I've been reading several of the discussions in several different areas about what goes in to applying for a juried show... Do you apply as early as possible or not?  Do you submit four images of one "line" of work or do you show the array you produce?  How tight of a shot should your booth image be?  What should you include or try and avoid?


I've attended an "art festival boot camp", sat in on several juries, and have been working in the festival atmosphere for about 6 seasons now.  As I try and increase the quality and caliber of the shows I'm applying to (as well as to a few of the smaller but profitable shows in the Midwest), I seem to hear all sorts of things (some of which conflict!) on how I can better my chances at getting in to shows, particularly since my media of choice is jewelry.


So, since we're full of seasoned and successful artists, what are YOUR best suggestions and tips?  What do YOU do when applying for shows?  What was great advice given to you at one point in your career?


The past few seasons have been rough and I'd love to hear what can help artists do better...



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  • A better fitting title might be prepping to apply to a juried show. My first reaction to the title was that the question was about preparing inventory to bring to a juried show.

    The pieces you choose for jurying should look like they come from one mind, showing growth within your medium instead of an eclectic (read that as scattered) body of work. The images of your chosen pieces should wow the jurors and make them think you work is worth a million $$$. The pieces should be shot on a neutral non textured background so the jurors only see the strength of the piece and not notice the background.

    The booth should be set up for the picture and not at an art show. That way you can control all the elements so that there is nothing distracting that cause the jurors eyes to linger and waste time they should be looking at the artwork. Unless you can show all three sides of the booth in the picture, you will be taking another booth picture in the near future as more and more shows require it. You can shoot from an angle showing two walls clearly but still need to show the third wall in the picture so there are no surprises when you get to the show. I have many articles about photographing the booth on my web site.

    If you get Sunshine Artist Magazine, look at the first letter in the January issue where they gave me an entire page responding to a December letter about the booth picture.

    Larry Berman
    Art Show Jury Services

    • Thanks, Larry, for your response and per your suggestion, I've changed the title of the thread... It seems like we do discuss this subject a lot, but I think it only highlights that we all seem to get a lot of mixed messages regarding the process.  For example, I, as suggested, had my images done on one "line" of my work and are more "wow" pieces versus things I sell a lot of at shows.  As I was told, "everyone else will be showing 'showstoppers' and you should too..."  As we discussed in another thread, however, I do have another primary line of jewelry (equal in quality, etc.) and those pieces can be seen in the booth shot... so does that make it a problem if they're not ALL from the primary line being juried?  Also, because my things are smaller, my booth shot is from one corner and has the two walls, but you can clearly see it's a quality tent, quality display system and you can see that I sell what I jury.  I usually leave my 3rd wall open when I can anyway (for traffic as well as air flow in those hot summer months!) so to me, drawing back to show an open wall and not really be able to see product seems to be a moot point.  From a jury stand point, however, is it?  These are the things that seem to contradict one another when talking about jurying...


      Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like getting in better and better shows is getting more and more competative, so we (ie "me") want to do as much as we can the "right way"!  I guess I'm just getting confused at what is "right" anymore!

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