The NAIA corresponds with art show directors about many different issues with many different questions. In the course of correspondence with one director, the discussion turned to one of the answers she gave on a survey we sent out on Effective Jurying (it was an anonymous survey, but she asked us to check some responses so the breech of anonymity was her request). She commented that their show “took care of buy/sell during the jurying process”. She was asked to expand on that comment. Her response was so inclusive and forthcoming that we decided to ask other directors the same thing.
Though the responses were far from the number sent out, we received a terrific sampling from shows across the country, large and small. All were glad to have the opportunity to let all artists and other shows know they are serious about keeping their shows legitimate as showcases for original art and how they do it.
The following are the responses:
Show name withheld by request:
One of the ways we tackle the buy/sell issue is by selecting a group of jurors who each have expertise in specific media. We run our show by artists, for artists, and we seek to have folks on board who can not only help us select the best work, but also identify problems in the area they are most knowledgeable about.
Further, in a process that takes place before the full jury convenes, a person on the fair committee runs though the entries to identify any potential issues. Applicants supply their website information with their application, and this has been helpful in identifying artists who, for example, describe their work as the product of a cottage industry on their website while representing it as their personal handiwork on our application. Google can also be our friend–when one applicant submitted a couple of too-good-to-be-true examples of his work, a simple web search describing the work produced links to a few different suppliers of the kits from which his work was made. Since our application criteria specifically prohibit mass-produced items and those made from commercial kits, we had to disqualify these applicants.
Of course, it’s also important to have jurors who keep up to date on trends in the general art show industry. For example, I first heard about the wooden watch people at the conference in Indianapolis! They haven’t tried to hit our humble little show yet, but if they do, we’ll know better.
To our minds our approach, which is heavily focused on identifying issues before and during the jurying, is better than having to deal with a complaint at a show. The latter could involve a false accusation (with little ability for the accused to defend themselves), or the disruption that accompanies removing an exhibitor from a show. We find the best way to enforce rules at a show is to keep them from being broken in the first place.
We spend much more time per applicant on our process than is the norm, and we have more jurors than the typical show. That makes this hands-on process possible, and keeps it fair. A small, completely blind jury looking at hundreds of sets of slides for just a matter of seconds each couldn’t replicate our process.
In short–keeping buy/sell out of shows requires much more up-front time from jurors and show organizers. But it can pay off: when our organization first started managing this show, there were many more buy/sell and otherwise iffy applicants. We see much fewer of them now, as word appears to have gotten out in our smallish community that we’re serious about keeping it out.
LaQuinta Arts Festival, La Quinta, CA:
What has worked exceptionally well for La Quinta Arts Festival is that we select 3 peer artists who are consistent high sellers, command respect from their peers and are award winners in one specific media – for example let’s say Fiber/Textile and then also select 2 professional jury members – in this category it could be: the Director of Fashion Week Palm Springs, or an up and coming designer such as Michael Costello from Project Runway who happens to live in the Coachella Valley, an Instructor from Fashion Institute of Design Los Angeles, or a Fashion Editor from an upscale publication to jury this one category. All jury members judge independently from their homes or studios using their lap tops and the images from Zapplication. They have three days to review the one category and then turn their scores into LQAF. These 5 jury members per media have improved the overall quality of art that is exhibited at La Quinta as well as being able to identify work that is buy/sell. If there is any question about rumors of buy/sell, we immediately to the applicant’s website to determine how many shows do they participate in over a year; is it possible for one individual to create this much product? We also speak to our Artist Advisors about the individual. If any of the jury members are uneasy about an applicant or we are not comfortable with the feedback that we receive, we do not invite the artist to participate in our show.
The negative for many shows may be is that you are working with 55 jury members and need to have a dedicated phone line with a staff member proficient with ZAPP available to answer any questions 24/7 for the three days of the jury process. Also to ensure that the show is fresh, you are consistently seeking new jury members each year as well who will bring credibility to your show. This is a lot of work but we have been pleased with the results. But we realize that many shows are just interested in booth fees and having a high number of artists in their shows so this system would not appeal to them.
Show name withheld:
We do take care of this during the jury process. Our jurying includes web searches of new applicants – both to see if we’re missing something in their presentation of their work (this search is often to the benefit of the artist, especially the younger ones who can’t afford expensive photography), and to make sure they are who they say they are, which certainly means no buy-sell. Should something slip through somehow, we are on the floor of the show all the time. If we don’t catch it ourselves visually, you can be sure that one of our exhibitors will report it to us. This method also works for artists who aren’t buy-sell, but misrepresent their work in other ways.
Question: So do the jurors do the searches or do you or your staff when they come in?
