Other Voices

Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival is not a tacky flea market

Pat Lee’s sculptures were on display Saturday at Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival.
Pat Lee’s sculptures were on display Saturday at Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

As I read “Learn these Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival essentials “ in the Friday Star-Telegram, it felt like a slap in the face when I saw this: “We recommend browsing early, say Friday at lunchtime, and circling back to buy your art on Sunday — the best day to get a deal.”

Artists come from all over the United States and Canada to participate in this show.

After travel, lodging, meals, booth fees and jury fees, the artist has an investment of $2,500 to $5,000 just to show up.

This is on top of the investment of booth displays, lighting, tent and trailer or van.

Springtime outdoor art festivals in Texas are subject to thunderstorms, wind and rain that increase the risk of losing money.

The artists’ agreement for Main St. states, “All work submitted and exhibited must be original, hand-crafted work produced by the artist and may not be the result of work from commercial kits, molds, green ware, patterns, plans, prefabricated forms or other commercial methods.”

This means that the work at Main St. is one-of-a-kind art, not retail store merchandise.

The artists that I know take a lot of pride in their work and go through significant agony in determining the price, so they take offense when asked if they will take less than the established price.

Most artists work hard to establish a following of collectors that hopefully will continue to add to their collections.

How would you feel if you were a collector of a particular artist’s work and found out that someone bought a similar piece at a lower price on Sunday because they got “a deal”?

I can’t tell you how many times someone has come to my booth to buy something they saw earlier only to find that it had been sold.

In fact that happened three times this past weekend.

In addition to the fact that the art you wanted may no longer available, the show may not even be open on Sunday due to weather.

If the Star-Telegram publishes another article about Main St. or any other art show, I hope the newspaper will keep this in mind and consider the artist’s position and the words’ effect on them.

As a longtime subscriber who is trying to justify the increased price of the Star-Telegram, I would appreciate it if someone could tell me how to “get a deal” so I won't have to pay full price for the newspaper.

Raymond Rains creates blown and fused art glass for sale at his Cliff House Studio and Gallery in Fort Worth.