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

I appreciate all the valuable information that is posted on this site, some of it is intimidating but all of it is educational to a non professional newbie like myself so thank you in advance for your input! After a few years of doing local small shows I have been encouraged to try entering a few larger (juried) shows. My theme is wildlife art with most of the pieces (2D) done in graphite/charcoal, however the past year or so I have also introduced a few scratchboard pieces into the mix with very positive feedback (and a few sales!) Realizing these are rightfully 2 separate mediums and for that reason a judge might accept one and not the other but trying to think happy thoughts.....IF they both were accepted, would it be advisable to hang the scratchboard pieces separate from the graphite/charcoals section? I currently have only 5 or 6 framed scratchboard versus 10 of the graphite/charcoal but would have more come potential summer show time.

I also sell 4 x 6" note cards of my artwork. They are good quality cards and sell consistently. My current display rack is homeade, so I am looking to upgrade and have a found a wall mounted (I'm not a fan of spinner racks) wire display rack online. I know there is a concern (per some show criteria) that things such as notecards not be passed off as originals. Mine are marked as 4 x 6" reproductions but my concern is I would not be allowed to have the display "on a wall" since its not framed artwork. (Taking up wall space for me at the moment is not a concern as I will be upgrading from my homemade panels as well and will be gaining more display area.) Thoughts?

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Both mediums are black and white (no color) so there shouldn't be a problem mixing them in the booth if it's in the picture that you submit. Whenever there is a questionable booth at a show, I've recommended the artist carry an 8x10 or 11x14 print of their booth picture that they juried with. That usually shuts down the art police.

I'd be more worried about displaying greeting cards in your booth picture and at the show as higher end shows and jurors tend to look at greeting cards as lower end display. Compare that to actual size reproductions in a bin labeled properly.

Larry Berman


I have read over and over  hear about how note cards, greeting cards as you call them here, are frowned upon at high end shows.  I am curious about something ... If it's clearly marked "reproduction" and it's printed professionally on high quality paper, why is this objectionable?  Do the shoppers at high end shows not buy note cards?  I am not trying to be difficult but really do not understand this stance by jurors.

Shoppers will buy anything you put in front of them. Especially when it's the least expensive thing that you're offering. But the better shows want a more professional presentation. No matter how they are printed it's considered a low end product.

Larry Berman

Is there a general guideline as to what determines a high end show (booth fee, # of artists, etc.?) I have seen a few booths with notecards, and always on a spinner rack. I do agree and like your points mentioned though. I have noticed the handful of originals I have sold over the past few years at the smaller events were purchased right away with little hesitation. I need to get into the mindset of if people want the item, they will pay for it (if I don't value my own work, why would I expect anyone else to?) thank you!

Reputation from a history of artist sales of high end work. For example St Louis, Kansas City Plaza, Ann Arbor original show, Main Street Fort Worth, Cherry Creek, etc..... Shows that are next to impossible to jury into because of the large number of high quality work applying,

Larry Berman

Not being a 2D artist, I make jewelry, I don't see the problem with different 2D media in the same booth.  I have different jewelry media, but it is all jewelry and I identify the media in my artist's statement. 

As they are both drawing mediums, I would think they would both fall under the "Graphics and drawing category"  That shouldn't be an issue. If people can buy a card, and yes even frame them, your original work could be passed over too. It all depends on the quality of the show. "A" shows I wouldn't think they would be able to be shown.

Thanks for asking this question, Susan.  I'm in a similar situation, where I do wildlife art in two different mediums, have done all smaller shows, and sell note cards, greeting cards, calendars, and prints as well as original artwork.  I think as long as your two mediums are visually similar, and both get juried in, I don't see a problem with displaying both in any matter that is visually appealing.  However, you might want to hang them on separate walls if the customer is confused about the medium.  I do acrylic and watercolor together, but some clients are confused about which is which if I hang them mixed together.  I, too, will be trying to do more upscale shows this summer, and have decided to drop the cards/calendars.  I will keep some professionally done matted prints, but my new booth display will be mainly original framed works on gallery mesh walls.

I am already leaning toward having my collection of scratchboards hung in their own group. I often bring a demonstrative board to help explain the technique and it would be easier to have them together instead of pointing to one example here, one over there, etc. Still on the fence about the notecards, may have to just see if I can get into a larger show and go from there. Good luck on your future shows!


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