Answer: Our jury process is more of a curating process. We bring in jurors separately as we need their expertise in a particular media(s). So if a question comes up while a juror is present, we do a search. If it comes up while we are curating, we search then. Occasionally when an application comes in, one of our staff will flag it while processing as an artist who seems questionable or inappropriate, and we return their application and jury fee if that’s the case.
To be honest, as directors of very high quality indoor shows we rarely get buy-sell applications. In fact, the vast majority of applicants submit highly professional work of excellent quality.
East Lansing Art Festival, East Lansing, MI:
In our rules of participation and in our application we very directly state that we do not allow buy/sell, manufactured items or factory operations in our show. This is my 5th year as festival director and I have seen a decline in the attempt of buy/sell folks to even bother applying. One reason I think that is may be the high cost of our application fee $40 – However, we have identified that this is a hardship for true artists as well and we plan to cut that cost substantially for our 2013 show. I also believe the decline in buy/sell apps at ELAF is word of mouth that we’re tough on this issue and not easy to trick. [Soft Break][Soft Break]We conduct our jury process over the course of three days with 8-10 different jurors each day. We group each session of our jury by category, 3D the first night, 2D the second and finally Mixed Media the third. The jurors in each session have a background or expertise in the category of works they are scoring. We instruct our jurors to flag any application that seems to have questionable items so they are our first line of defense. Often times if the work submitted does not match that which is displayed in the booth – this is a red flag to jurors. Or buy/sell items are spotted in the booth shot.
After the jury scores all the applications the ELAF Artist Review committee made up of festival board members reviews the scores and the flagged applications. Any applicant that is deemed to potentially be buy/sell or manufactured is disqualified immediately. If an application is in question the artist review committee will review the artist’s website – if they have one. We will also do research online to see if any information comes up that indicates buy/sell or factory operations. If anything looks remotely questionable the artist is not invited to attend. Even with all that due diligence we can sometimes still get tricked. If this happens most likely other artists will bring it to our attention at the show. We will question the accused artist and inspect their work on display. The board of directors reserves the right to ask an artist to remove offending items or to ask the artist to pack up and leave the festival. Thankfully I have never had to do that, and knock on wood I hope I never have to. But I am prepared to do so if need be. We try very hard to do our policing up front to avoid ever having to remove an artist from the show once the event is going on. We have had some artists rat out other artists during the event and after much investigation we could not prove that the artist was breaking any of our rules – so in those cases we did not ask the artist to leave. That has only happened to me two times over the course of 5 years – thank goodness! Since we err so much on the side of caution some artists may not have the opportunity to exhibit at our show – not because they aren’t creating original work, but because the way they market themselves may indicate a problem… for instance if I go to an artist’s website and it mentions that I can order unlimited copies of their work or states that they have representatives selling the work – that would be a red flag that the artist does not fit our rules of participation and they would probably be be flagged by the artist review committee as “do not invite”. So unfortunately the tough rules to keep buy/sell and factory work out can hurt artists who aren’t buy/sell or factory if they aren’t careful about how they market themselves – but it is such a pervasive problem that we have to tow a hard line.
Broad Ripple Art Fair, Indianapolis, IN:
We try very hard to eliminate buy/sell and production house work. We rely on our own research, word-of-mouth, and having at least one inspector check out the booths during the actual fair looking specifically for it. It begins in the prospectus (published on ZAPP).
Note that we have found an effective way to eliminate production is by checking the ID of artists and requiring all artists involved in the production present throughout the fair.
From the CFE: Entry Rules for Artist Booths
The Broad Ripple Art Fair is open to all fine art and fine craft artists. Work may be in any fine art or fine craft medium, but must be original and made by the exhibiting artist or artist team.
All artists MUST be present at check-in and in booths on both days of the Art Fair. Identification will be verified upon check-in and periodically throughout the fair.
Only one artist’s work per booth, please—we do not allow booth sharing. Work by collaborative teams must be the production of both team members sharing both design and fabrication tasks on each piece. Each member of an artist team must be present for the fair.
Artists at the Fair must have an Indiana retail certificate and are responsible for collecting and filing Indiana sales tax. Visit https://secure.in.gov/apps/dor/bt1/ to fill out the application. Artists MUST list their own address for tax purposes. Listing the Art Center’s address in your tax application will result in disqualification from the fair and future fairs.
