Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Summer Art Show Adventures! (Part One)

I will start off by telling you that I ended up scheduling nine (9) art shows for the summer, which for many professional artists who travel the “circuit” is probably no big deal. For me, it is the most I have ever done in one summer and I am beset by worries such as “will I have enough jewelry?” ‘will I have the energy?” “what if I pay for all of these shows and I don’t sell much?” “how am I going to do all of this work by myself?” I didn't intend to schedule so many; here is the story of what happened.

Most juried art shows have a deadline application date of January 15 or at the latest March 1st for the summer shows. For each show, you submit a jury fee along with 4 or 5 required photos, and sometimes even the booth fee upfront. Applying to a number of shows can be an expensive proposition. Jury fees can be as low as 15 dollars or as high as 40 dollars, which is non-refundable. If you apply to a number of shows this adds up, as well as sometimes having to send in the booth fee which can range from 100 dollars to 2500.00. (If you are not accepted to the show, they will refund your money after several months)

One of the main considerations in applying to art shows is “which shows?” 

There are a number of factors to ponder:

✔ Dates of show-several may be on the same date, you have to decide if you want to apply to more than one knowing that you are throwing jurying money away if you get accepted to both or neither.

✔ Location of show- how far do you want to drive? Will you need to spend the night, what will the costs be?

Reputation of show-is this a show that will have good attendance? What is the show marketing campaign? How do they treat the artists? Is this show right for your product?

Cost of show-what is the booth fee? Will you make a profit? (it’s often a guess!)

How do I find out about the shows? Who knows the answers to these questions? A great place to start is Art Fair The website is just a host of wonderful information, forums and art show reviews

 Back to the story of how I got into so many shows…well I sent out many applications, some through application sites (we can discuss that another time) and some directly. Most every application came back to me as I was either rejected or put on a wait list. This is always frustrating as a number of these shows I had done very well at previously, but every year it is a new jury so you never know. You never know either about a wait list, sometimes you get called, or most times you do not. Of course while you are waiting to find out your status, the application deadlines for other shows that you didn't apply to the first go around are expiring.

Now what? I have only one show for the summer; quick, let me apply to others whose deadline is not passed. So I send out 10 more applications, this time almost all accept me. And that is how I ended up with so many shows this summer!

Stay tuned for Part 2:  My booth and how do I get all this stuff to the art show?

- Tara from Beechtree


Hi, my name is Tara and I am a recently retired Speech/Language Pathologist with 2 grown children and one grandson (and another on the way!) I share my home with my husband and 2 big dogs.

I have been passionate about creating in some form or another all of my life. Our family has always enjoyed our time at Lake Michigan and love to collect Petoskey stones and other fossils and stones. When I discovered jewelry making I finally found my niche for creating beautiful pieces that I can share with others. Each piece I create starts with the stones themselves and then it just seems to flow from there. I have collected gemstones and beads from everywhere I travel and always can’t wait to get started with the new treasures. 

I hope from my shop you can find a piece that speaks to you and brings much joy. 

Petoskey stone nugget earrings with champagne and blue Czech glass and blue crystals  Petoskey Stone necklace with sterling Tree of Life charm , Michigan necklace, Up North


  1. Your articles are always so interesting, Tara! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Excellent, Tara. What a tangle of points to consider! Daunting, but you appear to have come out on top.