The inaugural “Salida Arts Fair” is one of the premier arts destinations in Colorado. The small town of Salida is known as an arts community. The show location is a beautiful park adjacent to the Salida Aquatic center and on the major highway through town. (Large trees, grass, and bathrooms)

There were 55 artists for this first time show. Artists came from many states. There was NO buy-sell or commercial. The show looked great. This show is put on by a local artist and gallery owner, Jerry Scaveezze. Jerry, has been doing art shows as an artist for over 30 years. He did a lot of print advertising  in newspapers and magazines around the state, and had posters and signs also. Show is adjacent to HWY 50 which will have 10,000 cars a day drive slowly past. (Stop light on the corner.) There was a steady flow of cars pulling off to visit the show. Folks living in the Salida area were in strong support and were in attendance and buying.

Crowds were great on Saturday morning. I sold best from 10 am to 12:30 PM. There is also a beer festival in town on this date, and many folks left to attend that event. Show was slow on Saturday afternoon. Show was off to a slow start on Sunday but then folks started milling about and I made more sales. I am a local Salida painter selling original oil paintings. I was happy with my sales. I sold one large painting, one medium sized painting and quite a few small paintings. Another fine art artist a couple booths down from me had a better show. Amado Peña had a double booth at this show.

Pottery, metal arts, baskets, scrolled wood and jewelery seemed to have the most sales. Also, a new artist selling stone chairs and sculptures did very well, selling most of his items. Good show for artists with a lower end ($$) in their booths. I think furniture would do well at this show if it is reasonably priced. Some higher end artists did not sell well. Clothing and fiber arts could do well at this show.

Set-up and tear down was made easier with the help of a few boys and girls from the local Boys & Girls Club. The promoter paid them by the hour but artists were expected to tip them. A wise investment, and my young helpers were great. You parked on Holman Avenue and dolly to your booth space. Set up was all day Friday.  Jerry and his staff supplied all artists with a free collapsible water bottle and then delivered ice cold water to our booths.  Jerry and his staff were VERY helpful and were listening to all suggestions to help with next year’s show. Booth sitters were available also. Jerry and his staff helped artists with their tear downs too. Excellent!

Weather was nice in the mornings, then turned humid and hot. We had threatening storms moving over head all afternoon. The storms moved around us and there was no rain.

There was a free shuttle from the beer festival to the art show. Show needs chairs and resting spots for customers, water and lemonade stands.

I believe this show will grow and become more popular. The Lake City show is the Tuesday following, and the weekend before is Cherry Creek, Breckenridge and Pike’s Peak (a few more too). The following weekend is the Lake Dillon Show and Winter Park. All within a few hours drive. Do not confuse this new Salida Arts Festival with the Riverside Arts Festival held in Salida. I would not recommend the Riverside Arts Festival.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on July 15, 2014 at 1:40pm

I posted a review of Steamboat Springs, CO for this same weekend. In reading it, would you say Salida was on a par with, better, or not quite there yet?

Comment by Susan Spohn on July 15, 2014 at 3:28pm

First year for the Salida Arts Festival, Richard. The Steamboat Springs festival has been going on for a long time. You may have done well in Salida as there were not any leather booths, and there are ranchers here who may need saddles. I believe you have a strong lower end in your booth and that would be important.  I am looking forward to the Salida Art Festival next year.

Comment by Connie Mettler on July 15, 2014 at 7:06pm

I talked with Jerry Scavesse at the Old Town Art Fair (as I drooled over the jewelry in his cases). He seems to know what to do and what this show needs, so it is great to hear Susan that it worked. First year shows can be tough, but this one had a good date and a nice location, given the traffic that couldn’t miss it.

Dick, what will you do with too many good shows nearby?

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on July 15, 2014 at 9:41pm

I’m still “mining” the resort areas. That’s a pun as many of them started out as gold or silver mining camps in the late 19th century. There are some I haven’t done as I know I need to change my booth set up to the “museum” booth versus my “inventory” booth for jurors and promoters. I would like to get to the point where I can alternate some of the shows. I like to make money as well as art, and both take a lot of work.

Comment by C.C. Barton on July 16, 2014 at 11:07am

Great review, Susan!  I also live in Salida and although I’ve retired myself from participating in any outdoor show which requires a canopy, I did walk the show Saturday morning and thought it looked terrific.  It’s a beautiful setting, but more importantly this show is being run by one of the best.  I’m one of Jerry’s gallery artists and have known him for many years.  He knows what he is doing and will absolutely look out for the artists.  I was very impressed with the look and feel of this first year show.

Comment by Jerry Scavezze on July 16, 2014 at 2:06pm

Thank You, Susan Spohn and C.C. Barton for your kind reviews of my first attempt at hosting a show. Like any show, there were bright spots and dim ones. One photographer had the 2nd best show of his career. A drum maker told me he feels like the day is a success if he sells 3 drums in a day. Sat. he sold 7, and Sun. 6. Next year will hopefully be even better. I learned a lot, and made a few mistakes, but all in all, a successful first year event I think. Thanks again for your reviews. Jerry Scavezze

Comment by Connie Mettler on July 18, 2014 at 11:25am

I spoke with an artist who participated in Ann Arbor. Although her sales not so good at Salida, she was very impressed that the people who working on the show were not also participating, reinforcing the idea that Jerry and his crew are not there just for their own financial profit.

Comment by John Kennington on August 14, 2014 at 1:14am

I second the all positive comments about the Salida Arts Festival. One great thing Jerry Scaveezze did was provide everyone with empty collapsible water ‘bottles’, and he or his helpers regularly stopped by with a water container to refill your container.  Here is a pic of Jerry himself pushing the water cart:

Comment by Ken Smith on August 20, 2014 at 12:54pm

I did Salida Riverside last year and Jerry’s Salida Arts Festival show this year.  I can honestly say that this show was light years ahead of Riverside.  My sales were fantastic and as of this post (5 shows later) was my second best show ever.

Even the crowds were different.  For example, two of my biggest customers were tourists who saw the show from US 50 as well as the signs posted on the highway.  I asked every customer who purchased from me, how they found the show, and were home is.  But savvy locals purchased as well.  One customer purchased a piece off the wall.  The following day, his spouse brought in a photo for us to mount and ship back to her just because they liked our mounting.

Another great aspect that Jerry did for marketing was a “this or that” promotion on Facebook.  He took the jury images of every artist and posted their work for comparison and asked people on FB which piece do you like best from this artist.  I should mention that he compared the images submitted by the same artist and not different artists for the which do you like best.

I realize art is subjective, but as a photographer, I did well at this show selling off the wall, custom pieces, special orders, and bin prints with sales that ranged from 45.00 on the entry level to 995.00.

Jerry was also concerned about every artist, their sales, and their feedback positive or negative.  And he was genuine about it!

My personal favorite after the show was the thank you card I received in the mail from a Salida resident last week that said “The photo is awesome!  So glad we found you!”  That is just one of the reasons I love what I do.

Awesome job Jerry and kudos to your staff.