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I need help with this question from my inbox:

We produce a few local artisan shows at ___ _______ in __________, __. We have been producing them for 15 years. I need help with how to go about incorporating NEW artists while saying good-bye to artists who have been with us for many years. Is there a nice way to do that?

All of us have been in this situation, the new artist who can't get into an established event at a show that has a solid invitational list, and being the old dude who has kept it on her calendar for a long time. But I do understand the dilemma. Any suggestions we can pass on?

Please help. 

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and from my correspondent:

Thank you so much for posting my question. There are some really, really helpful responses!
What a great community for producers and artists! Someday I would love to be on the other
side of producing events!!!!
Thank you again.

The commenters above are helping make things better for us all. Thanks so much ... what else can you share?

Would we be permitted to know the reason for the desire to make the change? It could help with replies.

I have been part of a long running show that is aware that many of its older artists are close to the day they will no longer be able to do the show. This show has had a few new artists within the past few years, some which I know were not compatible with the show. They did not return.

What the promoter has done recently is approach some of US asking if WE can help them to find new artists that may be a good fit. Of course they would have to go through the strict jurying process, like us.

To my knowledge, the show has no intention of dumping the old loyal artists; there is no reason.

Two other shows that I have done have a reputation among the regular artists that they "rotate out" for a year, to put in new people. They still take the jury fee and everyone seems to just go with it.

If you are doing a jury process, then you should be incorporating new artists, if their work is better than the current artists, as a matter of course.  The thing to remember also, is that this is a business not a neighborhood club where you are afraid to hurt some one's feelings.  The current artists, if they are professional artists, should realize that once you get in you don't stay in forever.

Amen Steve! 

Yes, Steve, of course you are completely correct.

But on the other side of the business, some shows have artists who have been there several years and do make quite a chunk of money at those shows. Getting juried out can be a big deal, as in loss of thousands of dollars of their annual income. So a bit of humaneness can be a good thing.

Judy, if their work is of that quality, what is to stop them from applying to, and getting into, another show to replace the one they are rotated out of ... given they are supplies with enough notice of the rotation?

HI Cindy,

Yes, it would be great if it was that easy.

Not everyone travels all over, so a good show is not always so simple to find- and get into.

They have an easier time replacing us (artists), than we do replacing them (shows!)

Make sure if you are going to rotate, be transparent and let people know before they apply. Nothing worse than financially depending on a show/weekend just to find out later that they decided to do a rotation, you are out and other shows that weekend have closed applications already.

And Amen to you too, Steve S.

Enforcing rules whereby artists must submit and display works that are recent, rather than years old. Coupled with the "real" rotating jury and no grandfathering nor favoritism from directors / promoters, should do the trick.

The contrarian speaks: I am one of those artists who gets invited back year after year.  WHY?  The public likes my work, and they buy my work (personal, equestrian and  K-9 plain and carved leather goods).  The show producers are Colorado resort area business or art organizations which are supported by local TAX REVENUE. If the jury does not think your art will SELL, you are not going to get accepted to the show.  It is simple economics for these shows demographics.  If your work sells and generates tax revenue you will likely get invited back.  If you don't sell well, chances are very good some new artist will replace you.  There are organizations that put on "museum on the street" art events and that is another ball of wax. 

Another factor to be considered when jurying , both new applicants or established returning ones is the number of artists in each category.

Some competitive categories have an over-abundance of applicants each year...not only when applying but also at shows... and other categories...not so many. It should be easier for a show producer to create a balance of work and thin out those mediums that are overcrowded.

I do not know if any show producers have ever done a visitor survey regarding how many want to see the same artists year-after-year or how many want to see some new artists and their work.


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