The waiting game


The process of applying for art fairs is a relatively easy process:

  • Pull the application and carefully fill it out (or of late, fill out the electronic one)
  • Select the photos that best represent your work and submit them
  • Select a photo of your tent and submit it
  • Pay the jury fee (some applciations request the submission of a second check for the cost of the show also)
  • Either put it all in an envelope or hit the send button.
  • Wait
  • Wait
  • Wait
  • Wait
  • Wait

Emphasis on wait!   Jury panels will convene some time after the deadline for submitting applications and they will look over the application and review the images of the work, and the booth.  Criteria varies by the event.  Most juries are selected for their expertise on certain types of art… with artists from different disciplies able to review, educate, and determine the merit of the work.

Google “Judging an art fair” and you will quickly realize there are as many approaches and methods for this process as there are art fairs.  And like all things in life, there are strong opinions for one method or another.  Generally there is a score card…. looking for technical skills, ability to display the work, ability to communicate the process, and even more important these days – making certain that the work originates from that artist.  Lots to think through, analyze and assess.

Meanwhile it feels painful to wait for the word of the outcome of the jury process.  We have been very blessed to have had great success with the jury process, and until recently we easily were invited to the fair.  Recently was the very first time we received word that we were “wait listed” to a great show in Michigan.  The wait list came because there were far too many applicants for the space they have for artists.

To complicate this show, the organizer confused us with another artist, and after sending the wait list details to us they sent an email congratulating us and giving us the directions for how to proceed as a participant, and then within an hour retracted it with an apology.  And two days later the same set of emails rolled out to us…. We were in, no, we were wait listed. Our heads were spinning.  Are we in? Are we wait listed? In? Wait Listed?

So now we have two big applications out there waiting jury process.  One is local to Cleveland, and the other is in a suburb of Detroit Michigan.  The one in Michigan juried over the weekend, and we were told that word would come today of the decision.   I have to tell you I have no sense of patience today, checking the email every 20-30 minutes. Still no word, will post when we know something, but the waiting is the name of the game.