Please note the following explanations and restrictions that will enable equitable jurying and consistent presentation during the Art Fair:
The following may not be sold under any circumstance: artwork not made by hand by the applicant artist(s) artwork made in a production studio or small business (defined by the organizers of the Art Fair as an operation comprised of multiple individuals other than the applicant artist(s) who are paid to design, fabricate, assemble and/or finish the artwork in question) We reserve the right to disqualify applicants that are deemed production houses. If you have any questions as to whether or not you qualify as a production house contact Kyle Herrington, Artist Committee Chair, at (317) 255-2464 x233 before you apply. artwork deemed to be made in production houses will result in the artist being asked to verify their practices. This includes but is not limited to requiring photos of the studio with the artist working on pieces that are representative of the work provided buy-and-sell items or imported artworks. Artists found removing labels identifying countries of origin will not only be ejected from the fair but will also be reported to the Customs and Border Protection as this action is a Federal Crime violating the Tariff Act of 1930. Kits designed to produce an object or artwork assembled from commercially distributed kits or patterns artworks constructed (in significant part or wholly) from commercially-distributed parts or molds images or designs for which the artist does not own the copyright or has not obtained permission from the copyright owner artwork that will be sold at the Art Fair by anyone other than the applicant artist(s) or gallery baskets; tie-dyed items; candles, soap, perfume or other personal care items; dried or live flower arrangements; bonsai; stuffed animals photocopied or laser-printed notecards or open-edition prints CDs/tapes of music performed by anyone other than the applicant artist selling handmade musical instruments at the Fair (Note: artists performing on our stages during the Fair are permitted to sell their music recordings adjacent to the stage.)
The Indianapolis Art Center reserves the right to question any applicant about his/her manufacturing or assembly process prior to jurying or during the Fair, and to deny the application of any artist or gallery whose work falls into any of the categories stipulated above or who otherwise does not comply with the standards and ethics of the Broad Ripple Art Fair. Since this doesn’t reach everyone who applies (i.e. the applying artist doesn’t read it) we monitor the applications very closely. We have a three month window to apply and check each one as they come in. This involves looking at websites if available or if suspicion arises from the work itself calling the artist. The hardest part is the last couple of days when hundreds of artists apply. We still try our best to keep up on it often making phone calls on the final weekend to apply.
I should qualify that in addition to buy/sell we are also trying to keep out artists who employ production employees. I don’t have anything against small business but we are really trying to support one and two person teams not an idea person with a team of makers. So some of what I am speaking to alludes to that. Anyone found to be outside of the rules before the jury or fair is declined.
After the application process and during the fair we have, as earlier mentioned, a buy/sell inspector. This individual is an arts professional that we contract to visit each booth and if suspicious talk to the artist about their work. They are quite effective in sniffing out artists making their own work but padding their sales with barely modified “similar” mass produced items. I have found that the buy/sell inspector has been quite effective in cutting this out and most artists are very excited we have one. If the buy/sell inspector finds someone completely outside our rules or there is a question they radio me and the artist committee chair to gather at the booth and discuss. Again, the overall response from the artists has been overwhelmingly positive.
If we find work that isn’t allowed we ask the artist to remove it and check back on them periodically to make sure it stays out. If the artist isn’t present we give whoever is there a warning that we will shut down the booth if the artist doesn’t show up in a reasonable amount of time. If the work is all outside the rules we shut it down. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen very often, but when it does we try to do so discreetly as to not make a scene. The artist is allowed to load-out Saturday night (we have a two day fair Sat/Sun).
The last way we find this out is through word-of-mouth. If someone (or often multiple artists) complains we investigate the artist. This involves having a phone call in which I invite the artist to explain their method and if they have any employees. One of my favorite conversations was with an artist who was masquerading as a solo artist but when I talked to them they admitted to having a “couple” of employees. I asked what they did and the first response was well I don’t have many but there is “John” who does the payroll and… Again, this speaks maybe more to production line than buy/sell but they all blend together. If the phone call doesn’t lead to an admission or the subject is cleared up than so-be-it. I don’t have the resources to fly coast to coast personally visiting studios so I have to take their word. But most of the time artists outside our rules come clean and understand what we are trying to do.
I think the most important thing is that we are getting a reputation to be looking for both buy/sell and production house work. And because we enforce our rules we are attracting better, more original artists.
Question: I do have a question about #4. How do you know if anyone is in violation? You said you do your own research, but how do you know who to check? Is there anything that you look for when applications come in?
Answer: The majority of the work we really don’t know so we have to assume it is legit. But with having it clearly stated in our rules it allows to disqualify it if we are advised or discover they are outside the boundaries. To me this is most important. There is simply no way we could know everything about all the applicants.
That being said we look at websites to see how many shows the artist is doing and see if they tell a bit about their work situation, pricing, etc. We also google the artists to see what pops up. For example, a ceramicist that has a “unique” line and when googled we discover a full blown production studio of address tiles, etc. Other times we are tipped by other artists and if the suspect artist applies we begin a dialog. If something is suspicious we call or email. Again, we have to take their word if they deny it because we don’t have the means to do drop-in studio visits.
