The Passionate Pair to Meet at Hobe Sound Fair

The 11th Annual Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts takes place  February 4th & 5th, 2012  10:00 am – 5:00 pm.  Admission is free.  The event takes place on A1A/ Dixie Highway in Hobe Sound,FL.Why is this show different from others?  There is an artisan couple you need to meet!  If you are looking for that “special something” for that “special someone”, be sure to stop and see Leslie and  John Huston!  Plus, Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts takes place just before Valentine’s Day…

They wed on October 10, 2010 at 10:10 a.m. in front of Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, with family and friends in attendance.  Their cake was in the shape of a baseball!  She is the jewelry designer and he is the marketing manager at accessoreez in St. Pete, FL.

After completing her art studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, Mills College in Oakland and the University of San Diego, Leslie Belcher moved to FL.   She is Director of Design at accessoreez in Saint Petersburg.

“At accessoreez ‘art to wear’ is our motto and our passion is to create extraordinary designs that enhance every womans beauty.  Our mission is focused.  With todays marketplace of impersonal “me too” mass merchandising accessoreez offers a refreshingly different shopping experience”, Leslie says.

Rainbow Glass Necklace Each original accessoreez design is conceived and developed with the inclusion of intricately sculpted borosilicate glass masterpieces as focal elements. Years of experience amongst the members of the accessoreez design team has synergized into a common force to produce some of the most glorious art glass creations available to today’s discreet clientele.

Also an accomplished mixed media artist, Leslie has honed her skills over the years in the design and implementation of contemporary hand blown tempered and torch fired glass focal elements as her art medium. Incorporating art glass and various semi-precious gemstones, freshwater pearls, sterling silver, & other fine materiel into each unique lifestyle inspiration, Leslie’s work has recently been featured in Southern Living Magazine and represented at select art galleries and fine boutiques across the country.

Leslie relates, “I am a glass artist & jewelry designer living in St. Pete, Florida. I started my company, accessoreez, 8 years ago when I was downsized from my corporate job & this was what I was meant to do. I work with great people & some truly talented artists & my commute is walking into my studio. If you’re looking for something unique….this is the place”.

For coverage of your events, listing of announcements in our events section, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Howard Alan, Bringing Art to the Streets

Rickie, Howard, and Max

The Rickie Report has showcased a number of local artists who participate in juried shows run by Howard Alan Events and American Craft Endeavors.  We met with Howard to hear his perspective on the business and will share his helpful hints in making your show experience more successful.  Consider this:  it all started more than 29 years ago with a man and a gorilla.

Leaving a career as a chiropractor, Howard Alan went into retail, settling in Plantation, Florida.  Howard featured 40-50 artists and crafters on consignment, which was a unique and successful endeavor all on its own.  In an effort to bring in the business, he strategically placed a 6-foot-4-inch gorilla named “Magilla” out on the street and declared that “Magilla” was running for Mayor!
The Mayor at the time was not happy that he was being poked fun at and had Howard arrested.  The brilliant publicity stunt to promote the store not only worked, it landed Howard and “Magilla” on several local TV news stations, as well as “Good Morning America” and “PM Magazine”.   Found guilty of “having something illegal on the street,” Howard was ordered to pay a $500 fine, serve probation, and donate “Magilla”, who had become a celebrity to various charities and organizations for a 6-month period.
Through the whole ordeal, Howard realized he had a knack for advertising and public relations.  Combining his newly discovered talent and his passion for the arts, Howard created Howard Alan Events, a public relations and advertising agency specializing in art show promotions.
Howard’s first show was in a Boca Raton housing development during the dead heat of summer.  It was a great learning experience.  Howard started promoting craft shows in shopping centers, in conjunction with bands, classic cars and beauty pageants.  Approximately 100 exhibitors were featured.  It was a serious struggle, but Howard was determined to make it work.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Today, Howard Alan is one of the most widely and highly recognized individuals in the industry.  Along with Debbie, his wife and business partner and their dedicated staff, Howard runs 45 annual juried art shows and 40 annual craft shows out of a small office in Tequesta, Florida.
No matter which corner of the nation you visit you are sure to find a Howard Alan event somewhere, be it Aspen, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Alexandria, Cleveland, Ft. Lauderdale, Sarasota, or Beaver Creek, just to name a few.   These popular outdoor festivals are consistently ranked among the top art shows in the country.
With all the shows came all the artists.  Over the last 24 years, Howard Alan is proud to have exhibited the work of over 10,000 different artists worldwide.
Today, a typical Howard Alan show will feature anywhere from 100 to 300 exhibitors.  These artists are like family to Howard and Debbie and many have been with them since the very beginning.   Many credit Howard Alan for allowing them to make a living doing what they love most.   Sitting sidecar through all of this is “Magilla’s” head, which Howard keeps at his office for good luck.

Debbie Alan

No matter how many shows in the schedule or how large the staff grows, Howard Alan Events is still a family business that cares about its exhibitors.   In fact, Howard and Debbie still travel and coordinate many of their own shows.  It is not uncommon to see them at 5am assisting exhibitors with setup, or offering a little pep talk on selling or booth display.  It is this consistency of commitment and quality that has created a faithful following among artists and customers.

