Over the past few weeks, I have seen, read, and heard a lot of uncertainty about art shows and festivals all over the United States. Artists are questioning how we can proceed with shows under the requirement of social distancing requirements. Health experts are now indicating that we will need to following social distancing guidelines through the summer. I have seen that a large number of national shows have already canceled. Some of these shows have refunded Artists who have already paid their booth fees. I have spoken with some artists who have not been reimbursed. These artists are now deep in the red, some upwards of $10,000, with no hope of income from the shows. With many in the art community in the elevated risk category for COVID-19, including myself, I do not feel that participation in fairs and festivals this year will be possible.
In addition to the possible exposure to asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19, I have to take into consideration the following cost associated with applying for and participating in shows that may or may not happen. Applications fee are typically $40 per show, and booth fees are another $400. I had plans to take part in 6-7 shows for the remainder of this year. This would have meant a possible loss of $2,640 to $3,080 in just application and booth fees, not including mileage to and from each show or lodging when needed.
Lastly, my health concerns are well-founded. Over the past six years, I have battled to learn why my body reacts the way that it does. Through working with many different healthcare professionals, I am finally in a better place health-wise than I have been since 2008. I fight battles with chronic migraines, but as long as I follow the health plan that is in place, I am better. This past February, I was exposed to Influenza A by a person at an art fair. This person was well over six feet away from me, yet I was infected. It took well over three weeks to recover from that. I have no desire to go through the experience of trying to recover from COVID-19. With that being said, because I’m a landscape and travel photographer and my wife and I travel to remote locations (generally speaking) during our travels, once I can, I will begin producing new works.
I’m greatly appreciative of my patron’s and their purchases of my open editions and limited editions. I am equally grateful for those who have taken their time to come out to art fairs and art shows to speak with me about my art.
Just because I’m not taking part in art fairs and festivals this year does not mean that you cannot keep up to date with projects what I’m working on. You can do this by following me on:
- My website https://craigniesen.com
- Instagram https://www.instagram.com/craigniesen/
- Twitter https://twitter.com/craigniesen (@CraigNiesen)
- Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CraigNiesenPhotography/
- YouTube http://craign.us/youtube/
I will also be revamping my website in the coming months to make it easier to find limited editions that I’ve sold at art fairs. I currently list limited editions for sale on the site. I feel that I can make the site experience more like a gallery, and by doing so will make it easier for someone to find that piece that relates to them.