I did this show. I did okay. But that's not why I write. I am in town at a coffee shop listening to the locals. One guy came in and asked the workers what they thought of the show... one said that the artists were complaining that there were too many artists and that it would be hard to sell art. (with what I could pick up is that it is the local artists who have art in town who are complaining about this) One guy really liked the show because it really helped his b usiness here in town.... food. Another customers said that people in town were complaining that there were not enough local artists actually in the show. Actually writing letters to the show in this regard. I didn't speak up since I am not local but I am sure this issue arises in every town and city that has shows. And I am sure the show promoters try and explain to the town-folk that the jury is blind and they should have little control over who gets judged in based on their location. Otherwise, we would all change our "mailing" address to fit in with issue. Or do what Denver did - ie: Jim Delutes and those before him when local artists complained about having a hard time getting into Cherry Creek... they produced a "colorado artist only" downtown Denver show. Each community could do this, but I am sure each community also know how hard it is to get a show started, promote it appropriately etc. Plus, any of these areas have an influx of different tourists on any given weekend that they can pull buyers from...all they need to do is spend money promoting LOCAL artists...rather then complaining that during ONE weekend a year, there are great national/internatio nal artists who are bringing a TON of tax revenue to their area.

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  • Yes, but sometimes that "avant guarde" work is just plain garbage. So the jury must make a decision. Real talent? Or something done by a chimpanzee with a brush in his hand? That's what they get paid to decide.

    If you're rejected by a jury, as all of us have at one time or another, you just move on, that's all.
  • Then there's the oldest show in the nation in Sunapee, NH that's celebrating 75 years and allows ONLY New Hampshire artists and craftsmen or those within 10 miles of the NH border.
    The link is below.

  • Tulsa Oklahoma has also done this. During MayFest in May, local artists would apply but not be accepted. Several got together a few years ago and now there is another show just east of Mayfest called the BlueDome Festival which is for local artists. Up until now it was kind of first come first serve and now I understand that even it is going to be juried but still Oklahoma artists. After applying for 5 years and not getting accepted to Mayfest, we started going to Texas that weekend and even though its a smaller show have done quite well. It's funny that my daughter was good enough to demonstrate jewelry making but could never be accepted into the show to sell. Several of the boards members are collectors of my daughters jewelry but because she was local she couldn't get in the show.
  • Amen! I am glad you posted this. I don't get to "over hear" such conversations very often. It is kinda neat to be a fly on the wall - at least in your case. I agree with everything you mention from the blind jury to ADVERTISING local art that is there year around.

    I work part time at a boutique - state made items from food to art and so on. Although the location of the boutique/store and their big website presence is what mainly drives people to the store, they do some ads in local papers. Sometimes it is once a month or every week depending on what they want to advertise. I am still amazed that people ask how long have we been here - and this is about every customer that walks in - and I respond nearly 7 years, they can't believe it. "But I have never seen it before, yet I drive this route nearly every day". I simply tell people, well we advertise... "Where?" I respond in 'xyz' paper..." "Well, I never see the ads!" And sometimes they say they never read the paper or they don't get that paper. Meanwhile I am thinking well, soooo if you don't see the store, we don't exist? If you don't read the paper, then we don't advertise? It really baffles me. But that day - they day they enter the store they are now enlightened.

    How many times do people have this reaction to the shows us artists sell at? How many times do people walk down "Main St." not enter some shops and then say 3-5 years later do and then "complain" why don't you advertise, have a sign outside, etc. when they do? The answer - from what I have gathered - it just wasn't until that point in time they NEEDED to enter to either check out the store, an art show, buy a gift for someone that is unique and then they find such places. It isn't every day we shop for gifts or buy art at every craft show. And even when this does occur it is still a crap shoot as to being able to offer the exact thing these people need. Hence the subject you brought up - giving the pubic a show that satisfies every single person - it just doesn't exist. Too many artists, not enough artists. Where's the local art - why aren't they here - because they are in the SHOPS right there! Do you ever sometimes feel you want to scream at some of these people who are nit-picky? I say, be happy with what you have and if you don't like it, do something about it - just don't sit and complain.
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