TRR: What criteria do you look for in choosing a venue?
HA:  Our team will go to an area and spend some time visiting the local art galleries, interior designers, museums, hotels and shops.  We find that art show afficiandos like to incorporate our events as a “stay-cation”.   We need to get a feel for the community, taking into consideration its own flavor and taste, before we can bring in artists.  If the area is contemporary or more nature-oriented, that will affect which artists we will promote at the show.  Our artists travel from all over the country.  We want to offer different, fresh work that is affordable to the community and at the same time be saleable.  Our number one goal is to take of the artist.
HA: We are also growing and diversifying.  A number of surprises are in the works!  Also, you notice there is no music program at our shows.  We feel it takes the attention away from the artists who are showing their work.  We want the artists to be able to interact with the attendees with no distractions.
TRR: Tell us more about the exhibitors.
HA:  This may come as a surprise, but the average age of the exhibitor is 63.  These are people who work very hard.  Many of them had former careers and gave up the security of a regular pay check to do what they are passionate about.  We are very proud to offer “handmade in America” products.   About 20-25% of the exhibitors in each show are new to the show.  Our artists’ following is very loyal.  There are some artists who follow us around the circuit for the season.
TRR: Each show is juried.  Artists must send photos or videos of not only their work, but of them working on their pieces of art.  Tell us about the jurying process.
HA: We have an independent group of judges who are knowledgable about their particular art area.  We strive to keep everything in our shows handcrafted.  Do some things slip by?  Yes.  But, it is rare.  When we are putting a show together, we also look at categories.  Typically, 45 out of every 100 applications is for jewelry.  That category is only 20% of each show.  We want diversity to not only be fair to the exhibitors, but to keep the shows fresh for the attendees.   With the advent of the zapplication www.zapplication.org there is increased competition to get into a show.
TRR: Have you met any particularly innovative artists?
HA:  I live in an art show!  Event posters  decorate the walls of the offices, along with unique pieces  like the British telephone booth; the vintage gasoline pump, and other sculptures.
TRR: What tips would you offer an artist/artisan who has never done a show?
HA:  Know your audience!  If you have not sold anything over one season, it is time to reinvent yourself.  Fresh work and good quality emanates no matter how large or small your work is.   Consider your display very carefully.   It needs to be aesthetically appealing.  It is not enough to put objects on a shelf or hang artwork on a wall.  Talk to your potential buyers.  Tell them what inspired you to make what you are selling.  Have professional business cards and a sign-up book to capture email addresses so you can contact them when you are going to be in the area in the future.
TRR: Note to TRR readers – see archives and more helpful hints in article posted 09/25/11.

For coverage of your events, listing of announcements in our events section, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291

Behind the Scenes at a Howard Alan Art Festival

Howard Alan Events, Producer of the Nation’s Finest Juried Art Shows,
Showcases Local and Nationally Recognized Artists

Art festivals produced by Howard Alan Events are first class art exhibits much like those you’d expect at an art gallery or a museum but outdoors and family friendly.  The Florida based company has a long history for making art more accessible to the community in a casual and fun setting.

Howard Alan Events is the nation’s top producer of high-end art festivals and has perfected the art of doing business.  Howard Alan and his wife Debbie started out in a small office in Plantation, Florida and through the years this family owned company has exhibited the work of thousands of artists from all over the country and abroad.  Howard Alan Events is one of the most widely recognized art festival promoters in the country, producing more than 45 festivals a year.  Howard and Debbie personally oversee these shows and are usually found on site at one event or another.

Howard Alan Events has provided more than 10,000 different artists the opportunity to exhibit their work and make their businesses grow; many of them have given up professional careers, trading in their dress shoes for sandals.  The art festivals help generate millions of dollars for a variety of organizations such as chambers, rotary clubs, downtown business associations and several other non-profit community organizations.  The artists, local merchants, restaurants and hotels all benefit from these events that drive additional guests and dollars to the art shows as well as the local economies.  Company founder Howard Alan advocates the importance of supporting the arts and artists because this in turn helps the local economy.   “Art is an investment that’s tangible;  you can hang it on the wall and enjoy it as it appreciates in value,” explains Alan.

Although based in Florida, Howard Alan Events develops and presents art and craft shows throughout the country.  For the past 25 years, Howard Alan Events has produced some of the nation’s finest juried art shows, including more than 40 venues each year such as the Alexandria King Street Festival of the Arts, Alexandria, VA, Aspen Art Festival (Aspen, CO), Beaver Creek Art Festival (Beaver Creek, CO), Chicago Tribune North Michigan Avenue Art Festival (Chicago, IL), and the Las Olas Art Fairs, (Fort Lauderdale, FL).   Several shows are ranked in the top 100 art fairs in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine.  The group’s founders personally select culture rich cities for their show locations providing a complete outdoor experience unmatched by other festivals.   Each show is unique with works of both established and emerging artists who depend on Howard Alan Events for their livelihood.

“We are a national touring art fair based in South Florida, but we found that some of our best customers wanted us to bring top-rate festivals to their hometowns” says Alan.  “These are vibrant areas, rich in culture and supportive of the arts.  We bring a local contingency of artists, as well as a troupe of artists from around the country that have never exhibited in these areas.”

The artists are juried by an independent panel of expert judges, and hand-selected from hundreds of applicants based on quality and diversity.   All of their artwork is original and handmade in America.

Howard Alan Events stipulates that all artists are required to be on-site for the entire duration of the show.   The artists line each venue with their gallery style display booths, transforming the area into a first-class outdoor art gallery.  Festival goers can meet the artists who are available to discuss their art and inspiration.  The artistic media represented include paintings, sculptures, photos, glass, wood, jewelry, collage, and ceramics.

Prices range from $25 hand-designed earrings to $50,000 metal sculptures.  The festivals appeal to family and friends as a free and fun weekend activity, as well as serious art buyers looking to add to their collections.

For additional information on Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.

For coverage of your events, listing of announcements in our events section, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420

Rickie@therickiereport.com

561-537-0291