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Philadelphia 2021November 4 - 7
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Thursday Preview Party
Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday 10am-6pm,
& Sunday 10am-5pm

195 Artists
Deadline: April 19

Application fee: $50   Booth fee: $1000-$1950
Philadelphia poster
The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show is now accepting applications through April 19th for the 2021 Craft Show. The Craft Show committee has begun planning for both an in-person and online juried Craft Show in November. A highly-regarded event nationwide and internationally, the Craft Show seeks artists that create unique one-of-a-kind or limited edition contemporary crafts by hand. 

Philadelphia boothArtist Amenities:
  • Sign with name, city, state and booth number
  • Listing and thumbnail image included in show program book
  • Show postcards for mailing to customers
  • Booth sitting by volunteers
  • Online directory listing and link to website/virtual shop
  • WIFI (for e-mailing and retail transactions)
Philadelphia booth 22020 Best of Show recipient Stacey Lee Webber shares her thoughts on artists considering submitting an application. "The PMA Craft show has been pivotal in my career, I highly recommend applying and putting your full energy into the exhibition. It has helped me grow my audience and develop a community of people who support my work. I am still in close contact with many of the patrons I met at my very first show many many years ago!"

The PMA Craft Show is dedicated to bringing the finest in contemporary crafts to a nationwide audience, and also presents annual awards in ten categories including Best of Show ($1500) and nine excellence awards ($1000).

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8869193886?profile=originalUnfortunately, the Art and Craft Show held in Old Town San Diego will no longer be held.  This show had been held in the Historic Old Town San Diego.  Old Town is a quaint area that attracts tourists to San Diego.

The Arts & Crafts Show Old Town San Diego first began in 2011.  This art and craft show had something for everyone, fine art, entertainment. delicious international tasty food, tequilas, and craft beer and wine.  The colorful art event ran along San Diego Avenue from Conde Street to Twiggs Street.

The art and craft show was hosted by the Old Town Chamber of Commerce.  In 2018, the show was schedule to take place.  The artists were juried in and a month before the show was to take place the show was abruptly canceled.  The artists' money was refunded.  

The Old Town Chamber of Commerce did not receive the annual financial support in 2018 that it had received in the past.  That lack of funding caused the show to be cancelled in 2018.  Because that lack of financial support still continues there was also no show taking place for 2019.

So, as of this date, there is no sign that this show will return in the future.  It is always sad to report the end of an art show. 

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Deadline for the 2019 Holiday Show is May 8!

The 19th annual One of a Kind Holiday Show is a 4-day show, held from December 5-8 indoors at The Mart in Chicago, featuring fine art and craft from a juried selection of participants. We invite artists, designers and makers with high quality, handmade, original work to apply to be a part of the One of a Kind Holiday experience! Apply via zapplication.org

Kathleen Hogan                  Amber Melson
   khogan@themart.com       amelson@themart.com
312.527.7641                    312.527.7757

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One of a Kind Show and Sale® Chicago
theMART | A Vornado Property | 222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza | Suite 470 | Chicago, IL 60654
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Review of San Diego Festival of the Arts - 2017

Hi all,

The San Diego Festival of the Arts is a large show held in downtown San Diego on the waterfront in a park called Waterfront Park.

The jury selection of artists is very good with top quality artworks and no toe-rings, T-shirts, or soap-on-a-rope booths to be found.

Booth spaces are not too expensive, for California, and there is no commission charged on sales.

The show is setup in quads and some artists (quite a few) get the full quad for their booth for (I believe $850). I got a double for $650.

Friday is setup day and it goes well - if you are patient and can relax. You wait in line with other artists for a space to open up along the curb. When a space opens you go to the space and back in and unload to your booth. You are then asked to move your vehicle to the artists parking lot about 1 mile away where you are then taken back to the show grounds by a shuttle.

You set up your booth and stake it down really well and also use weights - you never know the wind conditions on the waterfront. You can hang your art and close up your tent.

On Saturday morning it was wet from raining the night before, but it dried out pretty fast. It was cloudy all day Saturday and I think it hampered the show attendance.

Saturday night it rained a lot and was very wet in the morning. It cleared up by the time the show started and the sun came out a bit more. Sunday was a good day for an art festival.

For some reason I did not do as well this year as last. I thought the crowds were very good both days, but people just were not buying MY art this year like they did last year. The glass artist next to me had a fantastic Saturday (probably near $10,000 - sold at least 5 $2000 vases) and then a $0 on Sunday - go figure.

One bad factor of the show is that in this area of San Diego it is "almost" impossible to find a parking space in "Little Italy" (The area near where the show is held). Only if you are lucky will you find a space where you can then pay the meter and head down to the show, remembering that you only have so much time to spend at the show.

Rooms can also be expensive in this area because it is a tourist destination.

I don't know what was different this year from the last except weather (Last year it was spectacular weather). The tourists are there none the less.

Load out is always a bit of a struggle, but as I say, just stay calm and take your time. I take down all my work and walls then go get my van. You wait in line with all the others to wait for a space on the curb and hope it comes soon - by the way, a space always comes - and you will get it!

