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

Every single artist I know who frequently has exhibited in Disney's Festival of the Masters in the past got juried out this year. Either my acquaintances are sudden losers or this was just a statistical aberration or the jurying was done by design to weed out past participants. Are we crazed consipiracy theorists or could there be anything to this? Just wondering. There was a rather large buzz going on about this over the weekend, at least among the rejectees.

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Comment by Bill and Jon Slade on November 16, 2010 at 10:59am
At least Disney didn't conspire by Extending their deadline-like Gasping gorilla- greedy money hungry sluts- like they needed another 2-400 apps /1200 wasn't enough// If there is a deadline then stick to your own rules// But this extending for more money has got to stop// The shows are not lacking for qualified applicants. here come $55 application fees and rising//gee anyone can be an artist- just see the cartoons on blog-Got you pegged//
Comment by Bill Sargent on November 16, 2010 at 9:59am
Those of us who got rejected prefer to feel it was the result of a conspiracy and had nothing to do with jurors who honestly felt our work sucked.
Really, though, the show did look a bit better and "cleaner" because of the reduced number of artists. Maybe next year those of us who got rejected this year will be next year's fresh faces. Meanwhile we plan to keep applying because it's simply a fun show to do and we usually have a couple of hundred bucks left over after expenses.
Comment by Bill and Jon Slade on November 15, 2010 at 7:30pm
Juried Arts, & the fact it was the only game in town increased the pool of award winners that applied. (John; pensacola is always the ist weekend of Nov.) Disney treats you the best- they even supply you with delivered tent weights for all- mandatory-I was there and my sales were fine/ my 25th year over the past 35/I received an award and a corporate purchase award/ I am real pleased with my results in this economy but it is alot of extra work to sell a nice piece of glass.The quality is really good -u have to be an award winner in the last two years to apply. BUT as always we all have different sales results//One should remember that most of these folks are there for Mickey-- NOT ART- so be thankful for what you do get-- This show does not need to start at 9:30 NOBODY was there till 12// so a 12-8 time would be great- If anyone can light up a venue it is Disney/
Comment by phillip hall on November 15, 2010 at 6:40pm
Besides us there were at least four people i know who usually do the show that i saw were there.
Comment by John Hartung on November 15, 2010 at 5:18pm
Thanks for the reports Bill and Alison. I was one of those juried out this year (I had done it the show every year from 2005-2009). It along with the Winter Park Autumn show are routinely my best Florida fall shows by far, so I was very disappointed not getting in. As I recall their rejection letter mentioned they had received a record number of applications. At least one if not two of the other big Florida Shows usually fall on the same weekend as Disney. Those shows being the Downtown Gainesville show and the Pensacola Gulf Coast Art Festival. However, this year Disney was the only major art festival last weekend.
Comment by Sheila Wissner on November 15, 2010 at 3:55pm
If the show directors decided they were not going to invite back anyone (or most) who had done the show the year before, then they should have said so on the application. Did they? Did they refund the jury fees for those who applied but had no chance of being accepted?
Comment by Alison Thomas on November 15, 2010 at 3:01pm
I first did the show in 2008 and did not get in last year and got in this year. I did win an award so it made it worthwhile but if I hadn't won the award I did a little less than 2x expenses and I am local so I am only counting booth fee plus gas. I had two repeat customers that accounted for the bulk of my sales, one purchased a piece I didn't even have with me. If I hadn't had those I would have not made expenses.
Comment by Bill Sargent on November 15, 2010 at 11:35am
Ann and I talked to many of the artists when walked the show Sunday. Lots of fresh faces.
They seemed to have rotated their stock of artists rather thoroughly. Some of the people who had been regulars in previous years were back after a one or two year hiatus. I saw surprisingly few who had been there the year before. Some of those had been invited back after winning an award last year.
There was agreement that last year during the award presentation they asked the winners how long they'd been doing the show. Most had been doing it for years and years.
This year people seemed to agree that about "eighty five percent" were first timers. Since I wasn't there I have to point out this was hearsay.
As for sales, the stories I heard caused me to question whether we would have wanted to be in the show anyway. We've always enjoyed it, although we never had exciting sales. This year, however, I got the impression we would have been lucky to break even.
Some people did well, of course. Others said OK. Still others failed to make expenses.
Something different was the food offerings by Disney. There were a couple of Disney tents serving food in the five to eight dollar range. I'm sure this was appreciated.
Our old painter neighbor was there from last year (he had gotten an award the previous year). He was kind enough to give us the Disney lunch that was meant for an assistant who didn't show that morning. We were very grateful. They also gave us five of those 500 calorie cookies that come with the lunch (collected over three days). At least we ate.
This gives me the idea to suggest that those of us who find ourselves lucky enough to be in a show on any given weekend should bring grocery donation bags for wandering artists who show up asking for food. It worked for us.
Comment by Steve Vaughn on November 15, 2010 at 10:51am
Well, hey, glad to see SOMEONE got back in (for better or worse, it would seem).
Comment by phillip hall on November 15, 2010 at 10:49am
Be carefull what you wish for Steve. We've been doing this show like you for many years and this year it was like the cruise ship that lost power and floated aimlessly while everyone ate spam.

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