoke with, for the good attendance – and the producers know how to run a show that puts the least amount of stress on the artist.

Plus, this show has a history of attracting shoppers that actually buy. The show still attracts these shoppers; it’s just that they aren’t buying as much. But they do come to the show, and it’s only a matter of time before that changes.




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