Show closed at 5 pm on Sunday, got my van at 6 pm, began loading at 6:30 pm, was out by 7:15 (All dolly load in and out). Time for some dinner.

If you want to try this show, I do recommend it. I know that some artists did very well and some artists did very poorly - but you never know what's going to happen at any show these days. The show management is extremely good and really takes care of the artists - great communication throughout.

If you do want to do the show and are accepted, book a hotel room fast. The area just above the waterfront is called "Little Italy" and there are a TON of restaurants to go to and enjoy. The are also a bunch of hotels / motels nearby but they can get pricey in the spring/summer.

Hopefully this review will help you make a decision on this show if you are contemplating doing it. It's a physical load in and load out - so bring your stamina and your patience.




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Application Photos: full range of work or not?

I am really perplexed about this especially regarding some of the top shows.  We're experienced artists at shows.  Often a promoter's instruction sheet, instructs artists to submit the photos representing the full range of their work which means if you are a 3D artist with functional ceramics, you are to show not only your more intricate items but also your "more ordinary," for lack of a better word items:  the ones that are  less complex to produce and less impressive and lower priced.  When 3 or 4 pictures are required, (not counting a booth shot, we always submit the more complex pieces requiring and showing more skill and more imagination.   We also have those pieces and others like it in our booth. One year after getting into a top rated show, we were approached by a jury person who walked around and we were told that our photos didn't include the full range. That was true as we make about 20 different items and certainly didn't think it would be impressive to do a group shot of the lower range items.  The following year, we submitted one out of 4 photos that did show a more ordinary piece.  We were not accepted that year and speaking to other artists, we were later told not to listen to those instructions in the paper work.  Always send the best of your work, other artists advised us since the competition does the same.   I now think the jury who looks at maybe several thousand photos is not going to be impressed with the artist who includes the mundane photo.  I'd like to hear from artists as well as jury people.  What is your experience with photos and also a jury person's response at shows when you see a booth that doesn't include the full range.  I'm not speaking here about artists who apply in one category, but  then slip into their booths a high percent of something else that would actually fit into a different category.  I'm talking about one body of work that holds together.  Thanks for your response based on your experiences.

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Sharing an Experience

I'm sharing this because I suspect I'm not the only one who's ever done anything like this, and not the only one who's had ambivalent feelings about it. 

I had a very good summer of shows. I got into some top shows, my paintings generally sold well, and I enjoyed myself. I did 25 shows between February and September, and honestly, I was exhausted. 

In September, the dog of my heart died. She had liver cancer, and I had to euthanize her. This broke my heart and left me truly sad, deep inside. Two weeks afterwards, I rallied to attend a plein-air paintout in which I'd been invited to participate. I wasn't up to being social, but I painted and met nice painters, and enjoyed myself. The sadness ebbed. 

Right afterwards, I headed to Dayton, Ohio, for a show. I had a cheap Air BnB rental ($42 for an entire house), so I got there early, to rest and finish my taxes before starting the show. On Thursday, my husband called to tell me that another of our dogs had died.

I went home. Canceled out of the show (lost my booth fee, even though the show called someone from the wait list to take my place, but OK). I simply could not face people, could not interact, could not engage.

A month later, I realized I just needed a dog. I'd been painting, I'd been gearing up for my final three shows, in Texas, but I was still sad. Still lacking energy, drive, hope. My husband found a rescue dog who looked good, so I met her on my way to Texas and made arrangements to pick her up on the way home.

I got to Texas and drove to my first show, Huffhines Art Trails, in a total downpour. Cars were off the road the entire way. It poured, thundered, lightninged, and the show was canceled. I looked ahead to the weather and saw that hurricane-driven rain was predicted for the next weekend, too, when I was scheduled for a show in Houston. 

So there I was, stranger in a strange land, and all I wanted was to go home. I was tired. Spent. Staying with strangers who were nice, but with whom I couldn't be myself. I tried a couple different things, went to Austin (unbeknownst to me, there was a Formula 1 racing event there that weekend, traffic was horrible, there were no rooms to be had). I tried to paint, but everywhere I could have gone, it was raining. I thought about heading to Arizona to see my dad, but he was away for the week. Nothing worked. Nothing felt right. 

Finally, I just decided to go home. Blow off my two remaining shows, lose the booth fees, just check out. 

The moment I made the decision, my world righted itself. I headed east, got my little dog (photo below), and am happily, safely at home. 

I've since felt tremendous guilt about skipping those shows. I've felt that if I were really a tough, serious fair-going artist, I'd have stuck it out. But I have also felt tremendous power and freedom in my decision. One reason to work for yourself is to do just what I did, not work when I really, truly, in my heart didn't feel like working. 

Of course I worry about the money, but there were no guarantees that those other Texas shows would have been good ones for me. I have commissions to paint, I have a project to start, and people have begun to call me asking to buy the paintings I still have. 

