Art Fair Insiders

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

Hi all,

I have done a few "craft" fairs that were not juried, they were fun and I sold many small items. I however want to break into the art fair market with my glass work as I enjoy making larger "art" pieces but do not have a market in my rural area. I have pieces in a local art center and they do well.

I have applied to a couple art fairs but was declined. What am I doing wrong and how do I get into my first art fair?? I live in Michigan and there are lots of summer art fairs.

Thoughts and ideas from the pros out there???
THANKS in advance for your wisdom.

Melissa

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Without seeing your jury images, including your booth picture, it's impossible to say. Art shows are very competitive to get accepted into and your jury images are the only thing you have that can speak for you.

If you don't want to post them here, e-mail them to me and give me a call. I do free image evaluations.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Thanks Larry, I am in the process of getting some professional help with my photos and admittedly my booth shot is crap! I have only done craft fairs and a farmers market (because my friend runs it!) so my booths have been on the less professional side. Should I set up my booth in the garage just to get a photo?>

When I get my professional shots done of my dishes I would love to send them to you for an assessment. THANKS again for the response.

You should send it now for evaluation so you know what to do to improve it.

Larry Berman

I was about to reply with exactly what Larry said.  Even with the best art/craft and photos, it can be a crap shoot getting in to a show/fair.

Also, how many others in your category applied?  Is your art in a popular medium?  Popular medium can change over time and depend on what show you're applying to.  For example, jewelry has been mentioned here as a tight field to get into shows.

Did you complete everything exactly as asked for the application process?  Did you skip any part of the application process?  Sometimes if a question or requirement does not apply to the artist, it might seem easy to skip it.  You at least need to acknowledge you have read the part that does not apply, but put something in the area for the answer.  N/A, does not apply, etc.

Thanks Cindy.
My photos need work and I am working on that. as for the amount of artists in my medium (glass - both fused and stained glass) how would I know how many applied or which shows had less of the same types of artists in them to help me determine where to apply?

I did fill out the applications completely and followed all the processes.

THANKS for the advise.

Most shows post a list of participating artists and many still have last year's list posted. 

I would suggest looking to see how your art honestly compares to that being shown.   If you feel that your work is significantly better, it might not be a good enough show for you.  If your work is somewhat better or similar in quality that could be perfect.  And, needless to say, if your work is not honestly better in quality and presentation than the other artists- it's a long shot to get in.

Thanks Mark, I have looked at similar artists and my work is as good or better. I believe part of my issue is in presentation, I need better pictures and a better set up.... am already learning lots here!! THANKS

Setting up your booth in the garage is probably not the best place to make a photo unless you have a garage with a 20 foot ceiling! ;-) and obviously this time of year (unless you live in a warm climate state) you can't do it outside however, some shows will allow a grouping of items to illustrate the nature of your work in addition to the individual shots. You could possibly apply in the "emerging" category which may give you an "in" on some shows to begin with until you can do a good booth shot. Good Luck!

S. Brian, thanks so much, I will look for the emerging category when I apply.

I actually do have a "garage/pole barn" with a 40 foot ceiling, my shop is in the loft space of this building so I may try to set up inside for that important booth shot. :-) If not I will start asking if they will allow a group shot. THANKS again.

Melissa

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