Art Fair Insiders

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

Hi Everyone,

I couldn't find the answer I'm looking for searching this site and others, so I'm posting the question. 

I see there are 4 unique applications for St. James Court.  Some reviews suggest that 3rd and 4th st locations are better then inner court. Again 3rd st has its own application and 4th st has its own application.


Those artist that applied for the 1st time, did you apply to more than one of the 4, or just apply to 1 for that particular year, hoping for the best to get accepted. 

Are the chances of getting accepted to any of the 4 the same as getting into 1?    Do some artist apply to 2 or more hoping that 1 of them will accept you?


As a 1st time applicant to the show, should I pick one to apply to or should I apply to 2-3 or all 4 hoping maybe 1 would accept me?


Any insight would be helpful. 

 Thank you in advance for your feedback.

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Comment by Patty Tiry on February 9, 2011 at 10:00am
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
Comment by Jim Parker on February 9, 2011 at 8:30am

The blog ate half of my comments. Here is the rest.

Third Street lets you park your van on the street behind your booth. There is one row of booths facing the sidewalk, backs to the street. St. James Court puts the newbies on the inner court, which gets less traffic than the main court. Some of those spots are sub-optimal. Fourth St. is the most craft-oriented, and Elaine has worked hard to attract higher-end artists while still keeping the customers that come for the lower prices happy. There is still some questionable work on 4th. Belgravia Court is two facing rows on grass, with each booth facing a walkway that joins Fourth St to the Court. No street, setup is dolly in dolly out, and many spots are very uneven, sloping down to the sidewalk. Bring lots of big shim blocks!

If you are new to St. James, apply to all four shows to increase your chances of getting a spot. Try it. Most patrons walk the entire show so you will see them once. It is a busy weekend, and many people take time off of work or school to come on Friday. It's a friendly community, and they do love the show. Buying has been down for us the past couple of years, though. More people come for the entertainment, and with the high number of artists showing, it's tough for them to navigate back to your booth once they've seen your work.

Comment by Jim Parker on February 9, 2011 at 8:24am

Here is the message from Elaine to re-invited 4th St. Artists:

It has never been our policy to discourage artists from applying to other sections of the show should they wish to.  We are aware, however, that as other sections have pushed their jury dates back later in the year, it has become impossible for you to try to get into another section without first releasing your space on Fourth St, since your commitment to us is due before the others jury.  Therefore, if you are applying to another section, but wish to keep your Fourth St space as a back-up, providing you let us know beforehand, we will allow you to make the move.  You must still submit your payment and zapplication to Fourth St prior to the April 1 deadline, stating on your application under “Comments/ Other information” to which other section(s) you are applying.  If you are accepted to that section as a 1st round invitee, you may inform us of such, and we will refund your booth fee, less the $75 cancellation fee.  You may not, however, remain on the wait list for that section.  Once again, this will only apply if we are aware of your potential move at the time you pay your booth fee.  If no complications arise from this policy, we will continue it going forward.

That said, I've always loved the Fourth St. Section, and under Elaine's guidance, the quality has gotten better over the five years or so that I've been in it. I used to apply to all four shows, but since being accepted to Fourth St., I've been reinvited every year, and don't apply to the others. As Patti said, Fourth St. has a good feel, wider streets, and loyal patrons who take off of work every year to come see what's new. 

If you're new, you should apply to all of the official sections. They each have their positive and negative aspects. St. James Court has the prestige factor, but the inner court is where the newbies go, and it doesn't have nearly the traffic. Third St. lets yo

Comment by Shawn Malone on February 4, 2011 at 8:52am
wow, I thought you could at least cancel, but you eat your booth fee if you accept another section. Glad to hear 4th has changed.
Comment by patti stern on February 4, 2011 at 8:23am
The rules have changed for the Fourth Street section, as of last year- Elaine Steele sent a e-mail out to the artists doing that show stating that if they get accepted to the Court section show, you can cancel without losing your money, within a time frame. We have been doing Fourth Street for three years and have found a home there...I love our space, I love the width of the street- in this economy, sales will be off...the perimeter of the court section is very dark and gloomy without lights in most areas.. and we are staying where we are.
Comment by John Hartung on February 3, 2011 at 4:55pm

You can apply to more than one but be careful. It's not really clear on their application, but YOU CAN'T CANCEL one section to do another section even if your within that section's cancellation period. My first time applying I had applied to the Court Section and 4th Street Section. I was placed on the waitlist for the Court and then was accepted to 4th Street. I later came off the waitlist for the court. I went to cancel my participation in 4th Street Section and was THEN told I couldn't cancel to do another section. She then notified the court section and they uninvited me from their section. I was so upset that I canceled my participation from 4th Street and will never apply again to the fourth street section. I finally did the show last year in the 3rd Street Neighborhood section. Sales weren't good. I may try again in a different area, but think the whole thing with the various sections is ridiculous. They should at least do away with their petty policy or at the very least make it CLEAR what it is.

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