I really wanted to share my experience, even though I suspect some artists might deride me for my decisions. It was hard to make these choices, but they were the right ones. And maybe my experience will help someone else. 

ps, Hi, Connie! 8869166688?profile=original

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Estes Park is the gateway to the east side of Rocky Mountain Park and this year was its 100th anniversary.  There are many summer homes in the area and it is a destination for a broad spectrum of nationalities, income levels, and interests.  I started doing this show in 2010, and I have done it every year since then.  I also do the Memorial Day show in Estes Park.  Gross sales at the September Labor Day show since 2010 have been in the $3-$5K range, and I have considered it a good solid show.  The show is produced by the Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary, Inc. and they do an all-around EXCELLENT job!!!!  The town is packed for the weekend, and leading up to the show there was a lot of promotion on Facebook.  The show is setup with 103 booths set up around the perimeter of Bond Park and in the parking lot for the town hall.  Clean, indoor, accessible restrooms are in the town hall.

SETUP AND TAKE DOWN.  Set up officially begins at 9:00am on Friday but Rotarians are present to check you in as early as 7:30am.  If you are early you can park at your site to unload.  Street parking is available within a block of the show, but oversize vehicle and trailers have to park at the fairgrounds.  Free shuttle service is available from there, and in town.  Volunteers are available to assist with unloading and set up.

     Takedown begins at 3:00pm on Monday and volunteers were there to help.  Like set up, traffic was controlled and vehicles were not allowed in until you were ready to load.  After paying your sales tax, you get a yellow ticket.  When your booth is knocked down and you are ready to load you get a blue pass to bring your vehicle in.  We loaded around 7:30pm.

WEATHER.  Temperatures were in the 70’s.  There were brief showers Sunday.  An unweighted booth went over in a gust of wind Friday night and another had breakage knocked off a wall. 

 THE SHOW.  The town was packed with people and thousands went through the art show.  There was seldom a time when people were not in my booth, and I had several repeat clients.  Belts were my top seller, with holsters, suspenders, spur straps, and several custom orders thrown in.  My sales were in the $4-5K range, and my largest sale was $475 for a silver mounted headstall and two breast collars (horse gear).  There was a good balance of all art/craft mediums including edibles like jellies and salsas.  There is no buy/sell at this show.  Nuts and bolts for the show are in www.artshowreviews.com.  The Rotarians have coffee and goodies in the morning, and booth sitters. All taxes are paid to the Rotary at the end of the show.

ANALYSIS.  I have come close to hitting the “home run” of $5K gross sales at this show a couple times.  My inventory of flasks and checkbooks was pretty lean by this, the last shown of the season.  Most of the belts sold were plain, and only a few were the more expensive carved with or without silver buckles.  I sold out of some sizes and some styles of buckles but didn’t loose and sales because of that.  The Estes crowd is definitely middle class and families visiting the park.  It is also a destination for Denver motorcycle clubs making the run up Big Thompson Canyon and over Trail Ridge Road.

THE OTHER FUN STUFF.  There were lots of different dog breeds and babies at the show.  Interacting with both was fun.  We were able to rent our favorite cabin that is just up the hill from Bond Park.  It was built in 1898 but it is modern and cozy. The hot tub is great after a day on the street.  Our son and his family came up for a cook out Saturday and we got to visit with our college and high school age grandsons.  Tuesday after the show we headed to the park and drove up Fall River Road (one lane dirt one way) up to Trail Ridge Road.  We saw elk and mountain sheep.

I cannot emphasize enough the need to be in top physical condition for doing shows.  I will be 72 in a couple weeks and Jean is 68.  Set up takes us 7 1/2 hours of steady work and take down is 4 1/2 hours.  We don’t diddle around, but we have lots of inventory.  At the end of the days we are still energized and not exhausted.  We do yoga 1-2 times a week and work out with a personal trainer once a week.




8869164700?profile=original8869165055?profile=original8869165263?profile=original8869165097?profile=original8869165456?profile=originalPhotos:  1. Setup Friday morning, Longs Peak. 14,259’

             2. Saturday crowd

             3. A pampered dog with green paws, pink and purple tail and ears.

             4. Fall River Road

             5. Longs Peak from Trail Ridge Road

             6. Bull elk 

             7. Bear Bottom Cabin  

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Let me premise this one by a wonderful quote from someone a few of you may have heard of:

God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things. - Pablo Picasso

Think God would make it past most juries these days?  Sure doesn’t seem like he has a “cohesive body of work” according to many jurors.  Guess he never had to face an art show jury in his day.

Also, if jurors are composed of "art experts" or "experts in their fields" - should definition of terms really be so widely interpreted and varied in their application?

Such terminology or dare we say "definitions" as "consistent body of work", "cohesive body of work" or "breadth of work" are thrown around IMO carelessly without definition or example in the prospectus and then again in the jury process, without supervision creating a confusing and in many ways lethal scenario for the fate of artists and patrons.

