Even though most people know Rochester for Kodak or its signature garbage plate, more people have started to take note of Rochester’s thriving arts scene. From new featured art at the Memorial Art Gallery to the local artists showcasing their skills at its countless festivals each year, folks from across the state have indulged in the local art for which Rochester is known.
Now that the Lilac Festival has wrapped up for the season, it’s time to set our sights on the next upcoming Rochester-based event: the Corn Hill Arts Festival.
This annual event will be entering its 51st year as a Rochester staple event. Taking place in the Corn Hill district, hundreds of craft exhibitors and food vendors will peddle the best art and grub that Rochester has to offer.
This year, more than 325 artists are expected to line up and down nine streets to present and sell their best work starting on July 13.
But if you’re an up-and-comer, don’t worry: the festival will also feature its 11th annual display of the Emerging Artists Expo. This exposition is designed to celebrate emerging talent in young artists aged 15 through 25. The event will be taking applications until May 31, so be sure to submit your work before the deadline in only a few days.
The Emerging Artists Expo is a great opportunity for rising artists to showcase their work and begin interacting with the local community. Those who are accepted to present at the event will be given a 10 ft by 10 ft booth on Eagle street, giving them ample space to feature art and compete for a cash prize at the end of the festival.
“The Corn Hill Arts Festival is a perfect opportunity for young, emerging artists throughout Rochester to showcase their talents and highlight their impact on the community,” notes Denise Cook, the CEO and director for MVP Health Care.
If you’re one of the many artists attending the event, whether new or old, here are some of the top tips you can use to prepare your exhibit for the festival.
Consider the size of your booth
Artists will be given a booth that measures around 100 square feet. This will include any tables, staging, or other displays you want to incorporate in this space. The size is akin to those that you would see in trade shows. But while there are more than 252 convention centers for trade shows across the country, there’s only one Corn Hill Arts Festival. To make an impact with this crowd, you’ll need to use your space dynamically.
Your first step should be buying a tent to shield your guests and art from the sun and rain. This will protect your art from the glare of the hot sun and the sporadic rain that Rochester handles on a daily basis. While you might think your tent detracts from your booth’s aesthetic, this is a valuable tool for many artists. Try pinning your artwork on the walls of your tent and hanging dangling pieces, like wind chimes or jewelry, from its connecting rods. This will create an interactive space for your customers.
Create emphasis on certain pieces
While most artists typically showcase their art on a few tables, you can bring as many tools and displays as you want for your tent. This includes stacking boxes, drawers, shelves, and more. Though you shouldn’t make your tent look too cluttered, you can utilize these unique components to feature more of your artwork than you ever thought possible.
You can add points of emphasis in your booth by displaying art at multiple levels to highlight statement art pieces and organize like-groups. Many artists will organize their space through a number of different categories, including:
Other artists may even include cultural sections that highlight their personal backgrounds. This offers a unique opportunity for the artist to make connections with buyers. For example, artists showcasing traditional Mexican art may feature a collection of unique pieces for a higher price. It’s estimated that Mexican-Americans make up the largest population of immigrants in the United States at 26%.
Even though the Corn Hill Arts Festival starts in sunny July, you might still need great lighting for your tent on dreary days. Try accenting your tent with stylish string lights or bright LED lights so your guests can still view your work regardless of the weather outside. These eco-friendly options shine brighter than incandescent lights and are a top choice for businesses looking to utilize signage and more. It’s no wonder LEDs are estimated to receive 53% of the global market for lighting. Even if attendance is low because of the rain, you can be sure that any attendee will be able to check out your art.
Add an interactive component
There will be countless vendors showcasing similar products at the festival. When you want your booth to stand out, you need to utilize any tactic you have at your disposal. One of the most simple ways to encourage people to visit your booth is by adding an interactive component.
This can be as simple or as big as you want. Many tradeshow exhibitors and vendors find that fishbowl lotteries are an easy way to pull a crowd. Those who are acquainted with the Corn Hill Arts Festival might even include a scavenger hunt associated with the event or other forms of group entertainment. The sky is the limit when it comes to showcasing your booth’s creativity!
Even if your booth showcases the most beautiful, unique pieces of art, you may not make sales if your customers don’t know your name. When you’re setting up your booth, it’s vital that you invest in great signage to display your name or the name of your company. In fact, it’s estimated that half of all customers who patron a business — or in this case, your exhibit — entered because of its signage.
You should also be sure to include business cards for your customers. Even if someone doesn’t buy a piece of art today, that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. Offer quality business cards with your contact information, including your social media handles. This will ensure anyone who comes to your booth will be able to find you later. They may even recommend you to their friends, potentially doubling your reach.
With only a month and some change to spare, it’s time to start planning. These are just some of the ways you can stand out at this year’s Corn Hill Arts Festival.