To all you serious art show veterans out there - This will be the first year I attempt to get into some of the larger art fairs. As a marketing background, I've always been about branding. Each page of my application has always had our logo at the top. After spending some hours reading through posts here, I'm finding that for an art fair app that might not be appropriate, and actually might harm our chances.

So my questions is: When you have to send in a paper application for a show, do you send in 1 page per image, without any identifying marks on the page or images?

Thanks in advance!

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  • From my experience it appears that the application process is dependent on the size and nature of the show's sponsor. Last week I applied to a small-but-prestigious local show that is sponsored and organized by the village in which it takes place. This show has been around for 20+ years and the spaces are in demand. Artists are required to submit a paper application and 5 photo prints. I had my digital photos printed for less than $2.00 at a drugstore and sent them with my app. Although I wasn't asked to do so, I lightly pencilled my name on the back of each print in case the photos became inadvertently separated from my application.

    This is my third experience with paper application; the other two successful (for me) local shows that use that process are organized in a similar manner. So if you are familiar with the show, or can find out more about it from independent sources, please don't count it out solely because the organizers haven't gone digital.
    • Absolutely. Best practice is to call the show organizer if you have any questions about their individual processes or requirements.

      • Michelle`It's always best not to put your name anywhere on the application, & needless to say have your name anywhere in the pic., slide, or whatever you send. Also, yes, Jim is right, you shouldn't feel hesitant to e-mail the promoter with any questions~that is your right! I would have to believe that they have an good system which keeps your images in order so they can return them to you, & yet keep any names hidden from the Jury.  It probably isn't a big or huge event, but that does not mean it is not good.  I have done many shows requiring paper applications with slides, pictures, or digital, & they have been very good shows for me!  Also the size of the show rarely matters to me~what matters mostly are demographics, & if there have been shows there before.  Even tho I will be doing some shows with paper applications this year,  I probably do the most in Zapp~it's so quick, easy & there is a record of everything all in one place!  Good luck to you!

        • Look at it this way. If they don't ask you to label your print or slides, don't. The jury process is supposed to be a blind jury. Sometimes shows ask for digital images on CD with last name (and first name or initial) in the file name. That's how the show staff (not the jurors) keeps track of who's images are being seen by the jurors.

          Never do anything not specifically asked for.

          I've seen grant applications rejected because the photographer who prepared the images for the artist used ".jpeg" as a file name extension instead of ".jpg" which is what was specifically asked for. One of the grant application requirements is to see if you can follow instructions, and the artists that can't get eliminated. Never give them a reason to eliminate you.

          Larry Berman

          • My father taught history at the college level for 25 years. He often had a freshman survey course, which was basic American history. On the final exam, he put a line, and under it he wrote, "Write your name on the line for 10 points". About half the students blew this question. True story.

            • (Jim, my husband taught history at the college level -- people thought they should get A's just because they came to every class.) 

              I'm thinking about all the blanks left on art fair applications I used to get ... One thing I learned in Catholic school and that has paid off: Read the directions.


  • If you're sending prints for jury, it's not a bigger show. 99% of the time you do NOT want any identifying marks on your jury images, whether they are slides, prints or digital. In some instances, you may be required to put a label on the back of the print, so they know which application it belongs to later.

    What Larry said.

  • I don't understand your question. You should be following the instructions to the letter.

    In general, if a show is asking for a paper application, it's not a very big show.

    And the application process is a blind jury. Identification in the wrong places can definitely hurt you.

    Larry Berman

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