If a show prospectus says something akin to: the jury slides and booth slides you submit should represent the body of work, or breadth of work ...... what exactly are they saying?  How are we interpreting these words and combinations of words? Are we to micro-interpret that if the wording is "should" rather than "must" that leaves it more open to open interpretation by the artists?  Or is the intent clear either way?  Clear to the show?  Clear to us?  Do shows evaluate their documents to see if their choice of words (i.e., wordsmithing) is crystal clear?  Clearly transmitting their intent without ambiguity? Is whatever the definition of these words by the SHOW that wrote these terms clearly and unambiguously communicated to their JURORS?  Can jurors score submissions based on a different set of definitions or interpretations?

So for your consideration, some examples. All these where the prospectus says the jury and booth slides should (or even if they say "must") represent the "breadth" or "body" of work to be shown":

  • Your a photographer shooting both black-and-white and color, about equally.  Do you only submit B&W?  If you perceive, based on your experience, jurors will respond more positively to B&W than to color - or - believe that jurors seeing a mix of B&W and color are more likely to say that is not a "cohesive" or "consistent" body of work and score them down - either way - would mixing B&W and color imagery be an inconsistent body of work?  If you only show B&W in the jury slides, should you be allowed to also show your color work? Is the B&W imagery just one manifestation of the body of work, that cover the body of work, the style, the vision?   What if that ratio is not 50:50 but more say 80:20 of B&W vs. color images?  Does THAT matter?  Would showing only say B&W images then also be considered representative of the "breadth" or "body" of your work?
  • Your a ceramic artist creating both functional (e.g., bowls, plates, mugs) and nonfunctional works (e.g., wall pieces or large decorative vases).  Should you only submit images of your functional work? Only of nonfunctional? Are you compelled to show both in their jury images submitted?  Show the functional pieces as their jury image slides and include the nonfunctional pieces only in the booth image and assume that is okay and meets the definitions/rules of the prospectus?  Are you okay with the show saying "you didn't include images of your nonfunctional work in your jury images so you cannot show them at the event?"
  • Your a painter creating images of flowers, seascapes and pastoral landscapes - must you show them all in the jury slides?  Does a mix of flowers and seascapes and landscapes, if that is what your paint, demonstrate an inconsistent or non-cohesive body of work for which you might be penalized by the jurors for showing an inconsistent body of work?
  • Your a jeweler doing typically jewelry (e.g., necklaces, rings, earrings) yet also create non-functional sculptural pieces.  Must you show examples of both in your jury slides?  Just show the traditional work in their jury slides and the nonfunctional pieces in their booth slide?  Okay if the show says you can't show one or the other because of what you submitted?

Okay.  Now let's put you in the seat of a juror.  

  • You see a submission of 3 verticals and one horizontal - then the booth slide.  Is that an inconsistent body of work because horizontal and vertical images are mixed?
  • You see three images with strong reddish colorations and one with a bluish coloration.  Consistent body of work?  Not?  Consistent presentation?  Not?
  • You see two large outdoor installation sculptures, and two small table-top-sized sculptures.  Consistent?  Inconsistent?  Penalty in scoring? Or none?
  • You see a handmade large wooden table, a large wood rocking chair, a standing clock, and a small wooden jewelry box.  Consistent?  Inconsistent?  Penalty in scoring?  Or none?
  • You see a giraffe, an elephant, a cat, and a bird ...... okay - I digress

These aren't meant to be laughable, nonsensical examples (except that last one of course).  These are real.  They have happened.  

Definitions have a purpose - to clarify.  These terms referring to a "consistent", "cohesive" and "body of work" among others are in no way - IMO - clear.  They are written as words by a show in a prospectus that represent a binding legal contract and equally binding ethical contract with us - artisans - to say this is what we expect you do to, to submit, and then how you will be judged and what you will be allowed to show - based on these characteristics of your work as represented by your jury images.  Are these terms clear to you?  Are you okay with them not being clear?  And are you okay with thinking in reading the prospectus that you understand and choose your images and pay your fee accordingly, only to find out later than that is NOT how they were judged?  Perhaps that show staff pre-juried you out because of such inconsistencies, or perhaps that jurors applied a different interpretation of those words or concepts?  Part of this absolutely is Show Management (last topic to be posted here shortly) - clear and unambiguous teaching of the jury what the rules, definitions and interpretation of those definitions are.  The other part is a clear stating of what these terms, concepts and ideas are to us so we have a target to shoot for.  No?

Your turn.

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The jury process: Introduction

I am posting three separate discussions on the issue of jurors and jurying at shows.  Please, do not write or respond on this particular discussion – it is intended only as the intro to the other three discussions.  This came about – besides the years of being an artist and previous good discussion on this site as recently as a few years ago – as a result of two comments made by artists responding to a post by a great friend of mine, Rich Fulwiler, in his blog “Total Disconnect”.  Most recently by Mark Turner’s post bringing attention to this subject.


In Rich Fulwiler’s original post, one comment from Thomas Felsted was “… jurors are soooo overly qualified elitist a who curate art to a level of snobbishness that is disconnected with the buying public.”  The second comment was from Barrie Lynn Bryant who wrote “I think that judges are usually quite qualified and only sometimes a little less than qualified.”  Defines a breadth of opinions about jurors.  


