Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I recently attended the ZAPP 2014 Arts Festival Conference in Portland & met some great people who answered some questions for me, but raised some more.
One person I met talked about how he'd gone to last year's conference & met a woman who promotes an art show in Wisconsin that was in need of an emerging artist that year. I didn't even realize that some art shows HAD an Emerging Artist category. So that raised some questions for me:
1) How do you know which shows have this category? I've looked at a few shows for 2015 & none of the applications that I see on ZAPP have a space for emerging artists on them. Does that mean that show doesn't have such a category, or do I need to contact the show's promoter directly to let them know that I'm an emerging artist?
2) How long are you allowed to be an "Emerging Artist?" Is it one show? One year's worth of shows? What?
3) The person I spoke with at the conference said that the show he was invited to apply for would offer many perks for being an emerging artist: Waived booth fee, Free booth set up & take down, & even Hotel accommodation for the length of the show. All he had to do was make it to the show & bring his art. Do all shows that have an Emerging Artist category offer these perks if you get chosen?
I think those are all my questions for now. I'm sure I'll have more when I read the comments that people give me, but for now, I'll stop.
Thanks, in advance, to all of you for answering my questions. This newbie really appreciates it!
1. Pretty sure you need to go to Zapplication, look at the shows of interest and see if emerging artist is a category. Once in a while, a show has "emerging artists" but they have to be from a certain area (local), etc. With larger shows, they seem to look at work from anywhere.
2. My first major show was Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, CO. I was an emerging artist. One cannot apply in that category if you have previously done a major show (exact definition is vague.) I asked the same question: am I now "emerged" or can I continue in this category?
The general consensus was some people continue as "emerging artist" for about a year, but others feel that after you've done it, it's time to move on and let another new artist have the opportunity. I did it once, but others have done it for several shows. (You still have to apply and be accepted, so wanting to be emerging, doesn't mean you get to be in any show you like.)
I have a feeling that larger shows simply google wannabe emerging artists and if you have done quite a few things, then you might not be what they are looking for. Yes, one year is about the limit, but in my case, it was less than that by choice.
3. Perks. These are different for each show. I can't recall exactly, but I think Cherry Creek offered a reduced booth fee (significant), and free tent which was set up and taken down for us. We still needed to come up with our own display (which we did). We were local, but there was no free hotel at this show for emerging artists.
Another perk from Cherry Creek was that the eight or 10 emerging artists in my year also had one year of the NAIA membership paid. This allowed me to join a private forum where experienced artists and I think directors, answered rookie questions for newer artists. I was by far the most active person on that board, but it was invaluable to be able to ask questions about jury photos, booth design, gallieries, etc. about which I was clueless.
Another note: the reason we applied to Cherry Creek in Denver was because it is a local show for us. I had gone to probably 90% of Cherry Creek shows in the past 10 years, so I was familiar with the show, the type and quality of art, even the look of the booths. We did not have to pay for hotel, did not have to eat out, and did not have airfare or shipping charges for artwork. You may take all that into consideration when you apply to first shows. Otherwise, you start out pretty deep in debt before you've sold a single piece.
My advice is to pick a show you know really well, and attend as a visitor the year before you apply. Look for art similar to what you make, observe how it is displayed, priced, lit, etc. to see if you can manage that quality. If the show seems overwhelming, you might want to start smaller.
Alyx, what state are you in? Knowing that, others might be able to direct you to shows with which they are familiar.
One of the top shows in the country isn't that far away from you, Sausalito Art Festival. It's a very competitive show, but hey, why not you?
I think they have emerging artist category, but you'd have to contact the show for guidelines to apply.
I checked on Zapplication for their 2014 show, but doesn't give details about the "emerging" category.
Yeah, I didn't think we were quite ready for that one, because of how big it is. I was hoping to take a year or two to work a few smaller ones before jumping into the huge pond. But I thank you for checking into it, Camryn.
And yeah, that's the issue for me with the Zapplication . . . I haven't seen ANY "emerging artist" category on the ones I've looked at. Granted, I haven't looked at them all, but I would've thought I'd have seen something by now. But maybe I do need to check with the promoter directly.
Thanks again, Camryn. I really appreciate your help.
Well, I CAN assure you I was not ready for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival either ...
which is why starting there as an emerging artist was HUGE. I was mentored along and learned what I needed to know to survive and thrive, so don't discount "emerging" at a larger show, as they will also have a larger support system to help you succeed.
Yeah, Thomas. That was one of the other reasons I hadn't even thought to consider it for a while. But, as Camryn said, maybe they have an emerging artist category & will discount that a lot.
Thanks for offering your two cents, Thomas. :o)