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Jurying fees


#1

I received an invitation to have my work juried for a 2 week show ata
local gallery. Sounded interesting so I downloaded the application,
and saw that they charge a jurying fee of $20, for the first piece,
and $5 each for additional pieces, non-refundable even if the work is
not accepted. In addition they charge 50% commission on sold pieces.
They require 6 pieces to be juried, making the total jurying fee
$45.00. I decided not to apply. I resent these jurying fees. How do
others feel about them. Alma


#2

HI Alma, I agree for years I’ve believed that the jurying cost
should be the shows cost of doing business. I just a scam to increase
their income.

It is totally dishonest. That is my 2 cents. See you at CMAG.

Vince LaRochelle


#3

It costs money to hold a jury. GOOD jury fees (and not all are!)
cover that cost and no more. Unfortunately some places use them as a
money-making thing :(I run a jury for a local guild, and we have to
cover cost of site, cost of travel for the jurors, cost of
beverages/snacks or lunch for jurors (after all - they are taking
their time to come and jury!). Ours don’t get paid, but some would
be paid to spend the time jurying…

So actually would expect a GOOD show to have a jury fee - just a
reasonable one. Basically, the first fee covers most of the costs,
the additional fees would cover the bit of extra time for each piece
I guess… Not crazy about the extra fee for piece AND the minimum
number required to enter. should just be a base fee covers up to so
many entries, then extra fee from there. The fees you’ve mentioned
are actually rather average, and would cover costs. We charge $50 for
five pieces… but then we aren’t expecting huge numbers to jury for
our group either, so a bit different from what you are talking
about…

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#4

Hello Alma,

I would not have juried either! It reads like the gallery is asking
you to give them money without any return.

Judy in Kansas, where critters are flocking to the feeders.


#5

I find them insulting. Wait! I have to PAY you to look at my work?
No thank you. I will move on and make someone else who has a good eye
and appreciates my work a whole lot of money from selling my work.

I never enter pay to enter competitions either.

It’s now the same in the music biz. Pay for play. Sorry ain’t gonna
cut it with me. You are supposed to pay me. Not the other way around.

It’s just another scam for faltering galleries and organizations to
make money with out actually having a good biz plan.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

-Jo Haemer


#6
You are supposed to pay me. Not the other way around. 

This cuts right to the bone of it.

The market juries our work and pays us if we do a good job.

Paf Dvorak


#7

Jury fees are not typically a scam or a ripoff. There are costs
involved with running a jury: administrative time to organize
everything (or the fees for using an online jury service), the
jurors’ time to do the actual jurying, and more administrative time
for making final decisions and balancing a show. If the jury is
meeting in person, there are also costs for securing a space (if
necessary), renting projection equipment, and refreshments, at a
minimum. If it’s a high-profile jury, there may also be
transportation, lodging, and meal costs.

It’s nice to think that booth fees should cover the jurying process,
but show organizers have no control over how many people apply, so
there’s no way to know those costs in advance when setting booth
fees and making budgets. And if you have any more than two or maybe
three applicants for each spot you have available, that would put
the booth fees so out of whack that no one would ever want to be in
the show.

If there is no other fee for being the show (a space or booth fee),
a 50% commission is typical for a gallery show. If there is a fee to
be in the show, the commission percentage should drop or be
eliminated accordingly. If they are charging commission, they should
be taking care of marketing the show, tracking sales, collecting and
remitting sales tax, and all those other things we give up
commissions to shops and galleries for. If you’re expected to be
there for the show and handle all that stuff on your own, they
should not be taking a commission.

All that said, the situation Alma describes sounds a little off.
Their jury fee is NOT $20 for the first piece and $5 for each
additional piece if the minimum is six pieces; it’s $45 plus $5 for
each piece over six. Stating it the former way when in fact it is
the latter sounds a bit deceptive to me. And that’s on the high side
for even the most competitive shows.

Best,
Lori
Lori Paximadis


#8

I was once asked to come jury for a co-op gallery by one of their
members. I was flattered since they never ask jewelers or
metalsmiths to become a member. After looking over the paperwork, I
got a little pissed off. First of all, it’s $150 for the jury
application fee, and once youare accepted which is 50/50, you can
sell your work in the gallery if you want. However, if you choose to
consign your artwork, you have to pay a monthly fee of $35.
Therefore, you have to put in 2 full days of volunteer time per
month. Considering the co-op was over 2 hours away from me, there was
no way I was going to put in those 2 day volunteer time, or pay the
$35 every month, regardless of sales or not. Basically I am paying
rent to the gallery, and they don’t guarantee steady sales. I said,
thank you very much, but I can’t do the volunteer time and I can’t
afford the monthly fees.

