Art Fair Insiders

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

In art fair circles for years there has been talk about buy/sell and reps showing up with someone else's work. I found this meeting mention in The Orlando Sentinel:

Artists participating in the Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival are set to meet Friday evening to discuss forming a commission that would set standards for work displayed at art festivals. The purpose of the commission would be to certify that work in an artist's booth was in fact created by the artist, according to photographer Les Slesnick, who is organizing the gathering. The meeting will happen in the Rotary Beer Garden just south of Morse Boulevard just after the festival closes at 6 p.m.

Does anyone know anything about this? Or have any suggestions we could share with Les?

Views: 29916

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

By suggesting that artists become "certified", the JCAAFA program is trying to push all of the responsibility of proving that work is genuine and honest onto the artist. The show directors in attendance at the Winter Park meeting were vocal and excited that the artists were going to police themselves. But you are exactly right Connie. This is NOT the artists' problem. And that's why people are vilifying Les -- for trying to create a caste system that will pander to the show directors in the name of making the artists life better. The problems are obvious to pretty much every one except Mr. Slesnick.

Les (for those of you NOT even familiar with his work or him ) was one of the really talented artists doing shows. His work is stunning! I am horrified at the rude and crude remarks that self-professed "I don't even know him" people come up with about someone they don't even know. You should be ashamed if you can't express your opinion without sinking as low as name calling! Are we professionals or what?!

Warren, very insightful cut and paste about Les.  

I also find your remark ("But after all of that it is all his fault why we have buy/sell  at art fairs") to be potentially  sharp and intelligent.

Now, to really evaluate your response and give it its appropriate weight in my cognitive process  I would like to see your CV.

Do you mind sharing it with me in private or with all bloggers in public? or with me in public and the rest of the bloggers in private? or with me in private and all bloggers in private? or with me in public and all bloggers in Private First Class or Corporal. Even Sargeant I'm willing to accept. NO OFFICERS though.

Take your pick.

If a jury can't determine if an item is buy sell get the education to spot it and request more information with photos of work in progress if necessary. That's what the juries job is, that's what the application fee is for .We'll Produce it and they judge it. Just a thought

Pat: We've been around this circuit a long time and what I found on their website is terrifying, horrifying, and I think it is a mess.

I posted this on the Corner Booth and I'll post it here as well. I think there may be some anti-trust issues when a trade association tries to limit who can be involved in a business. Here is a discussion I ran across that kind of explains what I'm talking about.

Victoria Herring where are you?

She's a photographer in Des Moines and an attorney.

Larry Berman

Please stop attacking Les in this forum. He is a decent man who has high standards for this business. We may disagree with this particular idea of his, but he does not deserve this disrespect.

I agree with you Connie. You may hate this idea. You may be offended. You may be really upset with Les and think this is idiotic. But, stick to the issues and voice your opinions on that.

It's very easy to attack the person instead of the idea. The intense reaction to this, on the fora, and at the shows, is due to the polarizing effect that this particular implementation would have on artists and the industry. Some people are shrugging it off, as they know Les personally, and don't care whether they are certified by him, or anybody. Others are incensed by the idea and don't know him. Since they don't know where to begin, they start with a personal attack.

I agree with you as well, Connie, but I understand the reasons behind the negative attacks -- people, and artists specifically, do not like the idea of elitism. Art is subjective, and shouldn't be regulated by one person or a body of people. When one person or group of people attempt to force bad rules on other people, they open themselves up to attack. Whether their ideas, or their personal ideology, it goes against the grain. 

Creating a simple system for artists to verify that their work is original and handmade is one thing. Excluding people from an industry because their ideas don't measure up to another's ideal is entirely different. It's a bait and switch tactic. Well-meaning, perhaps, but not well thought out. If a show chooses to exclude an artist during the jury process, that is their prerogative. If the show director and the jury wants to only have painters who grind their own pigments and weave their own canvas, that is their choice and they are free to publish those standards in their prospectus, so that painters that use pig blood don't apply and throw their money away. But to have one person create an arbitrary set of standards to exclude an artists from all shows is elitism, and is just plain wrong. Let artists create what they will, as long as it is handmade and original. Materials and process is another animal entirely.

Mr. Slesnick has gone too far, and that's why you are seeing so much negative reaction to his ideas. People learn from history. The very nature of social communication today allows people to speak up in ways they never could. In his refusal to engage in social commentary on the forums, Les has ignored a very real force. Whether he likes it or not, public opinion will fall against him because of his cultural blinders. He may be a decent man, but his ideas are offensive, and too radical. He may be well-meaning and decent, but his vague pontification leaves many, including myself, doubting his abilities and questioning his motives. He has made it personal for many, which leads to personal attacks. While it may be noble of him not to engage in public debate of his character and his ideas, it leaves him open to the slings and arrows of public defamation.

Hi Jim,

I've put together a series of questions for Les. He's going to be calling me later today.

Larry Berman


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