Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I have been wanting to have event promoters discuss this topic for quite some time, but never got around to posting it: Why do juried events accept STAGED (FAKE) BOOTH IMAGES for evaluation purposes and then weight them so highly?
Truth is, most on site booth set-ups do not resemble the submitted jury images. They do NOT usually show browse bins, density of merchandise marketed for sale, signage in use at the show, and that often many exhibitors move their displays outside the boundaries of their booths. They may even show prints of originals staged as originals when the original was sold long ago. Juries already accept works for evaluation which are no longer in the artist's inventory and may be 10 or more years old - not reflecting the work which the artist currently does....
Why not require CURRENT (within the last 12 months) booth shots which are actually obtained at events to show what an exhibitors set-up REALLY looks like...warts and all.
Juries will have to acknowledge that they are live shots and not optimized for being pretty. Most exhibitor booths are not pristine, nor exhibit the Spartan emptiness which juries seem to adore. They may need to weight them less heavily to reflect the reality of so many situations
Most booths are filled with as much product as possible in order to hopefully have items which might appeal to a customer.
CAVEAT - there are some higher end painters and others who do often only display 15-20 pieces in their booths... BUT often they are set up where you cannot see the interior of the display because of the zig-zag walls and mini-maze set-up used to display their work.......... But some of these also have non-show booth jury shots that don't reflect the rather claustrophobic actual booth conditions.
An artist who submits an actual at-the-show-booth-image is often penalized because it reflects reality.
Meanwhile, there are those in the art community who have created a separate revenue stream by offering booth shot creation and post-processing services. Some of these providers appear to have insinuated themselves into the jury advisory process... which gives the appearance of perpetuating the use and preferred acceptance of fake booth photos.
While I admire these folks for their revenue creation efforts, the truth is that those who doing this as a service are enabling a dishonest practice if their clients are not going into a show and setting up their displays in the same way that the images are submitted. And the juries are not being backed up by the show personnel actually going to confirm that the booth looks like the jury image.
If shows have a preference for this Spartan display look which maximizes the booth space and not the amount of product, then they need to be more specific in their jury criteria. In any event, juries need to require actual set-up images for evaluation of perhaps they should scrap the fake booth jury image altogether.
Let the firestorm begin........ I'm wearing my leopard skin print Nomex outfit.....