The issues being raised by these postings are related to jurors and the jury process.  Each aspect has qualities that need to be thought about and discussed separately – hence the separate discussions, even though they interrelate at some point. Because far too often each aspect goes awry – it is through their unholy union that we as artists, and art patrons suffer as the failing parts combine to make a failing system. 


In my opinion:


There is no single point at which our fate as artists, and those of art patrons, are more consequentially affected than through this single point of the jury process.


These topics would be somewhere in the realm of ludicrous-stupid-insane-ridiculous-hideous-mildly entertaining from an outsiders perspective versed in business as in “.. so THAT’s how they do BUSINESS???? Art shows are a business after all.   Since we are intimately involved in the landscape of art shows, the impact “jurors” have on our lives as artists is staggering and no, not funny or amusing.  Definitely stupid, ludicrous, insane and ridiculous.  An absent from the entire process in most all cases is the voice of the public that comes to shows and buy art – patrons.  Even more stupid, ludicrous, insane and ridiculous.


There also is the frustrating aspect that we as artists, shows, and jurors throw concepts around without ever stopping to define them as if we believed everyone defines something as we do – critical error.  We do not.  Defining what you are speaking about and relating to is crucial to understanding what you are talking or thinking about.  For example, what is a “good juror”?  What is a “consistent body of work”?  What is a “good jury slide”?  Why does a set of slides get you juried into 3 shows and not accepted into 8 others?  Or in your first year of applying and out the next four years?  Or four jurors think your work is stunning (i.e., highest scores possible) and one juror thinks it sucks (i.e., lowest score possible).  If jurors were so “knowledgable” and “expert” and “experienced” – should they not be more consistent?


The four major points about the jury process that I take serious issue with – and wish fervently that all artists did– are the following.  I will ask PLEASE do not ramble on about your personal experiences (e.g., “oh I get into this show all the time and thus the jurors are good and I never get into these shows and thus those jurors are bad”).  As the TV character Perry Mason used to say:  “Irrelevant, incompetent and immaterial”.  Think about things like when you get into a show and do poorly, did the jurors choose unwisely?  When you are one of the best sellers in your category at a show and next year get juried out does that make sense?  When you see a fellow artist win an award from a “judge” (aka: another iteration of a “juror”) and not sell a piece of art at the event – and you know THEY are back in the show next year because of winning the award while the person across from them who sold out may NOT because of ….. juror response, reaction, scoring next year?


The major points I wish to bring up for thought and discussion, one-by-one, are the following:

  • What makes a “good” juror?  Why?  What characteristics should be considered?  Are they “experts”?  Or merely critics?  Knowledgeable of all they see?  Or merely opinionated?  Representative of what the public wants to see and purchase?  “Or merely responding to some ‘pushing of the envelope’?
  • What is “good management” of the jury process by a show?  For example, To what extent, if any, should jurors be allowed to go outside the guidelines written by the show in their prospectus to artists as to how they will be juried?  One of the chief issues being booth slide and cohesive body of work? And should not the top level show management ALWAYS be present THROUGHOUT the duration of the jury process to answer questions from jurors and monitor the jury process itself?  Is that not a critical aspect of “show management”?  One that we pay for with our jury fees?  And necessary to ensure the jury process is fairly applied?
  • What are the definitions for such important jury concepts as “cohesive body of work”, “representative of the body of work” and “good jury slide”?  How do these concepts relate to what the show says in their prospectus – if anything – about the images submitted representing the “body of work” of the artist.  How is “body of work” defined?  If a “body” of work is diverse (e.g., color & B&W photography, functional and non-functional ceramics or functional and nonfunctional glass) is the artist mandated by show rules to show the breadth of work?  Or just a selection (e.g., just the black-and-white photography or just the functional ceramics or glass) that they artists believes may be more positively perceived by the jurors as a “consistent body of work”?  However, if they do so, will any portion of that body of work NOT shown in the jury slides be disallowed at the event?   And should it be? 

What relevance or correlation exists between juror scores and sales? It is not a moot point.  Sales is the voice of the public speaking from the very people the show asked to get off their butts and put the event into their schedule, to drive to the event, to walk the event and – purchase artwork.  Also the very people we, as artists, rely on for our success.  If listening to those that actually BUY art isn’t critical then we are all deluding ourselves about what we do.  And what business in America does not listen to what people in their ‘store’ buy?  How do they expect to succeed if they don’t listen, don’t care?   Art patrons are the essence of this whole exercise.  If they don’t exist or come support the arts at such “art events” then we don’t survive as artists.  Shows can ALWAYS find SOMEONE to give them money for that piece of pavement or grass on which to set up a tent and sell or promote something, even if buy-sell or totally unrelated to art. The “art show” component however will go away.  As will we.

So, following is the first part - The Jury Process: Part 1 - What Makes a "Good Juror".  Remember, it is an exercise about expressing your thoughts, ideas, perspectives on these points and listening to what others have to say - seems the essence of the learning process.  Understanding viewpoints on how the system works - or doesn't - and what positive things can be done to improve our artist environment.  

