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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  • Cindi, don't forget to check out www.artshowreviews.com.  There are many good reviews of shows there and more are being submitted everyday.  You may find a review there that helps you make a decision about a show, too.  It is on the web and it is FREE!

    Jacki B

  • Also, I know you hate the idea, but you really will need to spend about two or three years testing the waters, so to speak.  Applying to shows when you really have no chance of getting accepted, going to shows that are not a good fit for you, and gradually figuring out where you belong.  I have pretty much figured that out, but I do still occasionally aim high, and every once in a while, will get in. In the mean time, read everything you can about every show, even ones you will never do, because that will help you get a feel for all the shows around the country.

    • Thanks, Jan.  Since I am still teaching, I am limited to Texas shows for the majority of the year.  I am trying to apply to some out-of-state shows for the summer.  I know that I will not be accepted into most shows, but I am trying.  I do feel defeated when everything is a "thanks, but no thanks."


      I have only two years under my belt for shows, so this is technically the third year.  The difference is the work and the fact that I finally decided to have Larry Sanders shoot some work.  That has taken me into a DIS-comfort zone!

      • Cindi - I have to agree with Jan, it takes a little while to test the waters and figure out what works.  I took a look at your website, beautiful work.   Jewelery is really competitive, there are a lot of artists who use wire wrapping, chain maille (our primary style), Viking Weave (looks like Jan is an expert in that technique), etc. plus the jewelers who are metal smiths, beaded artists, etc.  The public sees all of these techniquest as the end result,  jewelry.  The shows will use the jury results and still make evaluations to balance the shows.  For example, in 2011 every show that rejected us I asked for the jury results or some feedback.  One show actually stated that while our score was in the range that would have placed us in the show, they had another chainmaille artist who had participated in the show for 5 years and didn't feel it was fair to add another artist with the same technique.  Now, I could argue we also have designs based on knots, Viking Weave, crocheted and knitted patterns, but I have to respect that fact that the show wanted to keep a good balance / mix. We had a disastrous show this year where the show added us (small show) depsite there being another chainmaille artist who was local, her hobby, her one show of the year, had done the show for 11 years, was in 3 galleries in town and her prices were way under market and we sold very little all weekend.  I would rather not do a show than have a repeat of that disaster.

        • Ruth, I would love to have my scores or some sort of feedback.  I have emailed for the scores, but of course, have not received a reply one!


          Thanks for looking at the website.  Unfortunately, most of those are my earlier pieces.  I am terrible about posting new work there.  I usually do a quick upload to Facebook and never take the extra time (because I don't have it) to refresh the website with newer work.  I suppose I should do that over the holiday break....


          I hate disasterous shows.  I have had a few.  I do have my little niche of non-Zapp shows that I do well at....so that is a blessing.

          • Cindi - we've only received the scores for a couple of shows, so I ask for scores or feedback and generally they are more forthcoming with comments vs. scores.

            ZAPP is only one tool for finding shows and there's no correlation between a show's success and their ZAPP or non-ZAPP presence.

            BTW, have you posted reviews of any of your Texas shows?  We keep talking about whether we should combine shows with a family visit (my husband is a native Texan with lots of family in the DFW area), but until we sell our house and become full time RV'ers we're not quite wanting to drive that far from our home base in Seattle.

            • No, I just joined here, Ruth!  I can send you a private message about some of the shows....

  • 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.



    • Cindi, I agree with Lori.  I routinely check out the websites for shows I am considering and whenever possible, look at the photos of previous artist's work.  This is especially useful in the jewelry category we are both in!


      Unlike others who post here, I do not find AFSB to be useful, but that is primarily because of how my brain works.  I HATE, HATE, HATE that the only way to use the resource now is online.  I am extremely visual and I really do need to have PAPER copies of such information.  I have the last copies made of the AFSB national books (both upper and lower tiers) and still use them, even though they are outdated. I understand the business and practical rationale for going paperless, but it just doesn't work for me.

      • I prefer something in my hand as well, Jan!

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