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I have tried to get into the Cherry Creek Art Festival for over 13 years. I have walked through the festival and I can not believe I have never been accepted. I instead have gone have done the art shows in the past in Brekenridge and for the last several years Fresco. I am continued asked why am I not in the Cherry Creek Art Festival. My work is in 8 different galleries throughout the United States, and I have a European following. I am amazed at the response to my paintings, especially since I started using a pallett knife. I have had many articles written about me, last one American Art Collector June issue.

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Comment by Alison Armstrong on March 10, 2010 at 11:13am
Don't take it personally, Katherine. I got into Cherry Creek for the first time last year, and had my worst sales of the season. I made less than a quarter of the sales I did in my favorite local show, and less than half of what I did at Coconut Grove. I wasn't alone; my booth neighbor does 40 shows a year and said it was the worst show he'd had all season except for one in Iowa. Granted, we did have 40 degree temps on the 4th of July, and two days of rain torrents, but I also think the show may be overhyped and overrrated.
Comment by Meredith Kuntzsch on July 18, 2009 at 2:01pm
I've noticed that Cherry Creek seems to like choosing art that leans towards the abstract or edgy. Your work is very good, that's no question. I'd bet money that if you painted a few "slide" pieces that lean more toward the style that the judges seem to like (without changing your own voice of course), then you'd have a good shot of getting in. Who knows, again it's all just a crap shoot in the end. I can win an award at a show, go back, have another great year and then BOOM....I'm rejected the next year. (And I'm lazy enough to send the same slides to every show.)

Every city has its own personality. Maybe Denver is following the fashion presented by their Museum of Modern Damien Hirst, et all. I know it's frustrating, but try not to focus on it too much. Use your energy to mine positive resources elsewhere. Easy to say, hard to do. I for one, admit to continuing to "donate" to Cherry Creek every year. I send them the app money and wait for my rejection. Then I hop on over to another city where they like me and sell my work there. My 84-year-old father-in-law says, "It doesn't matter where you sell it, it just matters that you sell it." I figure as a prisoner of war in WWII, this guy has got to know something about life.

A great piece of advice I got from another artist once goes like this..... I was at a big show, saw that there was a booth just a few spots down from me that was obviously a big company manned by a sales rep trying to present himself as the artist. I was furious and rather obsessed about it. My friend was walking by and I pulled him over so that I could start venting. He said this: "Just worry about what is within your own personal space. Your only concern is within your own 10x10 booth. Don't obsess on what he's doing over there. You'll end up spilling bad vibes all over the place and miss whatever good is coming your way." I'm not explaining this as well as he did, but I continually remind myself of what he said whenever I'm feeling competitive or hurt or frustrated. It turns out there are enough customers for everyone. They just might not necessarily be at Cherry Creek.
Comment by Michelle Sholund on July 9, 2009 at 3:47pm
I am guessing it is all in the judges and what they are looking for. I have never been to the show so I really can't comment on the show or the judges, etc. However I am aware some jurors have favorites - favorite mediums/artists - as they shouldn't! Perhaps you might need to look beyond your work as to what could be the cause of you not getting in. Despite the wonderful feedback that your work should be there - could there be an issue with your price points (is it comparable to others who attend the event?) or the size of your work (do you only offer one size and that is large?). Is there a chance that there are a lot of similar artists - in your field also vying for a booth space too that somehow you are lost in the mix? Lastly, in your opinion, do you think your work is appropriate for the event. You do a lot of outdoor landscape portraits, would it appeal to the people in that particular area - this could be a factor too. For instance, living in Maryland - if an artist tries to sell something other than boats, ducks, seaside living, or meadows, they will have a hard time selling it in our area - UNLESS you sell in the Western part of MD. Not allowing you into a show - as you might have high expectations - might be a blessing in disguise especially if you find other people selling at the event sub-par. These are just my rambling thoughts - I could be very far off base, but tend to try and look at more obvious reasons for not letting someone get passed the jury than not being able to believe your work isn't good enough - and it seems very nice, from what I saw on your website.

What I would definitely do is contact the show organizer - by phone first - and tell them how you have always loved Cherry Creek, have been trying to get in for years, yet unsuccessful at it and ask if there are ways to get feedback/notes from the jury members. I would follow up with a business letter - to make it come across as professional verses a ranter. If they are willing to do so then at least you will be able to put your mind at rest. If they are uncooperative, let it roll off your back and focus on those who WANT you in their shows - it is better to use that energy elsewhere where you know you will be appreciated. - Michelle,
Comment by Connie Mettler on July 9, 2009 at 2:07pm
I can commiserate, Katherine. The competition for these big events is so stiff, and to live near one and not participate is truly frustrating. I live in Michigan and at every show you are asked, "are you going to be at Ann Arbor?" Luckily there are over a thousand spaces there, but I'm sure artists throughout the country have this annoyance.

Last time we participated in Cherry Creek I was both thrilled with the quality of the work and then amazed that "that" got in! Depends on the judges, as we know.
Comment by Katherine McNeill on July 8, 2009 at 8:54am
Yes I had a professional go over my booth, images, etc. and still did not get in. It is just irritating when you walk the show and see some of the so called art, hats, art hanging not even on stretcher bars, so called art that looks like someones nightmare that has been on drugs. Disgusting. As I said I continue get the remark "Why are you not in the Cherry Creek Art Festival. They come up to the mountains to the Fesco Art Festival and all I hear is "This is so much better art, can't believe you are not in the Cherry Creek Art Festival. I tell them I am not good enough. HaHa. I am not weird enough.
Comment by Connie Mettler on July 8, 2009 at 1:04am
Why doesn't an artist get into Cherry Creek? Winter Park, Ann Arbor, et al? It sounds as though you have the quality work they are looking for. The other part is, are you playing the jurying game? Have you ever had anyone look at your jury images and critique them? I'm not talking about the art itself, but rather the presentation of the work in the images? The lighting, the selection of subject matter, the ordering for the jurors? How does your booth slide look? Have you had a chance to attend a jurying to see what the others work looks like and how your work measures up to the other work in your category? Have you visited the web sites of the top art fairs and looked at the selected artists images to see what the entire show looks like, not on the street, but on the screen? What you see on the street is only half the game, because these artists have learned the lessons of getting to the street!

I see, Kathleen, you are a 2D artist, but I always tell people to visit the web site of the Philadelphia Museum of Art craft show: because they show all of the images that the selected artists have submitted. As best I know there is nothing similar for 3D artists.
Comment by Nels Johnson on July 7, 2009 at 9:50pm
gee! What s your question? I have won over 400 awards in juried art shows since 1973 and I have never got into Cherry Creek, Coconut Grove or Winer park since 1985. Come up with some new work. If John Galbo can get in, surely you or I can get in--Nels

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