Artist Setup101

What types of materials should I bring for my booth?

At any Art Walk you go to, you will notice a variety of displays: everything from the artist with canvases laid out across a tarp on the ground, to what are essentially custom-built, portable storefronts! First and foremost, we encourage artists to work within their means and level of expertise. If this is your first Art Walk, keep it simple! Many of our more experienced artists have taken many years of events to build displays that meet their needs. If you’re looking for ideas on what to use or include in your display, here are the materials we see most often at the Leduc Art Walk:

  • A 10x10 pop-up canopy tent like this one. A tent will protect both you and your art from the elements, and helps to lend an air of professionalism to your display. When searching for tents, quality matters. A cheaply made, flimsy tent can quickly become a safety hazard; do your research and read reviews before making a purchase!

  • If you are using a tent, you must have weights to hold down each corner of the tent. Our rule is that tents must have least 20 lbs of weight on each leg but, the more, the better. Again, an unsecured tent can quickly become a safety hazard. There are specifically designed tent-weights, like these, or empty bags that you can fill with rocks or sand, like these. Here are some ideas for alternate weight ideas if you’re more of a DIY-kinda-guy! Also consider what you will use to attach the weights to your tent; bungee cords or ropes work great.

  • Gridwall, like this. Gridwall provides infinite possibilities for the set-up and display of your booth and art. It’s modular, so you can experiment with a different set-up every time you use it! Note that gridwall is heavy and can be cumbersome to transport; depending on the size of your gridwall, you could need anywhere from 4-8 feet of flat space to transport it, and you may need a friend to help you set it up.

  • A sign to help identify you, with your name/company clearly visible. Some artists include their website and social media accounts on their signs as well. Artists’ signage ranges from professionally printed, vinyl signs, to handmade posters and signs. Work within your means!

  • A table and chair. At the very least, it’s good to have somewhere other than the ground to keep your materials and your bottom.

  • You may want to consider bringing a mat or outdoor carpet for your booth. Vendors at the Leduc Art Walk are set up on pavement which, we’ll admit, can be tough on the feet and the eyes!

  • Many artists have started to offer the option of credit/debit payments on-site. Interac set-ups can be expensive and cumbersome, so the Square Reader has become incredibly popular among independent sellers. The Square Reader plugs into the headphone port of your mobile device and allows you to process credit card payments through an app. The reader itself is free, but Square takes a small processing fee from each transaction. If you want to try a Square reader for the first time at the Leduc Art Walk, get it at least a few weeks in advance so you have time to set it up, run some test transactions, and smooth out issues before processing sales at an event.

  • If you’ll be taking cash transactions, make sure you have a float on you. We recommend keeping any cash in an apron or belt on your person for safekeeping. In the event you run out of cash, there are multiple banks/ATMs on the event site.

  • If you’re using gridwall, consider what you’ll use to connect the pieces and hang your work from the grid. Specific gridwall accessories exist, like S-hooks, pegs, baskets, etc.

  • Regardless of whether you’ll have gridwall or not, we recommend coming armed with lots of zip ties. They are a multi-purpose dream, and can serve any purpose from hanging art to reinforcing your display.

  • Consider the materials you will have on hand to promote yourself, including (but not limited to): business cards, brochures, catalogues, and an e-mail sign-up list. Many artists say their biggest purchases come after the event; make sure prospective buyers can keep your name and contact information on hand!

  • Some artists use easels to display their work. If you plan on using easels, make sure they are sturdy and secure. Like with a tent, you should weigh down each leg. A gust of wind can quickly turn a top-heavy easel into a safety hazard.

At the end of the day, what makes an Art Walk great is just that— the art! Bring your best work and it will speak for itself.

Studio Forty8, 2018/2019 artists

David Luhoway, 2017/2018/2019 artisan

Melanie Braund, artist, 2018

Brandy Balasz, artist, 2018

Jani Galarneau, 2017/2018/2019 artist

Grey Ghost Nature Photography, 2017/2018/2019 artists

random bits-and-pieces:

  • Scissors

  • Snap knife

  • Binder clips

  • Packing tape or duct tape

  • Sharpies, pens, pencils

  • Cling wrap or clear plastic (to wrap work in case of rain)

  • Tablecloth

  • Bungee cords/rope/string/wire

  • Paper towel/cloths

  • Spray bottle

other important stuff

  • Snacks and lunch

  • Waterbottle (there will be waterbottle fill stations on site!)

  • If it’s going to be hot, you may want frozen water bottles

  • Sunscreen and head protection (avoid heatstroke at all costs!)

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Extra battery pack for your device (especially if you’re using it to process transactions!)

  • Dress in layers and be prepared for the weather

  • Water dish for four-legged friends

Still have questions? SEND US AN E-MAIL: events@artsfoundry.ca. We’re here to help!