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A few of the pits that are awaiting firing

via Instagram

Art Shows, Pop-up Shops, and Galleries - Oh My

Show season is coming up sooner than you would think.  That means I'm spending a lot of time in the studio making pots and glazing pots and thinking about pots.  I'm also thinking about selling them and where.  Atlanta normally has beautiful weather in the spring and fall, actually, most years we can't even really complain about the winters but it's the spring and fall that bring people outside.  This means that festival promoters are ready to take advantage of this nice weather and desire to be out and about.  Consequently it's possible to go to multiple arts festivals each weekend in the Atlanta area during the nicer seasons.  It feels like over saturation.

Pop-up shops are becoming increasingly popular also.  This is where a promoter arranges for several artist and crafts people to occupy an empty building or store front for anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.  People are encouraged to come in and shop right now because the event is temporary.

Pots in Progress

Both arts festivals and pop-up shops seem like a good idea for artists.  I do several festivals each year and I do enjoy doing them.  I get to meet people like you face to face and have a conversation.  It's nice.  The pottery tends to sell well at these events which is very nice.  The thing is, whenever a festival is held in an area many of the local businesses have really slow days unless they sell food or beer.  A pop-up shop comes into the neighborhood for a short period of time and takes business away from the gallery or shop that has been there paying rent and taxes all year long.  It presents a conundrum for the artist.  I want the shops and galleries to thrive but I also need the sales I get from the festivals.

So far I have only done one pop-up shop and it was held by Charis Books and More who sell my work.  They have been in business in Atlanta for about 35 years.  I feel like the pop-up shop they have helps everyone.  I love that as a solution for part of the conundrum.

What's your opinion?

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. when I was in Florida I attended a symposium by three gallery owners and they suggested artists approach a gallery to do a popuup show with the artist organizing and suggesting the theme of the show; I have never done this but it seems like that would be a win win situation for the gallery owner.

    I never realized that Atlanta had that many festivals to have multiples on a same weekend. wow

    1. Yes Linda, it would be good for everyone involved.

  2. I have just started to hear about "pop-up" shops. You bring up some very good points about how they can hurt the retailers that are committed to being there every day, year after year. Selling is definitely the hardest part of making pots.

  3. it is all good ideas, but look at your 2 handled platter!

  4. I think pop up art shows would be so fun. I know a girl here that does pop up yoga classes. Galleries aren't giving me much lovin' these days, I'm just gonna work for myself!


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