I am so frustrated with the art show scene. It is so often that I
apply to a show after buying into their application hype about
accepting only the finest, only completely handmade by the artist,
no crafts–only art…etc., etc., etc., and then I get to the show
and fine all kinds of imports, resale junk, etc. There are so many
other frustrations with the way the shows are handled, like what is
their mission? Is it a carnival, a food-tasting, a social event, an
operatic showing, a rock music concert, or a crafts show or a flea
To make a long story short…I am always trying to think of a
way for artists to better exhibit and sell their work and I have
been toying with the idea of getting together a group of
aritsans/artists who would hire an administrator and travel to
events that the administrator of the group has set up. I have just
toyed with the following numbers (all pulled out of the air) and
detail possibilities. This is just the seed of an idea:
**Artists are invited by the troupe because one or more of the
member artists has seen the work and recommended the artist–no
**Say 100 artists in the troupe and they each give 10% of their show
sales to an administrative fund–if avg sales are $2,000.00 per
artist x 100 x .10 = $20,000. If the troupe did about 20 shows per
year x 20,000 = $400,000 in fund per year.
**The administrator is paid a salary (or salary plus commission) and
the remainder of the $400,000 is to cover rental of halls and
**Initial shows (i.e., before the fund has any money in it) would be
paid for by artists with amounts equal to other show fees. e.g.: 100
x 350.00 = $35,000.
**The artist’s only responsibility of expense would be the 10% of
gross sales: e.g., $2000. x .10 x 20 shows = $4,000.00 compared to
say $375.00 (booth plus jury fee) x 20 = $7500.00 for traditional
**In lieu of a central checkout–just to keep all the artists
honest–you would have a person at the door collecting stubs from
customers indicating the amounts they had spent with each artist.
Some incentive would be created to have customers be sure to turn
the stubs in.
Anyone who’s been there, done that, I’d love to hear from you.
Anyone who wants to (kindly please) show me the glaring errors in
this seed of an idea, I’d love to hear from you. Anyone who would
like to help me develop this idea, I’d love to hear from you.
I think patrons could really be excited about this kind of
troupe–knowing that the shows would be of the highest quality.
J. S. Ellington