Joy


#9

I have always thought that jurying cost should be part of the cost
of doing business on the promoters part. I have a friend who when the
show he was a board member of decided to go with zapplication that he
was shocked at the amount of money they generated through application
fees. He had ethical considerations concerning this practice. If I
remember correctly the show gets 80% of the zaplication fees. Say you
have a show that gets 500 applications at $35 a piece, we art talking
about $17,500. So the show is making lots more than the cost of the
jury. So if we the applicants are covering the jury cost does the
show declare the jury costs as a deduction when the cost was born by
the applicants. There could be a case for fraud.

I have always thought this is unethical. Vince LaRochelle


#10

Welcome to the art world’s biggest accepted fraudulent practices and
why I do not participate and never will participate in a such a
show. The additional percentage they want of sales is too high. it
should never ever be above 40 and usually my friends pay more like
25% after negotiating. The show people will act like you are easily
replaceable and sometimes will refuse to negotiate. I would steer
clear of them for the signal is their moral compass is broken and
they want as much of your money for no services as possible.

There should be a cost of table and if they want the artists to pay
for the jury then that should be separate. You can attend a show and
sell without being part of the ego train. You will be listed as a
seller, but not in the jury adverts. The cash I earn is still green
and i don’t need some group of people who have no clue about real
life and art or art of jewelry making to judge my pieces for their
made up awards. Just so you can say award winning well I am an award
winning artist I won MVP 2 years in a row in semi-pro softball voted
by coaches and players and those awards mean a lot more to me than
any jury could ever award. :wink:

Teri


#11

always thought if you had pieces on permanent public display
(museum…) your were considered a juryed artist. correct me if I’m
wrong. have several works on permaanent but never do shows…


#12

Forget the issues of fairness, cost, honesty, etc. for a moment and
consider what, at best, you are likely to gain from a juried show?

If it is a juried festival or booth type exhibit, you gain access to
the market. There is an opportunity for sales. Is it worth it? That
depends on the show.

A gallery doing a juried exhibit is another animal entirely. How
good is that exposure if you get in? Will it get you coverage in some
kind of news media? How far will any of that take you? And is it
worth the time and cost? When I was a student and shortly after
graduation I entered every juried show I could. I won some awards and
got in some books, newspapers and magazines because of them. But I am
not sure how useful all that really was. I was being competitive for
that kind of attention and making things that were largely unsalable.
I didn’t have an especially good income. When I realized that the
audience for my work was paying customers, not juries and other
"artists", that is when my business became viable.

Galleries that put on juried exhibits and the artists who enter them
are following a well established formula. You can make yourself look
good on paper doing this. For some that is valuable. It seems to be
especially important to those who want their credibility as an
"artist" to be affirmed or if your goal is teaching. I would not say
categorically that juried shows are a bad idea if your goal is to
establish a business selling your work. But I would argue that the
value is limited.

As of Christmas I have been 100% self employed for thirty years.
Looking back on what I did right and what I did wrong I would have to
say I spent way to much effort on juried shows early in my career.

Steve Walker


#13

Forget the issues of fairness, cost, honesty, etc. for a moment and
consider what, at best, you are likely to gain from a juried show?

If it is a juried festival or booth type exhibit, you gain access to
the market. There is an opportunity for sales. Is it worth it? That
depends on the show.

A gallery doing a juried exhibit is another animal entirely. How
good is that exposure if you get in? Will it get you coverage in some
kind of news media? How far will any of that take you? And is it
worth the time and cost? When I was a student and shortly after
graduation I entered every juried show I could. I won some awards and
got in some books, newspapers and magazines because of them. But I am
not sure how useful all that really was. I was being competitive for
that kind of attention and making things that were largely unsalable.
I didn’t have an especially good income. When I realized that the
audience for my work was paying customers, not juries and other
"artists", that is when my business became viable.

Galleries that put on juried exhibits and the artists who enter them
are following a well established formula. You can make yourself look
good on paper doing this. For some that is valuable. It seems to be
especially important to those who want their credibility as an
"artist" to be affirmed or if your goal is teaching. I would not say
categorically that juried shows are a bad idea if your goal is to
establish a business selling your work. But I would argue that the
value is limited.

As of Christmas I have been 100% self employed for thirty years.
Looking back on what I did right and what I did wrong I would have to
say I spent way to much effort on juried shows early in my career.

Steve Walker


#14

Steve Walker gave a good overview of WHY to do/not do shows. Way too
many artists do NOT understand the “why” of doing/not doing.

VERY important to realize that what you get out of a show is not
just sales… as important as that piece is. It may also help build
your resume, bring in media exposure, present your work to new
markets, give you good experience in a slightly different venue…

And your need for any/all of that WILL change over the course of
your career!

Things that were “good” for me to do 20 years ago now may largely be
a waste of my time, at this point in my career. I don’t “need” the
resume padding :wink: that I did in my twenties… so the parameters
for what is “good” have changed for me.

