Art Fair Insiders

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

Could your display be part of the art work?

Hello everyone.  I've been reading these wonderful post for a couple months now.  BTW, not only are you good artists but good writers as well! I guess I'm a part time artist.  I work in the day to support my art (and the household) and have only been able to enter local arts and crafts shows in the Houston area.  I've never applied to the large Houston art shows as really, I"m not there yet as an artist.  I haven't been able to dedicate enough time to it. 

Anyway, I'm a glass fuser.  Started with dichroic glass jewelry but have rencently moved into larger pieces.  Art panels, not any plates and bowls.  I'm "painting with glass frit powder". 


My question to you as seasoned artists, if the display enhances your art and actually becomes part of the art (glass panel in my case), but I did NOT make the display, is it my art?  Can I be judged into a show if I did not design or make the display?  Here is my example.  There are black iron display frames that hold the glass on a table top.  You probably have all seen them.  They are inconspicuous and functional.  Now, say this type of stand had vines with leaves cut out of metal and it kind of "grew up the sides" so to speak partially framing your glass.  It enhances a muted abstract glass panel with more design elements.  To be clear, what if it were not just leafy vines partially up the sides and on the bottom.  What if this stand also came in a coi fish design, a single standing crain, or even a large animal and these designs were right in the middle of the display stand which is holding your glass?  It actually becomes part of the art.  The fish against blue muted glass are swimming in water, a bear against muted green glass is in a forrest.  So this stand becomes part of the glass panel overall appearance.


What do you think?  Am I just enhancing someone elses art by making glass that the display holds?  Would it matter if the design is bold and "in your face" like a big standing bear or swimming fish that is right in the forfront of your glass or a more acceptable design of vines and leaves in the outer perimeter of your glass which is less of an addition to your glass?  If I designed the display stand but didn't make it would that be more acceptable?


Without pictures, I know it might be hard to imagine.  I like the concept.  I don't want to just be the backdrop to the display stand but I like the beauty of the partial framing.


I will check back after work for responses.  Thanks for your feed back.

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Comment by merritt m menefee-johnson on May 18, 2013 at 8:59am

YEAH!  I'm so glad that I could be helpful...that's terrific! Best of luck!!!

Comment by Cindy Cherrington on May 17, 2013 at 7:45am

Thank you for your valuable comments.  Once I wrote it, I started to feel like  my work might not be the focal point.  And thanks Merritt, I did go to the website and buy the book to make my own.  That's a much better solution and path of thought.  And it looks so easy to make.  I would never take credit for making the stand or being anything other than a glass artist.  Thanks again.

Comment by geri a. wegner on May 14, 2013 at 12:30am

Merritt, if you have made the vari-use glass stand on page nine, do you have any extra ones you would like to sell?  I love the simplicity of it, not getting in  the way of the glass.

Comment by merritt m menefee-johnson on May 13, 2013 at 8:16pm

I ordered the e-book from this make my own gallery-style stands.

Comment by Leslie Turner on May 13, 2013 at 6:28pm

It depends on what shows you are trying to get in. Some have more restrictions than others. But, as a fellow fused glass artist, if the frame looks like it is an important part of the finished piece and you did not design or make it, you are misleading your buyers. Unless you have a big sign that tells them you did not make the fancy metal display, they will assume you did.

Comment by geri a. wegner on May 13, 2013 at 5:27pm

Based on things I have read here over the years, I would consider the stand as part of the art if it was designed to coordinate with the frame.  It sounds as if the glass work makes no sense without a particular frame and in that case, a frame made by someone else is not allowed according to the rules of most art festivals.  

Comment by merritt m menefee-johnson on May 13, 2013 at 3:52pm

I'm also a glass fusing artist.  I would consider the SIMPLE wrought iron stand as the frame to enhance my art....My art stays the focus.  The stand is the "frame".

But if I were to design my glass to work with the PRE-MANUFACTURED stand with welded koi or plants already on a prefabricated stand...I think that's misrepresenting the artist. It seems beginner to me.  One is losing creativity to produce work that works within an already created stand.

I downloaded an ebook on how to create my own bases from simple materials bought at the home improvement store.  I would recommend that direction...

Comment by Brian Billings on May 13, 2013 at 12:09pm

I don't see how these displays would be any different from a frame enhancing a painting. It would be clear on your app that your a glass artist.

Comment by Karen Holtkamp on May 13, 2013 at 10:47am

Cindy, are you saying that these decorative displays would be used in your booth as an eye-catcher, or does the display become part of the finished piece that the customers pay for and take home with them?

Comment by Jacki Bilsborrow on May 11, 2013 at 10:25am

Cindy, I am really looking forward to seeing some photos of your work.  It sounds very interesting.

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