Art Fair Insiders

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

"Not Invited" & Scoring low on a jury. Bayou Memorial Park Festival..

Hey All,

We haven't been on here for a while but in these times of sadness at not getting into a show, it's nice to share our thoughts and realize we're not the only ones and hopefully take something positive from the dreaded "No Thanks, cheers for applying though" Email..

Ok, so we have had a bunch of rejections in a row..5 to be precise.

In all of our applications to the last 5 are same bunch of images & same booth shot, So there's some consistency on our part, and definitely some of the juries that had the pleasure of scoring our art. 

We were only given an average score from Bayou, not the others. The odds are slim: 1300 applicants 300 spots. judges score 1 Lowest 7 Highest (not using 4)

We scored an av of 2.333 and the av score of artists in our category of Painting that were invited to the show was 3.7

That means we didn't do well at all, but what was the underlying factor? 

1) Poor painting ability

2) poor choice of subject matter (over saturated maybe)

3) poor picture quality for viewing

4) poor booth shot

Whatever the reason, or even all of the above there was definitely a common theme, otherwise we would've scored better or been invited to one the the shows. 

Of course we will try our damnedest to improve both our skill, the booth shots and the choice of pictures we send in future. We've been painting a short time and we have to realize we are up against long time professionals for a spot.

Please feel free to critique our work and give us your opinion. 

We would be willing to have our work professionally critiqued, please drop us an email with rates.

Lee & Sheri SaxonLynn Arts

Views: 1944

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Have you attended the open jury at Fort Worth to see what your competition was submitting?

Also be aware that the jurors probably change more often than artists change their work. That means the same images could get you a different score each time you submit them.

Larry Berman

Larry, I have not had the opportunity to attend an open jury but it sure seems like it is something I need to do. Trying to do your best work for an ever changing jury is most certainly an ongoing task.


This is my story as well.  I did the spring show, very happy with sales, and was turned down for the spring next year.  What I am finding interesting, is that a few artists I spoke with were also waitlisted for Woodlands, that did not get in last year (like myself).  I have high hopes of making it off the waitlist, as I have friends and family in that area, and it seems to be a good show.

It was nice to meet you at the Paragon Show, Lee,( and your signifigant other as well).  I feel your pain, it is just really difficult and I wish the feedback went a little deeper, but at least we get scoring from Bayou city. All we can do is to keep refining what we are doing, and we are pretty new to this business, so we have to take it in stride 

Sheri & I really liked you art Kimberly, and it is a bonus to actually get feed back from a show. 

I've learned a lot in the short time we've been doing this, and I now know I have to really work hard to produce the best possible images for zap/booth shots. 

All the best for 2013

Hi Leeand Sheri-

My second year is coming up.  I decided to "go big or go home" in the coming year and did my jury pics from pieces that I thought were right on target.  Of 5 shows I applied for in October I was rejeted (not invited) off the bat from a show I was fairly confident in.  I immediately set up an appointment to do a phone consult with Bruce Baker.  First of all Bruce pointed out that how a piece works in a show is no indicator of how it will work as a jury photo.  The sole consideration for picture selection is how it will work with a jury.  My pics had no "pop".  1300 applicants means 6,500 photos and yours has to leap out of that pack.

Your score and where you needed to be matched mine from Bayou almose exactly.  Its not a matter of being good enough, but of having pics that leap out of the computer screen and grab the jurors by the eyeballs.  Bruce's fee is $60 per hour- best money i've spent all year.  I highly suggest looking into it.  Also Larry Berman is a master with this stuff. 

Thanks Ray,

Yeah received some sound advice from Larry and now I know somewhat more, what the judges see, I can create my pictures accordingly. I seriously have to build a better booth shot too. As Vivian said to me before; it's not that we are not good enough, we are it's the art of jurying that we have to perfect.

I tend to think in terms of print' and tried to make my images bright and bold. Not realizing that the room is so darkened and I would be semi blinding the judges with too much white & contrast. I'm going to tone it down some along with purchasing a decent camera and making sure my lighting is consistent in all the pictures. Larry gave a free evaluation, but it doesn't hurt to make a donation to his website if you consider his advice helpful.

Hello Lee & Sheri!

Remeber me the sculpture artist from Oklahoma? Don't feel alone I too didn't get accepted by these

shows either, nor did I get into the woodlands.

So now where do I go? Got any ideas for a newbie like me. Here I was feeling all good about my booth, my work and Bam! rejection, rejection

alas woah as me!

Just thought I would let you know

Love your work!


My rejection from bayou city frustrated me even more than usual this year as I have gone from clay/mixed media wholly over to wearable fiber. In this show my category falls under one giant rubric of Functional Art and includes everything, even furniture. How do I compete with basketry, leather purses, masks, books and accessories, and fine wood furniture?! I make scarves for Pete's sake lol. My score was a 2.5 and invited artists in my category also were 3.7 or higher. I'm wondering whether to waste another jury fee as I simply find it unlikely I can compete score wise with such a diverse category.

Hey Norma!

Yes we do remember you and will still want to take you up on that offer of chilling by the lake sometime with a nice bottle red! 

In regard to which shows, Well first off I'd join We apply to all our shows via their site. Also There's Jas or Same thing just set a little different. We haven't used them as yet though.

Also google some wine shows maybe, and there's books available with shows also if you do a little search through amazon. We definitely know how it feels getting rejected, it's a real bummer. We are yet to fill any slots for next year..We went from being accepted to 7 shows in the fall to being rejected from 6 for Spring 2013. We won't give up though & nether should you be deterred too much. Your work is truly stunning and your booth looks professional. 

It's great to hear from you again Norma!

Lee & Sheri 

Or the jury just didn't like your work. I got a low score and no invite as well (OK, a loooow waitlist score). Anyway, you are doing good work. Rejections force you to grow and keep pushing. Keep your chin up, persistance and working through rejection are traits that all successful artists have in common. I've had about four rejections or waitlists in a row as well but still plan on having a great year. Maybe I'm just delusional, but it seems to work for me. Keep swinging, they'll catch on.

I'm in your camp, Jay! My favorite quote from Finding Nemo comes from Dora, "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!" She sang it but it's the sentiment that counts!

Absolutely agree with you & Jay. And keep being critical of your own work. The moment I start saying to myself "I'm great why aren't I in that show?" like some people seem to, It's a over for me. I think that's when you stop learning and stop becoming a better artist...Truth is if you don't get in, someone else did. Deep down I know I can paint better, It's just really difficult to push the envelope every time you paint. It's easy to paint well but not great. by your own standards that is.

That means you have to stay on top of you game whether you receive invites or rejections alike. We'll take these ones on the chin and work harder to paint better, better, better.

If after I've honestly tried as hard as I can in every aspect of the application process from painting a new piece to the booth images & artist statement, and still I'm not featured then I'll have the right to be really pissed & wonder what's next.


Fiber artists -- use this resource to find new buyers:  Advertise with Reach over 60,000 fiber arts lovers.

Our 50 Best Art Fairs

Look Inside the our latest Art Fair Survey:
Who Won and Why

Join the MasterMinds Group for personalized coaching on your Internet Lifestyle Business! 

Video Website Reviews

60 Page Report - Best US Art Fairs

Click Here to
Learn More


  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2021   Created by Connie Mettler.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service