Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Jury is Out

Earlier today, Tracey Broome posted a piece about the Jury Experience. Tracey is a very talented Artist/Blogger/Mom who is open about her likes and dislikes. I'm sure she won't mind being mentioned here and if you don't read her blog, you should. You can see it here Tracey Broome. Several other potters, including me, chimed in with our experiences and opinions. Then I went to a local "Arts and Music" festival. It was 5 miles from where I had done well 2 weeks ago but I had done it a few years ago and based on that experience, I was just visiting today. I'll show you the pictures in a minute. My take away was you have to have some standards or you end up with a big yard sale. Jurors are hired by show committees to give their opinion you can't fault them for doing what they were paid to do. You can question how they were selected and what instructions they were given. Did they think they were setting up a museum show? Did they think the price point for mugs was $50 each? If you hire a juror who spends hours and hours on each piece of Ceramic Art they make they may not appreciate functional ware for the masses. I usually agree with jurors that let me in a show and disagree with those who don't.

Anyway, this was just a few rather random thoughts that bounced around my head today. Here are some pictures of what you can get in an essentially unregulated show. We don't want this but we don't want high quality saleable work kept out of shows because it is not "ARTY" enough either. Please chime in with your opinion too. Just click the word "comments" at the bottom of the page.


  1. I think I did this show last fall. Remember my booth location next to the funnel cake guy and the woman that glued store bought pottery together and made totems!? I agree there has to be a process for jurying but my argument is with the fees you have to pay. If I entered every show that came along that I would like to do, I would never make any money, it would all go to entry fees, shipping, returning and then if the piece doesn't sell, I gotta send it somewhere else. I also tend to agree with the jurors that vote me in and disagree with the ones that reject me! Someone left me a great comment later today on the topic. It's all a bother. But the snob factor makes me nuts!

  2. I would call this a flea market and not an art show. I hope that the music was good!
    I agree with you that juried shows often eliminate the junk.
    Jeff and I are doing a show in Charlotte next month. We had to send in 1/2 the booth fee along with photos of our work and booth before even knowing if we got in... and they do cash your check when it arrives. If you don't get in they refund your money, minus $35. I was a little irritated that they had my $200 in their bank while not knowing if we would get in.

  3. The juried shows that I do around here are generally not flea markets. Most seem to have their act together that way, though you can always argue about their taste in one medium or another. When I do argue with their tastes, I keep it to myself. Last year, in Harwich here on Cape Cod, a number of the "jewelers" were selling work clearly labeled "Made in China." The handcrafting folks in the show made it clear to the organizers that we wouldn't be part of that kind of thing. If they want a flea market, fine, but don't advertise it as a "craft fair." We're told those people will be eliminated in next month's version of the show. Jeez ...

  4. Thanks Tracey. It does get expensive. Michelle, that is ridiculous but business school 101 is do business with other peoples money and that is what they are doing and why they want entries so far in advance.Hollis, I've pretty much quit doing shows that I haven't visited or gotten a recommendation on.


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