Art Fair Insiders

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

"We, the under-signed artists, believe exorbitant jury fees are un-necessary and unfair.  Starting December 31, 2013 we will no longer apply to art shows that charge more than $35 for an application/jury fee.

We believe that with fair-warning shows can adjust their budgets accordingly and plan ahead as we, artists, have to do."

Anybody with me on this?  If sent to every show in the country, would they respond?  Would they, boldly, go ahead and release their new show announcement with a $40, $45 or $50 application fee?

You tell me....

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Comment by kanchana Nerato on September 11, 2013 at 11:09pm

So, I'm looking at my jury fee budget for next year as I'm putting down the list of shows and applications to send out, Gosh, it adds up-in an over speed limit fashion.

$50 regular fee and $55 if late, this show just lost my application, not to mention I heard rumors about how they have a list of artists that they keep year after year, this make it harder to compete for a booth and unjust. As a friend told me that this show is on it's way down(I already felt that a few years back at this show) I guess I just safe myself 50 bucks and use it for another show or two!

Connie, that is a great news! Now I wonder if the only ONE show is this show I'm just talking about :)

R.C., fellow signed artists-Good job well done :) Yippee!!!

Comment by kanchana Nerato on June 5, 2013 at 10:27am

Count me in!

Comment by Connie Mettler on May 10, 2013 at 9:01am

There are some shows where this happens in Michigan. The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair has peer jurors, Krasl Art Fair judges's scores are used for the "reinvites". The Birmingham Art Fair, now run by The Guild, used its judges to put invitations on its best artists, etc. ... it does make it harder for new people to get in but is great for the reinvited. 

Comment by Leslie Turner on May 9, 2013 at 5:12pm

I don't know about other shows that "grandfather in", but at Pink Palace in Memphis, Tn, they still charge a jury fee. During the show, you write a check and fill out paperwork indicating you wish to be juried for next year's show. A judge comes by during the show and looks at your booth and you get a notice in the mail a few weeks later. If you didn't make the cut, you can apply again when regular applications go out. There's no guarantee you'll be accepted, but you definitely have an advantage over new artists. It's great if you are one of the regulars, not so great if you are trying to get in. What I really like about it is that the judges get to see what my booth really looks like set up and they can see and touch and ask questions about my work. I wish the judges for the different shows could go around and physically visit every artist's booth before making any decisions. I know that's not possible, but I can still dream.

Comment by Richard L. Sherer on May 9, 2013 at 3:33pm
I applied to Sloans Lake, (Denver,CO) before the boycott was announced. It's a first year show, but I wasn't doing anything else in mid September. It about the last shot before it snows. They have already extended the application deadline by a month - not a good sign. I will keep you posted.
Comment by Suzanne Ens on May 9, 2013 at 2:39pm
From last Zapp email -

Denver Arts Festival at Sloan Lake $40
Artlectic (Nashville) $40
Rockford (late d/l) a whopping $60!
Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts (IL) $45
Artigras $40

And of course Kentuck will have its usual inflated late app fee for its usual handful of actual available spaces.

I will Not. Be. Applying. To any of these! - several of which we have always applied to. When I double those app fees as I must do for this two artist household it becomes less and less feasible each year. Especially for shows where there is an elevated chance of my money just being thrown out into the wind.
Comment by Robin Kolb on May 9, 2013 at 1:53pm

Question. do the grandfathered in artists not have to pay jury fees or application fees? if that's the case, perhaps this might account for higher fees for the rest of us. Also, so many shows seem to now advertise x number of booths but then extend the deadline and also accept many more artists than originally advertised, which does dilute the buyer attention we might receive. There is only so much walking around an audience can do. The state of the economy has changed pretty much everything we encounter, artist and buyer - or non-buyer - alike.

Comment by R. C. Fulwiler on May 2, 2013 at 7:27pm

Thanks for the update.

Comment by Connie Mettler on May 2, 2013 at 7:25pm

Latest Zapp email shows 2 shows with booth fees over $35 - Tempe in the Spring and Denver Arts Festival at Sloan's Lake (never heard of that one before). Many of the fees were in the $20-$30 range. Does anyone have any others to report?

Comment by sean McDougal on April 22, 2013 at 9:31am

Connie, I think that open communication is what is needed. I don't think some of the directors understand that we are spending a ton of money. We are the product. And without product there is no show. I think there are many changes in the art fairs that can use some open discussion. And not from people who are afraid to give an honest opinion. There is no need to take anything personally. And if a director takes it that way then maybe they should be doing something else. It can't be a one sided discussion. The whole market is changing. And going the same course will not help anyone. Shows or artists.

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