That can be hard to understand yourself, and even harder for others
to understand…

But again, the point of jury fees SHOULD be to cover the actual cost
of the jury process, period. Fees that go beyond that are not, IMHO,
valid fees.

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
bethwicker.com


#15

Hi Alma

I don’t like the sound of this. How many are invited, easy to mass
email to 100 jewellers.

Who are the judges? What do you get if you win? Do they have a
peoples’ choice award? 50% commission is a lot. In Australia gallery
commission is usually 30%.

50% would be called a rip off. Does the gallery have a reputation
for excellence?

Where is the gallery? A prime shopping area known for expensive
goods? What are the incomes of those viewing the show? What price
point would be the average piece be sold for? Can you direct customers
to YOUR point of sale outside the gallery?

Depending on the answers to these questions it could be good or it
could be a money maker for the gallery.

Personally I think the gallery can “play in the traffic” as we say
in OZ.

Richard


#16

I have to jump in on this comment…

I once applied to be in the Williamsburg Va. festival of the arts.
Juried show. I was a local artist with a store one block away. Well
I submitted my piece for them to judge to see if I would be good
enough to be in their localshow. I then sent the piece off to Japan
and entered it in the Japan International Pearl competition. well it
so happened that my shop had my work space in the basement next to
the photo shop where the judging was being done in their basement.
very thin walls…

One evening I was working late as usual and I could hear them going
throughtheir process when one evening they viewed my piece. and
turned it down as not being of a good enough design to be in their
local show… I was needless to say very disappointed and a little
hurt…

God has great timing…

Next day I got a registered letter inviting me to go to Japan to
accept myaward for winning the international competition. Not good
enough for my local town but good enough to beat out 1100 of the top
designers in the world…:slight_smile:

I then took the piece when I got it back to the owner of the photo
shop who was one of the judges and with the papers from Japan and
had him do a photo of the piece with all the awards from Japan. You
should have seen his face…

Next year is was invited to the local show…

Moral of story. if you think it is good then someone else will also.
not everyone is a good judge of art or jewelry. Do not give up if a
show turns you down. might be bad judges is all… Hang in there and
make lots of jewelry.

Panama Bay Jewelers


#17

I will take a Celtic festival to sell my jewelry any day over a
juried art show. I actually make money for silly things like food and
housing at Celtic shows and in one weekend can get back 3x the entry
fee as a minimum. I always go into it all saying if I make nothing
it’s advertising. That way I can relax and have a good time working
my behind off lol

Teri


#18

Hello,

OK, let’s talk first about shows/fairs that are juried, then talk
about jury fees.

When I first began to exhibit at shows, when I was but a wee embryo
of a jeweler, I showed where I could. non-juried shows, that is,
shows that did not use a jury panel separate from the promoter of
the show. What I found was that there was ‘stuff’ sold at those
shows that was, at the least, buy/sell, and at the most, assembled
work, as opposed to fabricated by the exhibitor. Additionally, there
was lots of really awful, badly manufactured offshore stuff. Because
work like that can be sold very inexpensively, I had a very hard
time convincing customers of the value of my work. This was true
across the media at these shows.

It’s confusing for customers to see such a mix at a show. It’s
necessary for customers to be informed by what they see, in order
for them to really understand the value. If there’s a wide range of
quality, from poor to fine, it can be confusing. Plus, if a customer
group has paid to enter the show, it becomes necessary to justify
that expense by, you got it, spending more, bringing home something
from the show. If there’s merchandise that is very inexpensive (read
that as imported, badly made, etc.), that will satisfy that need.
Conversely, if there is no customer admission fee, there is no urge
to buy anything (although you would think there would be an attitude
that, if I got in free, then I have money to spend. NOT).

I’m not implying that the true collector is undiscerning, I’m just
suggesting that non-juried shows do not attract that collector. I
would rather be at a show where most or all of the work has been
vetted by a competent jury. The assumption is that my work will be
in good company, surrounded by work that is of a similar quality
range.

I also prefer to apply to shows where the members of the jury are
known in the field to have a level of expertise that warrants their
presence on the jury, for example, museum directors, gallery owners,
one’s peers, curators, art center directors, etc.

Now, let’s talk about jury fees. If the level of quality at a show
is to be consistent, both in construction and sensibility, then
shows/exhibitions need to be juried. The application/jury/entry fees
for shows like that ought to cover the cost of: travel for jurors
(not needed so much today with digital options); payment of the
juror (you wouldn’t want to be asked to do YOUR work for free, would
you?.. the juror ought to be paid for her/his earned and developed
expertise); administrative expense of the promoter/gallery (YOUR
time and any effort would be worth something wouldn’t it?), which
would include formatting images (and for some shows this could be
thousands of images) for electronic distribution or discs.

