Art Fair Insiders

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

What every artist should know about jurying

New to the business? Tired of getting rejected? What images should I use for my application? What are the jurors looking for?

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\uap style="text-align: left;">2 chances to find the answers: 

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\uap style="text-align: left;">1. January 20, Saint Louis, MO

\uap style="text-align: left;">ZAPP and the Saint Louis Art Fair are offering artists an opportunity to have their images critiqued through a Mock Jury workshop. If you are interested in this option (your work part of the critique) the deadline to submit was January 2. However this workshop is open to anyone that would like to attend and learn. 

\uap style="text-align: left;">What we'll cover: 

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  •  Learn how to make your application more competitive.
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  •  Looking for help to improve your jury submissions?
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  •  See how your images look enlarged and projected on a screen. 
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  •  Are you testing the waters with a new body of work?  This is a great way to get some feedback. 
  • \ua/ul> \uap style="text-align: left;">Here’s how it works:

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  • The Mock Jury will take place on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Grey Eagle Distributors - 2340 Millpark Drive, Maryland Heights, MO 63043.
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  • We will begin promptly at 9am.
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  • Jurors will speak openly about submitted artist images.
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  • Everyone is welcome to join us in person to experience the mock jury. 
  • \ua/ul> \uap>For more details: Laura Miller, lmiller@saintlouisartfair.comphone: 314.863.0278


    \uap style="text-align: left;">2. February 10 & 11, Columbus, OH

    \uap>The Columbus Arts Festival jury will choose the Festival artists at a two-day public meeting in February at the Westin Columbus located at 310 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215. Jury panelists will review more than 1,000 artist applications from across the country to determine the approximately 300 who will be invited to participate in the 2018 Columbus Arts Festival.

    \uap>Artists will be chosen in the following categories:  2D Mixed Media, 3D Mixed Media, Ceramics, Digital Art, Drawing & Pastels, Fiber, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metal, Painting, Photography, Printmaking & Graphics, Sculpture, Wood, and Emerging Artists. A jury panel selected by the GCAC staff conducts a blind jury process, where jurors review the artists’ images and technical statements without seeing any personal information. The top scores, allowing for a balanced show across mediums, are invited to participate in the Festival.

    \uap>2018 Columbus Arts Festival Jurors

    \uap>April Sunami (Painting); Eva Kwong (Ceramics); Tyler Cann (Associate Curator, Columbus Museum of Art); David Butler (Painting); Sherrie Hawk (Gallery Owner)

    \uap>2018 Columbus Arts Festival Jury

    \uap>Westin Columbus located at 310 S High St, Columbus, OH 43215
    February 10-11, 2018 8:30a-5pm

    \uap>Feel free to Contact Festival Director Sean Kessler at 614-221-8625 with any questions.

    Views: 570

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 9, 2018 at 3:47pm

    If anyone knows any other art fairs that have open juries, please let us know in the comments. Artists, this is the best way to learn how to make it into the shows. If you live anywhere near it is worth your time, $$ and trouble to attend. You will be repaid many times over for any effort on your part.

    Comment by Dusty Scott on January 10, 2018 at 9:00am

    I have had the opportunity to attend a couple of the Columbus Ohio jury selections and found it was probably the most important thing I did to get into the better shows. Columbus has the greatest folks running this and are very accommodating to provide you insights. 

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 10, 2018 at 9:28am

    Thank you for that testimonial, Dusty. I prefer not to keep beating this drum, but you said it succinctly: "probably the most important thing I did to get into the better shows." 

    If you need more encouragement to attend one of these events (or ask a local show organizer if you can attend their jury), here is a post made by Robert Wallis about what he learned at St. Louis' mock jury a few years ago:

    Comment by S Brian Berkun on January 12, 2018 at 12:36pm

    This past November CherryArts (Cherry Creek Arts Shows) hosted a mock jury, Colorado Artist Image Review Workshop on November 7th.

    Last time I attended they had a well known juror giving feedback on slides and presentation. It was quite valuable as I saw what my images looked like projected. To say the least I was horrified with the quality of my images. Apparently, I had them in the wrong color space! That in and of itself was worth the price of admission (free!). It was also valuable to see what poor presentations looked like. The juror kept emphasizing the importance of showing "a body of work" Which means cohesion in what you are showing on your images. One artist argued that the images of multiple subjects he did was his "body" of work, he didn't get the idea that showing flowers, birds, trees, lakes, etc was not cohesive and disagreed with what the juror had to say about it. Oh well.

    This year, having gotten the images in the right color space my images looked much better but still seemed a little drab for projection. As a result of this years participation I have made two sets of images. One set is for monitor viewed jurying and the other, with increased color saturation, for projection. I have called many of the shows I have applied to this year to find out how they do their jurying before picking my images for the show. Time well spent attending one of these mock jury events!

    Cherry Creek did allow artists to attend the actual jury selection, except for your own media, at one time. That was interesting as well. I haven't checked to see if they still let people in to attend the actual show jury.

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 15, 2018 at 10:26am

    Thanks for this info, Brian. I know you've done shows for a long time so this had to be a revelation, right? I had the same thing happen. We got into a lot of the good shows, but until I attended a mock jury held by the NAIA with a bunch of top artists (folks you'd always be seeing at the best shows) critiquing one another's images I didn't know about additional improvements to be made. Pretty much this jury was all about improving the quality of the images, definitely not the work itself. When I got home we completely overhauled the booth image. When there is a lot of competition, especially at shows like Cherry Creek that get many applications, everything needs to be top notch.

    Comment by Larry Berman on January 15, 2018 at 4:25pm

    Don't forget the open jury for Broad Ripple which usually happens in February.

    Larry Berman

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 15, 2018 at 5:22pm

    I contacted them, Larry. They're not hosting an open jury this year.

    Comment by Mark Zirinsky on January 15, 2018 at 8:10pm

    I also attended the Cherry Creek mock jury in November. Very interesting, not so much for the comments on my material but to hear what the jurors were looking for reviewing other people's submissions. It allowed me to take ' a step back' put on a critical eye, and have a new perspective fro which to view not only my presentation, but others. If you have never attended a mock jury, do so, even if you have to travel a few hours to do it, it is well worth your time. In the presentations I saw, almost all of the work was top notch, and as you say Connie, the critiques were about improving the image presentation.

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 25, 2018 at 10:33am

    The Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff also holds an open jury in St. Joseph, MI.:

    Artists are invited to observe the jury process. 5 jurors from different art related fields. The jurors change every year. Jury date is February 21, 2018. I have participated as a juror for this event. The presentation is professional and you will learn a lot if you attend.

    To learn more contact Amber Erickson,, 269-983-0271, ext. 124

    Comment by Connie Mettler on January 25, 2018 at 4:57pm

    Even more help for artists, though this one isn't free. An offshoot of the Queeny Art Fair, Marketing My Art is designed to help artists learn new and better ways to market, promote and sell their art. This non-profit organization is hosting a workshop in the St. Louis Area on March 16-18. Learn more here:


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