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May 2 & 38869133269?profile=original

Sanford, Florida
Historic Downtown Sanford
Sat. 10am-6pm; Sun. 10am-5pm
125 Artists
Deadline: March 21
Applications on ZAPP

$15,000 in Awards $3,000 Best of Show


A NEW art festival experience...

"where the artistic process comes alive before your eyes"


We are very excited to announce our 4th annual event, rapidly becoming one of the South's premier outdoor fine arts festivals. A different festival experience awaits you!

Throughout the festival there are 12 demonstrating areas for artists selected through our jury process. These artists will have adjacent spaces to demonstrate their artistic process along with their finished artwork to sell.

Our plans to make this an exciting successful event for you:

  • Our Patrons Program offers ART-BUCKS to be spent on your artwork
  • Fine art judges are top quality and between them, knowledgeable in all categories
  • Easy Check-in and exit at the end of the Festival
  • Comprehensive broadcast, print and electronic/digital media coverage
  • Artists who apply early may be showcased in the media spots
  • Booth numbers and artist information in the festival program and website
  • Convenient parking for Artists
  • Artist Retreat with breakfast & lunch on Saturday and Sunday
  • Frequent visits by the Artist Support team. Booth sitters. 


Anticipated attendance: Approximately 20,000 visitors over the two days

Entertainment: Soft acoustical music artists perform throughout the festival footprint.



Jury Fee: $35.00 - Booth Fee: $225.00


Contact Information: riverartfest@gmail.com
Phone: Director/Artist Support - Kim House: 407-416-1779
Alt Phone: Liz Darwick, 407-314-6809
Find more 2015 festivals looking for you: www.CallsforArtists.com
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Too Bad for Tubac, AZ

This is the second time I've participated in this show in the lovely town of Tubac, AZ and probably the last. The first time I did this show was in 2012 and the weather was average for this time of the year (60's). This time the weather was above average in the 70's and 80's and, as it had rained for three days the weekend before it would seem the perfect time to come out and enjoy the sun. 

Sales for this artist, as-well-as others that were queried, were down from the last show. I made less than half what I did last time and didn't do that well at the last show! One jeweler reported sales of $400. This was not a buying crowd with some exceptions. Most of the buying activity took place on Fri and Sat leaving the rest of this five day show with little to do except talk with the lookers. This was an older crowd that was not inclined to spending as their 2nd houses in Green Valley ( a retirement community north of Tubac) were probably already full. The buying crowd was a little younger but there were not that many of them at this show. Although some of the patrons were bused in, the crowds were not crowded! It seemed as though numbers were down considerably.

This show is suffering, as are most of the shows in AZ from their own entropy. Although the staff were there to welcome the artists it seemed as if little is being done to attract a buying public. Tubac is about 50 miles south of Tucson and very few Tucsonians attend.

Show Dates: Usually the first full week of February, contact the Chamber of Commerce in Tubac for exact dates.

Quality of the Show: VERY WIDE, perhaps the word is getting around as this show is not attracting the kind of quality that was there even 3 years ago. If you don't have qualified buyers you're not going to attract quality art. Although there wasn't what appeared to be a lot of B/S (I think there was some) the fine art was not in as much evidence.

Amenities: The Tubac Market in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce put on a nice artists dinner Wed night after the show. No other amenities were provided.

Parking: Finally, the Chamber provided parking passes for the artists, last time I did this show artists were charged $8 per day to park (That's up $2 from last time!)

Awards: One award, Best of Show, went to a painter.

Load-In/Out: I had a much nicer spot this year but load-in/out was not a concern as we all played nice with each other and it was easy. There was plenty of space for all to work. Some streets in the show were much more congested. There was a lot of storage space behind the booths.

Accommodations: The last time I did this show I stayed in Green Valley, AZ about 21 miles north of Tubac as the hotels were relatively affordable. Not so this time, rates had gone up more than 20% even if you could find a room there, which I couldn't. Staying in Tucson was prohibitive as it would be at least an hours drive each way! This time we opted to stay about 12 miles south in Rio Rico at the Esplendor Resort, last year when I booked there I got a $51 room rate (they accept pets) but not this year. Going further south to Nogales, AZ, well...Some artists that were having an extended stay in the area opted for the nearby condos which are very nice but you have to stay longer for the best rates. Trailer camping was available nearby for about $25.

Next time I want to escape the cold of Denver in the middle of the winter I'll do what I did last year for my birthday, skip the show and go to Hawaii! It's cheaper in the long run!

If you'd like to read my last report on this show...I should have!


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8869143900?profile=original8869144853?profile=originalSo earlier this summer, I was looking to fill a hole or two in my schedule. In checking on eventlister.com/craftlister.com and a couple other sites, I saw an opportunity for an event slightly northwest of Philadelphia.

It was an event billed as a medium sized one day arts and craft event put on by the Borough of Lansdale, called the Lansdale Festival of the Arts. It was very inexpensive for a booth (Under 100$).