Sometimes the jury is made up solely of one’s peers, even fellow
exhibitors, who are paid in-kind, that is, they may be offered a
free booth at the show, or may be exempted from the jury process
(makes sense). In that case, the fee should reflect a less costly
jurying process, shouldn’t it. Sometimes, even though the show
advertises itself as ‘juried’, it is only juried by the promoter,
with perhaps an exhibitor(s) advisor. In this case, one would expect
that the fee would simply be an application fee, reflecting the
administrative costs only. This may or may not occur.

It really does appear to be that promoters of the more desirable
juried shows inflate the application fees based on the perceived
importance of the shows. Granted, the sheer quantity of the
applications to those shows requires correlative administrative time
and expense, even when now, almost all applications are sent
electronically on-line. It is an enormous task. However, it may not
be that the fee is inflated, but that the quality of the jurors
experience warrants a juror’s compensation equal to that experience.
That is, the more ‘important’ the show, the more ‘important’ the
juror(s), the more likely the show is to attract quality exhibitors,
the more likely the show is to attract collectors of quality work,
the more justification there is to have a high application fee.

And the above holds true as well for gallery exhibitions for which
there is competition for inclusion, as opposed to an invitational
exhibition. A jury that is perceived to possess admirable
credentials should attract, not only high quality applicants, but
knowledgeable collectors who appreciate work of that quality. What
you pay for with your application fee is: the reassurance that your
work will be surrounded by work of similar quality; that the juror’s
name will recognizable to collectors; that collectors will
appreciate the effect of the juror’s discerning eye. In other words,
your work will be in an environment that supports the sale of it.
That’s the bottom line. you want your work to sell.

Back to the fees themselves. We, as potential exhibitors, would like
to know that the fees we pay actually go towards the jurying
process. Unfortunately there is no way that any show promoter is
going to reveal where those monies are applied. We will never know
how those monies are applied, even if we ask a promoter for specific
We may have to just assume that the jury fees are
applied to supporting the jury process, and the jury process only. I
know, I know. to ‘assume’ means making an ass of u and me. and maybe
it does in this case. But if a promoter or gallery owner does
her/his job, in spite of keeping us in the dark about where the fees
go, by doing the job we need them to do by supplying
customers/collectors, then, perhaps the fees are justified. And that
may be the only measure, for us, of the justification for the fees.
Of course, we don’t get to justify the fees, if we don’t get in to
the exhibition or the show, but the expense of the running the
jurying process is the same for those accepted and those declined.

Another solution is to become part of a collective or cooperative; a
gallery or show run only by the exhibitors. In that case, the
disbursement of all the fees would be transparent, but I’ve never
felt that this particular process was worth all the work required to
run it. I’d rather have someone else handle all that ‘stuff’ and
give me the opportunity to just make, show and sell my work. That’s
what I’ve done for over 35 years (holy cow!), and it’s worked for
me. Of course there is also the option of opening one’s own
gallery/store, and this has worked for many on this Orchid forum, as
a way to sell one’s work. Whole other conversation, though.

Enough of my rambling,
Linda Kaye-Moses


#19
I also prefer to apply to shows where the members of the jury are
known in the field to have a level of expertise that warrants
their presence on the jury, for example, museum directors, gallery
owners, one's peers, curators, art center directors, etc. 

The world of makers, creators and entrepreneurs is populated with
people who don’t always color inside the lines. Juried shows are all
about seeing that the “right people” get to exhibit. This is enforced
by gatekeepers, experts, whatever you want to call them. There is
always going to be a lot of tension and disappointment with this
system. The jury is a barrier.

Notice that the list of eligible jurors above does not include
customers, although some wholesale shows do have gallery buyers on
the jury.

Generally the jury has nothing to gain or loose by what they choose.

There are two reasons to exhibit in a juried show; 1) Access to the
audience/market (in it for the money). 2) To “fit in” as an artist
or establish credibility and recognition (in it for self-esteem).

Being in business on your own is becoming more and more of a
subversive career path. We rage against big business, but then do
everything we can to be sure our children get a job with good
benefits and security.

Government regulations from zoning to employment regulations and tax
compliance are disincentives enough. There are already a lot of
obstacles.

If your goal is to earn a living and grow a business, you need the
approval of customers. Juried shows means that you need the approval
of a jury first. It is another barrier to overcome. If you have the
right kind of work, the juried show may be your path. It may be a
barrier worth overcoming. But where does it lead? You don’t need to
pass a jury to put up a web site, open a store or make an appointment
with a wholesale buyer.

If you are a maker considering juried shows, please don’t do it just
because you haven’t considered any alternatives. You only have so
much time. Where do you want to be in ten or twenty years? How likely
are juried shows going to get you there?

Steve Walker