In this time of fierce competition for getting into shows, whether ZAPP, JAS, Entry Thingy, what have you, I'm still amazed that so many shows don't require an artist to show a picture ID at check-in/registration!  I just did a small show in which there were a number of booths run by people who even said they weren't the juried in artist.  This show did not require ID during check-in. 

There are a lot of shows, some of which have been in business for decades, that either don't care if the artist who juried in is the same one showing up or are naive enough to believe that no one would "fake it."

I'm talking about Coconut Grove, at the top echelon, and many, many more.  I've seen people selling stuff at so many shows who aren't the accepted artist.  When I've brought it up to what passes for a standards committee, I've been blown off, even insulted, that I would dare accuse someone of not being who they are.  And when I ask, "Why don't you ask them for their ID?"  the response varies from anger to disbelief that someone wouldn't be who they say they are.

So, what do the shows have to say for themselves, those that don't feel the need to ID the artists at check-in?

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  • I'll now add another show director who is strict about checking IDs at an art show:  Patty Gregory, director of Art on the Square in Belleville, IL.  When you check in, the staff looks at your picture ID very carefully, then hand you the show info, etc.

    However, during the show, it came to Patty's attention that an artist at the show may not be the person he/she was supposed to be.  Patty very diplomatically checked his/her ID and confirmed that the artist who juried in was, in fact, the artist who was selling his/her work at the show.  So, I nominate her to my "gold medal gallery" for integrity and courage in the face of what could be a sticky situation.

  • I know of an artist [in the Southwest] who does 4 - 5 shows a weekend...The artist is a "he" and he always has 2 - 3 lovely young women manning/selling in his booth.

    He also puts a dab of paint on a giclee and calls it an "original." And it's not Peter Max!

  • I've done over 700 juried arts festivals from CA to FL to PA; from WA to MN to TX to GA.  Basically, I've done shows in about 36 states.  Most do ask for ID, but it is always surprising the number that don't, especially some of top ones.  Also, as stated by Larry above, it's not unusual for an artist to check into a show, then disappear in order to do another one.  Recently, there is an "artist" who shows primarily in the SW who brags about doing 4-5 shows a weekend.  Some of those are top Southwestern shows.  To balance the geographical distribution of these "cheaters," there are several artists who do multiple shows on the same weekend in the eastern half of the US.  Labor Day weekend seems to be about the busiest for these people.

    Carla, I really don't know what you mean by "the wrong part of the country."  I figure that all parts of the country are the right parts, depending on how an artist creates his/her tours, where they live and if their medium reflects either a certain regionalism or they want to appeal to tastes nationwide.

  • DesMoines does it, art in the pearl, Bellevue Wa museum show, art in the high desert, Scottsdale....
  • I don't know...I'm asked for My ID all the time. In fact I don't remember a show that doesn't ask for my ID. Perhaps you are showing in the wrong part of the country.

    C in Wyoming on the way east
  • Yes, an artist did that at Long's Park a few years ago:  checked in, stayed a day, then went to do another show.  Fortunately, another artist saw him missing, contacted the director of Long's Park who saw on the offending artist's website that he was, in fact, at another show (a phone call to that show confirmed this).  She - Donna Reinecke, bless her - then shut down the offending booth (she is no longer director, it was a volunteer position).

    Vic Gutman has done this at the Omaha Summer Arts Festival, the late - and great - Mo Dana did it at Des Moines, Jay Downie at Main St./Ft. Worth, (Artigras is mentioned above) and there has to be many others.  We need a "gold medal gallery" for directors such as these, to honor their integrity - and courage (the offending "artists" can get pretty nasty when called out on their misdeeds).  Their actions allow an honest artist to get spot a that otherwise would be filled by a rep or B/S.

    Can anyone name any other directors who have stepped up and done the right thing?  

  • State College also checks ID's every day. I pushed for that years ago when I saw fellow artists leave after setting up on Wednesday to do Madison the same weekend.

    Larry Berman

  • Kudos to Artigras!  We need all, repeat all, shows to follow this lead!  And as Larry said, eliminating reps will also help to scare off the B/S.

    Art show alert:  the more the reps get in, the more honest, hardworking, creative artists get eliminated.  And the show itself, as it gets a reputation for allowing reps in, the more it will slide in quality and integrity.  And most importantly, the more the public will come to mistrust the quality of the show itself.  A slippery slope.  Is it worth it?  How hard is it to look at an ID?

  • At Artigras this year, i.d. was checked in your booth everyday. I know of at least one booth that was made to close the first day. The artist on the first day was not the artist that juried or checked in. I was very happy to see that.
  • For years I've been suggesting that shows go after reps because it's so much easier to prove than buy/sell. And eliminating reps will go a long way towards eliminating buy/sell.

    Larry Berman

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