The event is held in a small park which also has sports fields. Parking was available onsite for exhibitors. Staff were very well organized and cheerful...

The exhibit is billed as rain or shine, with a rain location indoors at a nearby school.. But it would appear that it has to raining pretty good night before/day of in order for event staff to move the event inside. Setup started at 7 AM. I was looking at the radar before we left as the weather had been pretty iffy the night before - and .... yes, just as we left, rain was starting to move into the event area. However, it seemed limited in size/duration and looked like it would pass through by the time the show started.

We drove into the rain and got to the event site from Wilmington in about an hour.. It was still raining when we got there and the event staff were signing people in as we arrived. You could drive onto the site and you were assigned a spot partially by the order of arrival and partially as they balanced the show exhibitor positioning by discipline on the fly.. ie no assigned booth positions as far as I could tell. The check in person was under a pop-up canopy and remarked that when she left to get to the event, the rain was not on her radar, but sure was now. There was no move however to re-locate to the indoor school location..

We were directed to our spot and my wife and I proceeded to get rolling on the set-up. The event staff were very flexible in allowing us to keep vehicles at our spots while doing the wet set-up; rather than doing the traditional dump/park and then set up.. There was a pottery exhibitor who had assumed that since it was raining, that the event was going to move indoors. She stood in the rain with no canopy while her husband ran for her pop-up tent. Tents ranged from the very expensive to the splayed leg type with non-white canopies..  

Since the show was to be judged and prizes awarded, we had two entry cards in out welcome packet that we were to fill out for pieces we wished judged for the event. Got everything set-up in time and parked.. The rain let up just as the event was starting.. Surprisingly, there were early-birds who ignored the rain. I noted Steve Oliver, the event director for the Rittenhouse Square Art Festival was exhibiting. He didn't remember who I was... which is probably good given the disagreement we have had over giving artists jury scores....

For being a wet day, the event was pretty well attended by a fairly eclectic and international crowd. It spit rain off and on during the course of the entire event. but while the sun peeked out a couple times, it remained mostly overcast and dreary. I was very glad I had my lighting set-up with me as this helped a lot...

What I didn't have during the day were sales.... There was buying energy for the typical wearables categories... But I only saw a moderate amount of fine art being hauled away and a lot of prints. The judges came saw and recorded; then left without much in the way of conversation. I sold one small piece during the day for net sales under 100$. It covered show costs and mileage.

An hour or two before show close staff came wandering through to hand out ribbons. They passed us by and we thought that was that.... But then they came back asking if we knew where booth 38 was... Why yes, you are standing in it.... Well, that was when they asked about my painting "Gaffer at the Bench" - a painting depicting master glass artist Mark Rosenbaum of Rosetree Glass in Algiers Point, Louisiana.. I pointed it out to them with the entry card.. They then said congrats and handed me my second blue ribbon in two weeks.  It comes with a check, which I have not seen yet, but they said would be in the mail. The prize money was gracefully donated by National Penn Bank.

As the show closed, it began to rain again....this time more steadily and we had to do a wet teardown.. Thankfully, we were able to get vehicles onto the wet site and nobody got stuck. Teardown was uneventful

All in all, I think I would do the event again.

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We Believe... American Made Alliance

We Believe... that every consumer has a right to know where a product comes from. In today’s global economy, domestic manufacturers are forced to compete in an unfair marketplace where most gifts, housewares, jewelry and accessories are marked with removable paper stickers that indicate country of origin.  Many retailers and wholesalers remove these labels in an effort to raise perceived value and confuse consumers about country of origin.

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120,000 people   $10,000 prize money

We came.  We sold.  We went home happy.  We sold pretty good but in the end the profits were just OK.  The expenses took their toll with hotel, gas etc.  The people came rain or shine.  What we thought were good crowds must not have been because so many of the local folks kept apologizing for the weather keeping people away.  As if the weather were their fault. Well, maybe a few less while raining but those that came were prepared and having a good time. If this was a small crowd I look forward to another year and seeing a large crowd.  There were lots and lots of artists.  We had fun making new friends.

We had no trouble setting up or taking down.  But then we always get to our event way early and are usually among the last taking down.  Thus avoiding the jostling for position.  Easier on the blood pressure.  



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NAIA Edited Artists Advocacies

Starting today July 16 2013 and continuing for two weeks The National Association of Independent Artists will be rolling out the edited Artist Advocacies and Position Papers on the FaceBook NAIA Forum for comments. You do not need to be a member of NAIA to comment but you must join the page. This is what we send out to art shows representing your voice. Please join us and be heard. https://www.facebook.com/groups/NAIA.Forum/Thanks,Terry CorcoranNAIA Board of Directors VC
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September 21-22

Catalina Island, California
sponsored by the Catalina Art Association
100 artists
Deadline: August 1

The Catalina Art Association presents the 55th Annual Catalina Festival of Art, this September, one of the longest running and most acclaimed art festivals in California. Join us for this World Class Art Event featuring more than 100 juried artists, several reception events, a Kids Art Show and Annual Charity Art Auction.

