Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Here is an email I got this morning from a buyer at the art fairs:
Are there any art shows which only allow original work… no prints of paintings, nothing mass produced, must be gold/silversmiths hand fabricating each piece, photography that is numbered (we were at the South Miami show and a photographer next to us didn’t know where his photos were taken)…no more pretty photos of Venice. The promoter would need some sort of system that insures that the artist has hand fabricated their work. Maybe along with jury photos, a set of fabrication photos as well showing the artist at work? How difficult would that be?I know many artists who would be interested in participating in such a show. I think the promoters would sell less booths, but they could charge more and if the fraud were eliminated from the shows, buyers would be more eager. We visited Naples 5th last weekend and the show had a huge amount of buy/sell. I guess they are just trying to sell as many booths as possible. I think the jury photos were probably good for these booths, but the stuff is buy/sell…fabricated in another land. Equal emphasis on jury photos and on fabrication photos would help to eliminate this.
I have been up to 5 hours away from home in Houma, LA and I know of none that have ALL originals. I know a canvas artist that does impasta (sp?) style painting. She does all the painting herself. Of her originals, she also has matted prints, matted/framed prints, gicles (sp?) and maybe other available formats of her originals. I guess in a show that is strictly for originals and no prints she would be excluded, though her originals are often priced (and sell for) $1,000's. For those who are interested, her Esty shop is found at .... https://www.etsy.com/shop/StaceyFabre?ref=ss_profile
Some come close: Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, for example.
This is their main statement, but they do allow some limited edition signed prints.
Rules of the Show
1. All work must be original, handcrafted work. Artist guarantees the accuracy of the description of the works presented and the authenticity of the work as the creation of their own hands.
2. Work done by a production studio is not acceptable. All work must be designed and executed by the accepted artist.
3. No more than two artists may collaborate on work. Both must be included on and sign the application. Both must be present at the Arts Festival.
4. Artists must be present with their work for the entire three days of the Arts Festival. Representatives may not attend in place of the artist. The Arts Festival requires photo identification at check-in to ensure compliance.
5. Artists may only show work in categories and body of work selected by the Jury. All work exhibited must be of the quality, category and body of work of that shown in the images juried.
6. Absolutely no reproductions are allowed (see special notes per media category).
7. Evolving Artwork: The CCAF allows for a small portion (no more than 15%) of ‘new work’ as a gesture to allow artists to keep evolving into other bodies of work. In order to respect the decisions of the jury, here are the rules for an artist that would like to participate: new work may only make up 15% of the exhibit space; the work must be within the same discipline as the work juried into the show; and the ‘new work’ must be original, handcrafted work. The goal of this new program is to allow artists to continue to grow and change while maintaining the high artistic standards of the show jury process. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at email@example.com.
Details (which can be found at the link) for each category, but here are highlights:
Digital Art: This category includes any original work for which the original image, or the manipulation of other source material, was executed by the artist using a computer. Work in this category must be in limited editions, signed and numbered on archival quality materials. Traditional photographs taken through a digital media should apply in the photography category.
Fiber: All work crafted from fibers including basketry, embroidery, weaving, leatherwork, tapestry and papermaking.This can be wearable or non-wearable. No machine tooling, machine-screened patterns or other forms of mass production are permitted.
Glass: No forms of mass production are permitted.
Painting: Works created in oils, acrylics, watercolor, etc. are in this category. Reproductions of all kinds are prohibited.
Photography: Photographic prints made from the artist's original image, which have been processed by that artist, or under his or her direct supervision, are included in this category. Photographers are required to disclose both their creative and printing processes.
Come see me in Chattanooga April 11-12, 4Bridges Art Festival.
Rittenhouse Square might be on my list if it wasn't in the hot time of year. I like the idea of no photography and pottery and fiber and stuff.
Funny thing on their application states NO ITEMS PRICED UNDER $35. Darn the luck, right? We seldom ever have any original for less than $1,250. Sometimes a $600 piece, and last week one at $300. We don't have a formula for making something "original" in an hour or less. That hardly constitutes an original work of art in my mind. It's insignificant work, don't you think? And it's really an art product designed with competing for sales in mind.
Nels Johnson complained in his review of Winter Park Sidewalk Art Show last year that patrons wouldn't even spring for $35 original art! My complaint about all of the originals only shows has always been that 9 out of 10 artists will have $35 art in their booth and that the majority of sales will range from $35 to $200. And Rittenhouse Square isn't helping the matter, except they don't allow functional work, so it gets billed as a FINE ART FAIR. I certainly appreciate that. There are dozens of shows that are CRAFT ONLY, like Smithsonian, etc. We need more like Rittenhouse, but lose the $35 lower end.
So are there no outdoor art fairs with a bona-fide original art clientele? Probably not, because all of the artists are trying to outsell their neighbor with lower priced stuff. But the outdoor art fairs are where I'm finding original art buyers with my higher end originals, and I do very few of the bigger shows that tout ORIGINALS ONLY.
>>Funny thing on their application states NO ITEMS PRICED UNDER $35. Darn the luck, right? We seldom ever have any original for less than $1,250. Sometimes a $600 piece, and last week one at $300. We don't have a formula for making something "original" in an hour or less. That hardly constitutes an original work of art in my mind. It's insignificant work, don't you think? And it's really an art product designed with competing for sales in mind.
Well, I would miss out on all counts and what I do would be considered a total waste of time. All my prices are mainly in the $20-30 range. My products can all be made in under an hour and they each are original. My crafts are also functional. Add all this up and it is all insignificant. So there you go. I am totally wasting my time and the money I have made is nonsense. (Okay, I am trying to not get my feathers ruffled!) Just because it can be completed in less than an hour, is less expensive than my neighbor and is functional, don't write it off as not being "real" art. I don't do what I do just to be competitive. My prices tend to be higher than others who do the same work ... any where from 10-50% higher and it still sells.
>>Nels Johnson complained in his review of Winter Park Sidewalk Art Show last year that patrons wouldn't even spring for $35 original art! My complaint about all of the originals only shows has always been that 9 out of 10 artists will have $35 art in their booth and that the majority of sales will range from $35 to $200. And Rittenhouse Square isn't helping the matter, except they don't allow functional work, so it gets billed as a FINE ART FAIR. I certainly appreciate that. There are dozens of shows that are CRAFT ONLY, like Smithsonian, etc. We need more like Rittenhouse, but lose the $35 lower end.
I believe the reason that sales are between $35-200 is because that is what MOST people can afford to spend or what they are willing to invest in one or more pieces. I don't feel the average buyer has $100's or $1000's to spend at shows on single pieces. Reality is not the top percentage of people who attend those shows like has been described with only all originals and everything costing $100's or $1000's for a single piece. Reality are the shows that have a wider variety of price ranges and Joe Schmo spending a couple $100 the whole day ... at least where I live and at the craft shows I take part in. The show I am in this weekend will have 300+ booths. There will be a canvas artist I mentioned elsewhere who sells originals for $100's-$1000's but she also has prints, gicles, etc. all in the under $50 range and there will probably be others as well. There will be other crafters and artists in attendance who sell plenty of items in the $5-50 range.
Okay, I am really trying not to be that rankled middle aged woman who is taking things to personally! LOL
I'm curious about the writer of this e-mail. They say "photographer next to us" which makes them sound like an exhibitor not a buyer. Also, I was at Naples and did not see buy/sell. I didn't see the whole show, but there certainly was not a huge amount. So I'm curious about this person's expertise and where it comes from.