Art Fair Insiders

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

Hey Y'all,

I am a newbie in the Art Fair world.  I create sculptural yet functional boxes, mirror frames, bud vases and other "object du'stuff" in wood, metals & ceramic... see my work at (comments on my work or my website would be appreciated - even if they are harsh - I can take it) 

I currently exhibit in 2 galleries and so far have had 3 rejections from big shows - It doesn't feel good but I did get some feedback when I sent in a request for comment - so now I am going smaller scale local to San Francisco shows to apply.  I was just reading some of the stories on this discussion board about rejections and the short  time in front of juries (6 seconds!!) and I understand that the process is clearly daunting...

BUT I am not writing now about self-promotion but rather asking for some advice and referral. At this point I am showing a nice (?) rendering of a proposed 10 x 10 tent ( see below) and I know I need to get a tent 'cause my drawing is not going to keep the sun or rain off me in reality... 

So two questions:

Do you think this rendering is sufficient or will I be dismissed out of hand??

Does anyone know a source for a good folding tent?


Thanks in advance for your input...


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Welcome to AFI! I look forward to reading more from you here.

You need a real tent stocked with real art to take a real booth shot for shows.

Thanks Barrie...I am working on it but needed something for a Feb 1 deadline hoping they might accept this, but maybe not - my artwork is real...see it photographed on my website & comment if you have the time:

Any suggestions on tent sources?



Sam's Club for either an EZ-Up that will be somewhere around $200 with sidewalls, awning, bag weights, and foot plates. Another similar priced tent, possibly a bit more, is the King Canopies Goliath model with the hexagonal (octagonal?) shaped legs. That one is probably better. If all else fails, get one and use it for your booth shot. If it's not to your liking, take it back to Sam's quickly for a refund.

BTW, don't use signage with your name for the booth shot. It'll get your score lowered or get you disqualified for the judging.

You can also pay attention to AFI for people selling tents. It happens all the time here. Now I'll check out your artwork. WOOHOO!

Hi Peter,

Welcome!  Although your drawing is very nice, I'm afraid the guys are right about getting an actual tent for your booth photos.  Thank for introducing yourself and keep us posted as to how it's going for you.

Thanks Christina...I am seeing the errors of my ways... I will be getting the tent & real photo's

Good advice from all, Thanks I really appreciate it

on the page copied below I have the collection of photos that I used for my first Zapplication...

I'd love to hear what you think...of the work itself but maybe more important what you think about the it up to snuff? 

I am a wood artist and would compare buying a tent to buying tools...You can buy lower quality tools several times or you can buy the best tools one time..Buy the best tent you can afford...

I have had conversations with visitors at shows about tents and one thing I had not thought about that surprised me is some of these people recognize the difference between a cheapo tent and a quality tent...

Tents in my opinion are an important investment for my shows...not only for a good first impression but most importantly for the best protection of my work.

I have three tents I have accumulated.. a Trimline, a Promotional Design Group Super Heavy Duty Pop-up and a Vitabri pop-up.

The Trimline is by far the sturdiest tent available. heavy and solid. for me it takes 45+ minutes to put up.

When I started doing one day shows I first bought the PDG pop up. It has  a super heavy duty hexagon aluminum frame but the top that is thick, waterproof and heavy like the Trimline has to be removed to fold it up and put it in its transport bag. Still much labor for a one day show. I will most likely sell this one.

I also bought a Vitabri Pop-up that is waterproof, hexagon aluminum legs and is lighter in weight. It is obvious that a lot of design engineering went in to this pop-up. For me this one is a keeper.

sounds like you are a person seeking quality in all facets...I like it

Thanks very much for the recommendations

on the page copied below I have the collection of photos that I used for my first Zapplication...

I'd love to hear what you think...of the work it self but maybe more important what you think about the it up to snuff? 

Your work looks very nice.

If you are using these photos for applying to shows the guidelines set by Zappllication need to be adhered to. The pixel size and also better backgrounds instead of sheets and bricks that are not professional looking.

Quality photography is every much a skill as any woodwork or any other art. I have been taking my own photos for years and with each one I realize that there is so much more i need to learn and improve.

You need to check out Larry Berman's website for some excellent info. Larry has been a tremendous help to so many people here on this website and he really knows what the juries expect. For Art show photography he is most knowledgeable and helpful .

Did you hire an 'architect' do to the hand rendering or are you an architect getting into art shows?

I'd say the latter since your initials are there. I know, tell me about how horrible the architecture industry is, was in it 8 years before bailing into art shows.


Hey Danton,

I was in architecture for 10 years (although never a registered architect - I did more interiors than full buildings) but have always loved drawing.  I've been in sales of architectural lighting for the past 25 years, along with being a weekend shop warrior / sawdust creator & looking now to transition to working my artistic side.  What type of art do you create?

If you have a chance take a look at my website and tell me what you think of the photography...trying to see if it is up to par or do I need to re-do...


always good to meet others who left the field...Have you heard what the Architect said when he won the lottery and was asked what he was going to do with all the money?... he said: " I think I'll practice Architecture until the money runs out..." ;-)

Hey Peter,

Your work is stunning...very unusual and I would think, sought after.  Best of luck to you!


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