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Juried exhibitions

Can you tell me about juried exhibitions…are they hard to get into,
and if you get into one, say a small one and someone sees your work, and
wants it, and wants to order for a small store, will you be bombarded with
orders all of a sudden that you cant handle? The reason I ask is because
I work alone(with no one to help) what does a person usually do in this
case? lynn

I think that you need to re-think your reasons why you want to exhibit
your product at any type of show. Aren’t you there to sell your product?

Thank you,
Lance Kanaby

GemData, Mine Design & The Spectrum Network at
of the original interactive “Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show Calendar” Colored
Gemstones, Diamonds & Cutting Rough Databases and Information SoLux
Daylight Lighting, email Lance Kanaby: mailto:@Lance_Kanaby

I’m sure you will get lots of replies to your question. I do about 15
juried shows a year and have yet to be inundated with orders. I work
alone, also. If, however, you do a wholesale show you need to be prepared
to do more volume. I currently do work for 4 galleries and don’t have too
much trouble keeping up. Generally, the galleries are busiest in winter
and the art fairs keep me busy in the summer. As for how difficult shows
are to get into… start with really good slides and apply to at least
twice as many shows as you actually want to do. Good luck - Deb


Sounds like you have a good feel for the shows. I have just started doing
shows and would be interested in knowing which shows you do. Do you do
any wholesales shows. Or does anyone else out there do wholesale shows
and has any input.


Joe Kilpatrick


There is a quarterly publication called The Craft Fair Guide. The cost is
$42 per year. It lists Craft Fairs in Ca and a few in AZ, OR, NV & WA.
There is a review of the show and promoter. I’ve found it valuable in
locating shows. If you are interested, e-mail me off list and I’ll attach
an order form in JPEG format that you can print out and send in. Any one
else interested can e-mail for a order form also, just put Craft Fair
Guide in the subject line so I don’t delete it thinking it is SPAM

++All I ask is a chance to prove that money can’t make me happy.++

When you sell to a retailer, you have a delivery “window” which is based
on the order size and your production schedule (i.e. time it takes to
order supplies, get work from subcontractors, for instance, if you’re
casting, and the piece assemblage). You are in control of the delivery
time, within reason. The best way to produce efficiently is to follow a
production schedule–repeat similar tasks together to produce quickly and

If you are behind schedule, call the buyer/owner and ask for an extension
on the delivery date.

Just do it, and you’ll learn the best routine.


In my experience, Juried shows are difficult to get into. Once you get
in, don’t ever assume that you’re “IN” forever. I’m not sure whether the
juries change, of longevity tends to make one’s stuff ‘old’ (god, I hate
that term, but I can’t think of a better one.) I’ve only encountered one
show that asked for my work, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I
work alone . . . I give them a few pieces and add more as I have them.
But, MY main concern are the shows I do . . .where the dollars are mine to
keep. I love the galleries I deal with, ang give them enough stock to
hold through the season(s). But, since items are on consignment, I can
pull items for any show. I won’t do this if they have a special happening
going on.

Make sure that those with whom you deal, know that you work alone and they
should understand!

Joe - I am not yet doing wholesale shows. All of my wholesale accounts
are shops and galleries that I have contacted on my own. I don’t know
where you live so I don’t know what shows would be convenient to you. I
live in northern Illinois so the shows I do are mainly in the Chicago,
Illinois area, along with southern Wisconsin and Missourri. I recommend
the Artfair Sourcebook to help you find shows. It is rather expensive but
it’s a great help getting started. I believe the cost is $150 and the
phone # is 800-358-2045. I have used it extensively and loaned it to
several of my friends. - Deb


In regard to juried exhibits. There are really two
kinds and I wasn’t sure which you are refering to.
Gallery shows & outdoor art shows/festivals. I have
done both, the outdoor variety much more extensively. I
have never had the problem you mentioned of being so
mobbed with orders that I couldn’t keep up,
sigh…what a problem. O.K. a few times I have ended
up at my next show looking a little skimpy or hauling
out some icky old stuff that I didn’t think would sell.
I know folks who have sold out, it doesn’t seem to have
had any ill effects on them in the long run…grin.

I don’t do shows that aren’t juried in general…you
can be next to almost anything if you aren’t careful. I
am not saying this because I think I am too good to be
next to the woven sweatsock rug lady, I am saying it
because my prices look ridiculous next to someone who
is importing and/or mass producing work and selling it
as handmade.

I also have to point out that selling at events like
this is a cumulative effort. My friends in wholsesale
say the same thing. The first year they are
interested, the second year you seem more
legitimate…with any luck by the third year they spend
their time hoping you will still have the same cool
piece they liked or something similar and are waiting
for you to come back.

As someone else stated, the good shows can be VERY
difficult to get into depending on your media, jewelry
is the most competitive. As a jeweler I had precious
little chance of getting into many "prestigious"
shows…as an enamelist I am in shows this year on my
first try that I have never been accepted to before,
and I had mediocre slides to boot. I know a furniture
maker who is a great guy, but his furniture isn’t drop
dead, top of the line yet, given some time it may well
be…but he is getting into some amazing shows, not as
much competition in the furniture area as other areas.

Oops, I am rambling, your question was about being
afraid of getting too much work to handle on your own.
I say getting to that point will probably alot of work,
and if you do get there you will be so thrilled with
having made it that your joy will far outweigh the
stress it will cause. Another humble opinion added to
the pot.

Karen… in Northern Illinois where I am going in my
6th or 7th show and it has called for rain during every
weekend so far. La Nina indeed.

There is also a monthly publication (lists all states) called Sunshine
Artist. They have a web page. Well worth getting.