How to Sell at Art Shows

Art shows showcase art in all mediums and can be a lucrative way to sell your work and increase public awareness of your abilities. Selling art at shows requires you to have good customer service and organizational skills in addition to artistic talent. Here are a few tips on how to sell at art shows.


  1. 1
    Many shows require a fee to participate. Check with the show's organizer or website to see what requirements need to be met, when you need to show up, and how much space you will have.
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    Visit the show in advance.
    • This will give you an idea of how many artists will be selling at the art show, the variety of mediums that are represented, the size crowd a show draws and the average prices for the medium of art that you create. Doing your homework ahead of time will help you choose art shows that will the most lucrative for you.
    • Artists have to apply through a jury process in order to sell at art shows. Your art work will be judged and you can only sell in the medium you listed on your application. Selling art in non-approved mediums could result in fines or refused entry into future shows.
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    Establish a reasonable price.
    • Selling at art shows is all about selling what patrons can afford to buy. Determine an average price for your work and what you feel it's worth. Take into consideration the kind of art show you're entering when you decide what to display. More expensive pieces would do well at a high-end show, but smaller shows or community art shows call for more economically priced pieces.
    • Choose art in a variety of sizes, colors and textures. This will draw attention to your booth, entice patrons by giving them a lot to choose from and increase your sales opportunities by appealing to a wider audience of art buyers.
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    Display a variety of pieces.
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    Utilize a neutral display.
    • Display your art against a simple, neutrally colored display. Use white or beige backdrops to hang paintings or photographs and simple wooden or metal shelves for sculptures or pottery. This will keep the focus on your art and emphasize details in each piece.
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    Greet each patron.
    • Patrons at art shows are more likely to buy from an artist that is approachable and willing to answer questions, so greet each person that enters your booth and be attentive and friendly.
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    Bring packaging materials.
    • Stock your booth with bubble wrap, boxes and bags to package purchases for patrons. This will ensure that fragile pieces will make it home safely with the buyer. Practice wrapping a few in advance so you can do it quickly and effectively at the show.


  • If the show is outdoors, it may be advisable to have a pop-up canopy to shade you, your customers, and your work. They are simple to set up, and you can use the walls to display some work, or place them on tables beneath it. Usually, a good quality canopy can cost around $100, and you should always check to make sure it will fit in the space given to you at registration
  • Greet patrons with a smile, and tell them a bit about your work. Many artists will also do "demos" of their process during the show, creating a new piece while people browse through.


  • Pay attention to the instructions given! Failure to do so can result it getting pulled from the show.
  • If someone is rude to you or criticizes your work, don't act out or shout at them. You'll get a reputation that will harm your business.

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Categories: Selling Arts and Crafts