From an email I received from Andrea:
I along with several other artists make antique button, vintage button, vintage cameo and vintage glass jewelry. I have been told before that although they like what I do with the buttons I do not make the buttons therefore I am disqualified.
To me no one and I mean no one does not buy something to start their art with. That would be like telling a painter he is disqualified because he does not make the canvas or the paints. How do I weed out shows that feel this way. There is so much involved with button jewelry from finding, collecting, researching, restoring and this is all before I create them into a pieces of jewelry.
I have spent a fortune applying to shows only to be turned down. I have been in several fine art shows and have done well. However I think for many shows they disqualify me and therefore I am wasting my time.
Andrea, I'd bet your work is lovely. In a recent podcast one of the first reasons stated by a show director about "why you didn't get in" was because the applicant didn't read the application well. No one is making all the parts of their work. That is a given. My best advice is to carefully read the applications for the shows you are interested in and then making a phone call to the show, perhaps even sending them an email with an image of your work attached and asking them if it meets that show's criteria.
Does anyone else have other advice for Andrea?