Art Fair Insiders

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

Hi All!

I recently participated in the St. Louis Mock Jury this past January.  Even though I was unable to attend in person, I participated through their webinar.  As a newbie, I found quite a few take-aways from this experience. Even though I didn't really have a booth shot to submit, the biggest tips for me were on my future booth shots.  Don't overcrowd your booth with too much artwork, make your displays look professional and inviting, don't have any signage or promotional banners showing in your shot, and don't be afraid to crop your shot - you don't need top of your tent showing, lol. The jurors favored those displays that appeared clean and organized.  The artwork should be displayed with purpose, not randomly scattered throughout.  Some artists had rugs or backdrops, and these were praised when they worked well, but they didn't always work well - so, I guess, when in doubt, leave it out!

On the artwork side, I learned that you need to carefully photograph your work.  Have sharp images that are well cropped.  I was surprised how many photos submitted looked faded or washed out - not displaying your true colors takes away from your artwork.  And, again as with the booth shot, your name should not be showing on your pieces - so take jury photos before you sign your artwork, or photoshop your name out!  Also important, submit pieces that show a consistency in your work.  If you paint all kinds of subject matter, but have a very unique style that can be identified across all your paintings, that's ok.  But there should be something consistent about the works submitted.  Note - that doesn't mean they should all look exactly alike!  Someone submitted three photos of their artwork that almost looked like the identical painting, and the jurors dinged it for being too similar. 

Artist's statements ran the whole gambit!  Some were very straight forward - this is what I do, and these are the materials I use.  Others sought to explain the artist's motivation or philosophy, some just rambled on seemingly incoherently.  The jurors didn't seem particularly biased one way or the other on statements, as long as your submissions seemed to fit with your statement. 

Overall, I found the mock jury event to be worthwhile.  Even though the jurors did not make many comments on my particular submission, I think I learned a lot in general watching the critique of others, and I would recommend participating in this process to anyone new to showing.

Views: 375

Comment by Scotty Jones on February 5, 2018 at 9:29pm

I did it too. It was very informative. im very glad I participated. 

Comment by Barrie Lynn Bryant on February 6, 2018 at 10:41am

Great review of the process, and thanks for sharing the information with everyone.

Comment by Larry Berman on February 6, 2018 at 5:59pm

Before Cindy moved on to greener pastures (Sausalito Art Festival) she provided me with statistics showing that by attending the St. Louis mock jury, you stood a better chance of getting accepted into the show. So it pays to attend and learn from the session.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Comment by Steve Mitchell on February 25, 2018 at 8:21pm

WE just got the scores and comments from the Broad Ripple jury results.  There were two main criticisms to my application, one was very legitimate.  The other was that I didn't have enough inventory to do a two day show in the booth shot and I needed some glass in my display.  I could have laid out my entire inventory, but have always heard that we need to keep the booth sparse and not cluttered for the booth shot. And glass reflects so that no juror can see what is behind it anyway in the picture.   I am a jeweler.  How do we win?  

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