Art Fair Insiders

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

Artisphere, Greenville SC Show -I called the Director

After all the discussion about some feed back for our app fees, I decided to call Liz Smith the director of Artisphere Show ( of which I was not accepted into for the 2nd year)

I wanted to get additional info as to scores , how many accepted per category, etc.

I must say that Liz was very forthcoming as we talked for about 45 minutes. She told me that 854 applied for 120 spaces of which 13 went to last years winners. There were 88 that applied in my category with 13 accepted and one being a past winner. She told me my score and the score that makes the cut.

She accessed my images and we discussed what she thought would have made a stronger presentation. Her suggestion was that I submit my images of all the same size art work. Ie: all square format and with a diversity of color palettes rather then showing similar pieces such as a series.She said that they can see from the booth slide that I work in other dimensions.

The jurors do read the artist statements first.

I questioned how a potter and a jeweler were qualified to judge 2-d work. She said that the judges were well versed in all media. I really don't know how well that works!!!

This show has an open jury but at 3 1/2 hours from me it is impossible to sit in on it.

She suggested that I call her in august before the deadline for next year.and we can discuss what may work better for me or help me as much as she could.

Don't know if there will be a next year for me. My friend was wait listed for 4 years in a row and at times #1 on the wait list and has never gotten in .

Well that is about it, Ya'll have a Merry Christmas.

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Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on December 24, 2012 at 1:51am

Virginia, that is very impressive that Liz spent so much time with you.  It is hard to imagine show directors would have time to do that for many artists.  That was very valuable advice and help that you got from her even if you don't apply to that show again in the future.  Good for you for making that call.  Thanks for sharing.

Comment by Suzanne Ens on December 21, 2012 at 9:06am
We have found the Greenville show harder to get into than most. With 90 percent success rate jurying into big shows for my painter husband, and so far 65-70 percent success rate for me in wearable fiber, we have nixed this from our shows to apply to, along with Bayou City.
Comment by margaret luttrell on December 21, 2012 at 8:51am

I also have never gotten into Artisphere, and have tried two times. Being close to Greenville and the quality of the show, I thought it would be a good show for me. I wish I had gotten to hear the podcast about it. It apparently is a cash cow, if that many artist apply and they only take thirteen in a category. I cannot imagine ,knowing the town, that there is a big market for anything but very conservative art and high end crafts and have been wondering if that might factor into judging. I doubt if I will try again. I feel a little like I'm throwing money into the wind with that one.

Comment by Virginia Dauth on December 20, 2012 at 7:53am

Thanks for the info about the jurors, I just have had a few bad experiences with the jurors who come around and preview the live work for awards. Some where not quite sure what to make of pastels and I had one juror think that my pastel paintings were watercolors.

Comment by Connie Mettler on December 19, 2012 at 9:30pm

Great report! Yes, Liz (and most directors of the really good shows) is very accessible and wants to have a great show and to be helpful to the artists. Boy, pretty tricky getting to be one of the 13 in that category.

Regarding the jurors who are not in your category, Virginia, when I did the podcast a few weeks ago about jurying the juror, Jerry Gilmore, addressed this issue and his answer was really good. I'm kind of paraphrasing here but he said that the jurors shared information about the category and the more shows he juried the more he learned from the others technical information and what an artist was doing that was special from the others. When I ran juries before we previewed a category I'd always ask the juror who was a specialist in that category to speak about the important aspects ahead of time.


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