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Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Hello.  I am very new to the Zapplications process of getting into shows.  I would like to know what shows are considered 2nd and 3rd tier.  I am not good enough to jury into the top tier, such as Woodlands Waterway, Bayou City, etc.........

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It's a tough question because the levels shift depending on the quality of work you create.

There are the top rated nationally applied to shows, the former top rated shows and everything else down to flea markets. I would look more toward shows that local artists do. Are there any local promoters or arts organizations where you live? And this is a perfect reason to network with other local artists.

There was a time I used to go after the top rated shows, no matter where they were in the country because, back then, they were usually worth it. But times have changed and most of those shows aren't worth the expenses, including high booth fees.

Larry Berman

Thanks, Larry.  However, this is still not answering the question.  I have professional photos (by Larry Sanders), but need somehow to cull out the 2nd and 3rd tier from the top.  I am tired of paying jury fees and getting rejected.  There doesn't seem to be a "way" to distinguish.  How does one know if a show is TOP rated, versus less than top?

You know by doing it.

I think you missed my point.

Cindi, without putting words in Phillip's mouth, I think he got your point and responded the way he did because there is no clear simple answer to your question. Your best single resource is right here,

Art Fair Source Book is a good resource.  So is Sunshine Artists.  Art Fair Source Book can give you percentage of applicants accepted and number of artists accepted in you medium which could be very helpful to you.  Another indicator they have is average gross sales from the artists that report.  You can bet if the number is high, you're going to have a lot of competition.

Thanks, Alison.  I have recently subscribed to Sunshine Artist.....let's see what I can learn.

Cindi - AFSB is going to give you much more thorough info than Sunshine Artist, IMHO.


I agree with Ruth. Sunshine Artist Audit Book is a shot in the dark (if you look at the 'Craft Shows'). If you look at the 'Art Shows'--they are a bit better. But, if you want honest reporting, even though it's expensive, AFSB is worth the money. And, you don't need to buy it every year. As everyone tends to say; IMHO.

Looking tomorrow.  Thanks!


Cindi, I've found the best way to judge a show is to research the artists who have gotten in in the past and then I compare their work to mine. For example, I'm a lampwork glass artist and my jewelry is on the lower-end ($25-$200). Plus my booth is pretty funky-it does not look like a department store. If all the jewelers in a particular show are metal smiths working with precious stones & their displays are all glass cases I'm probably not going to get in.

Also to judge a show it is extremely helpful to know who your customer is. Since my work is a little out there, and tends to appeal more to a hip/urban/slightly younger crowd I know not to even try to jury in to any shows in Florida. It has proven better for me to head north rather than south.


Good luck. We all tend to gamble a lot of money away on jury fees. Unfortunately that's just the way it works.



Thanks.  No kidding about competing with metalsmiths!


I think there should be subcategories under jewelry.  It just doesn't seem fair to lump all of us in together in one pot!


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