What you need to know to participate:
  • Catalina is an island so it does require planning to participate in our show. 
  • 10x10 popup tents and grid-wall systems are all provided as well as bench seating in most booths. 
  • Booths are set up along side the main walking street next to the ocean, which provides amazing views and tranquil breezes. Storage is free and secure. 

Local and mainland press cover the show as well as catalinapostermany travel publications. Awards, ribbons and Cash prizes are given by a respected panel of judges as well as giving thousands of dollars in art supplies to kids! 

Catalina Island's resort setting attracts high end buyers, here on holiday or visiting by cruise ship. For 55 years, this show has been what most exhibitors call a "Working Holiday Show". The locals are extremely helpful, the show organizers are very professional and the show visitors come here to Shop!  

What's not to like about packing your work and heading out on the ferry to spend a few days on an island meeting people on vacation who are eager to meet you? Plus, no tent to set up.
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Best of NW - hitting bottom

I reviewed this event last year and am pleased to say that this year the quantity of jewelry wasn’t near as overwhelming as last year.  You can see last year’s post for load in / load out, parking, artist amenities, etc.  None of that really changed.




What did change this year was the crowd, or should I say lack of crowd??  Last year Friday and Saturday weren’t really busy but at least we had one day, Sunday, where the show was packed.  This year it felt like the bottom dropped out of the show with very poor attendance and even those that attended weren’t buying.  I know we’re not alone in saying that this was our worst ever Best of NW event.  Our sales were 50% of what they have been the last 2 years. For us, this meant that the show that was our best show in 2010, second best show in 2011 is winding up as our 3rd worst show in 2012.   We’re sitting here feeling like someone has pulled a rug out from under us.  One artist, who has participated in the BNW events for over 10 years, commented that she thought the bottom dropped out in 2008-2009 (which is when we first started participating) and were starting to come back.   This year left all of us wondering if the events are once again on the downhill slide.


Each evening as the show wound down for the night we would see many of the artists wandering, chatting with other artists, complaining about lack of sales, lack of attendance, venue location, etc.  Many of the artists seem to be of the opinion that the location is just killing this show, it’s too difficult for patrons to attend, they don’t want to ride the shuttle, etc.   The fall venue is the Smith Cove Cruise terminal and due to Homeland Security regulations there are some restrictions/regulations that make parking a challenge. 


The Spring show is scheduled to be held at the same venue this year, as they once again move locations due to the City of Seattle renovating the location of the previous venue.  Most of us left there with a strong concern that patrons will continue to “vote with their feet” and most likely won’t attend the spring event due to the venue.  We’ve already submitted our application, but this is giving us pause and a lot to think about and consider as we plan for 2013.

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As promised, a summary of my OOAK experience

Updating this post to make it easier for the folks on AFI to find when searching!  


I actually wrote two posts about OOAK ... here is the beginning of the Post Setup/Pre Show post:

 Today, at the Chicago Merchandise Mart,  I set up the best indoor booth I've ever put together.  One of a Kind begins tomorrow and we are participating!This event costs more than 5 times the average fee that I will pay for a show.  What do you get for that much money?  After setup and before sales here is what I think I paid for:... (click to read the whole thing)

Here is the beginning of the post show writeup:

Last weekend Wendy and I had a booth at One of A Kind (OOAK) in Chicago for the first time.  It is quite an event.  It takes up the entire 8th floor of the Merchandise Mart which is roughly an entire city block.  It runs 4 days, with  over 600 artists and by many estimates more than 70,000 potential customers.  It is also more than 5x what I usually spend on a booth.... (click to read the whole thing)

If you have more questions about the show let me know, this was all I could think to write after a few days of recovery.

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Running Like The Bambi's...



Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where today, was a run morning.  As I've mentioned before, and I'm sure you've heard, there are a select few mornings of the week where I do a predawn run/trot/limp - one of those.  


I was five blocks from home this morning, when I about got run over.  Three bambi's, two bucks and a doe.  No, they really didn't come that close to me, but close enough that I could hear them huffing for breath.  I'm guessing since they were just a block east of the highway through town, that some car had scared them.


Anyway, during the remaining blocks home, my mind ran over to the idea of running, to stay ahead of the herd/pack/crowd.  Yes, sometimes my mind does move faster (and further) than my feet.  But anyway -


It remains interesting to me, at an art fair, how there's always someone complaining that their idea/work was copied by another artist.  I think quite possibly, this is a place where you're better off running as well.  If you are moving at the speed of light, (maybe plain old hustling will work also) with your career work, what copiest will be able to keep up?  After all, they are playing catch up,and catch up is a slow process.


The other thing about it, it keeps you looking at what's ahead of you, rather than what's behind.  And that's how progress is truly made, right?  That's what I'm planning on, at any rate!


Thanks for stopping by.


4555_1021051m.jpg?cv=201210291740  Sun And Sand, an acrylic painting on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, to give you some summer on this fall morning when Jefferson scored 30 degrees ....   And yes, this painting is finally in the portfolio.  Click here for a zoom-able look.


Later, Cooper

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