If we really feel that someone isn’t being honest sometimes we get a bit underhanded. We have done things like call and ask questions like: “Hi, are you hiring bench jewelers?” Or, “what’s the largest order I can place and have in two weeks?” This is used as a last resort if we truly feel the artist has been lying. But most of the time they come clean with a simple discussion and get what we are trying to do.
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair – The Original, Ann Arbor, MI: [The Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the original of the four fairs that make up the combined Ann Arbor Art Fair. All four fairs are produced and juried independently]
At the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair (AASAF), we do all we can to prevent buy/sell at both the jury level and the exhibit level. As you may or may not be aware, the AASAF has a unique jury system in that we use four different media panels to jury the images. For example, metal and jewelry are juried by the same panel 4-5 jurors with expertise in those specific mediums score this work….it is not judged by painters or potters or fiber artists. We think this gives us a better than average chance of spotting buy/sell. Also, we use a 3-round system with the final round being a discussion round, where things like buy/sell suspicions can be talked about amongst the jurors and work scored accordingly. We have actually gone so far as to look up an artist’s website during the jury session to see if we could find out more information about their process.
Of course, this does not prevent artists showing up with product on-site that does not match what was juried (buy/sell or other scenario.) Our Jury Advisory Board walks the show on the first day, using the printed out images from the winter jury sessions, to ensure that what is on-site matches what was juried or complies with our standards as outlined in the prospectus. Each year there are at least a couple artists that we speak to. We do not expect the same pieces that were submitted as images to be in the booth, but the work has to be consistent with what was juried. We will ask that work that is not consistent with those images be removed.
Colorscape Chenango, Norwich, NY:
Obviously, the best solution is not to let buy/sell into the show in the first place. This is one reason why Colorscape makes use of peer jurors who are familiar with the region’s major festivals and their exhibitors. Many of these buy/sell people do the same shows as my jurors, and their reputations precede them into the jury room. They are rejected out of hand. This also works for production work.
A rather funny story involves a production artist who was in Colorscape during our first two years, until I learned the truth about his gorgeous laser-cut marquetry from a juror. I made sure that he was rejected [several years ago], and I heard nothing more from him until last year. When I got his application I recognized him, of course. So I checked out his address on Google Earth, and found myself looking down at the roof of a huge one-story factory. I brought a print-out to show the jury, but they were already familiar with him and it wasn’t needed. I’m told he (or others from the company) do some very large juried shows in the northeast, and I take some pride in the fact that he does NOT sell at Colorscape.
If there is a suspicion of buy/sell but no certainty, the jury monitors make a point to check out the booth as it is being set up, before the show opens. If there is a suspicion of buy/sell but no certainty, the jury monitors make a point to check out the booth as it is being set up, before the show opens. They report to me and if we are certain that we can prove buy/sell, out they go. Several years ago, I had a man with dozens of beautiful brightly-colored hand-knit sweaters in his booth, and every one of them had a tag saying “Made in Guatemala.” This was an easy one.
The worst-case scenario is that we can’t prove anything and are forced to leave them in the show for the weekend. But I keep track of these folks in my database and they will never be allowed into the show again. Sometimes that’s the best I can do. My jury monitors and judges are all asked to keep an eye open for buy/sell or production work, among other things. A space is included on their comment sheets for them to make a report and they are asked to let me know personally. I’m sure the bigger shows have more sophisticated methods, but we do the best we can. Hope this helps.
Question: Do your jurors view images in their own homes at their computers?
Answer: The answer to that is no… and yes. The initial viewing is as a group with projected images. But late entries are e-mailed to them at home. There won’t be much of that this year though, since the show is nearly full already.
Live Oak Park Fair, Berkeley, California:
Appreciation for the effort going into clarifying this issue. I will include the questions I ask on the applications to my 2 shows. This will tell you how I handle the buy/sell question.
If I see flagrant abuse of the rules, I ask the exhibitor to remove the items. Since I have a very good eye for these things, they are usually weeded out prior to the event.
Criterion for Exhibiting:
Craftspeople and artists participating in the Fair must not only be the designers of the work displayed, but must also be involved in the production of the work.
All of the work must have been produced in the United States. All participants must exhibit only handmade work, maintaining the high standard of this event. The creator of the work must be present at the Fair (no sales reps). Unacceptable for sale are audio or video tapes, imports, bonsai, embellished objects, and work produced from kits or commercial molds (work from original molds is acceptable).
We encourage all traditional printmaking techniques, produced in numbered and signed editions, to be shown in the Fair. These include photography, etching, engraving, lithography, monoprinting, serigraphy, and wood-and linoleum-block printing.
Unaltered commercial reproductions, including offset lithographs, digital prints (except for photography), books, posters, notecards and postcards may be presented in bins or other supplemental display props, but they must not comprise more than 10% of your total display.
Questions on the application:
What materials & methods do you use in your work?
What extent of involvement do you have in your work? (i.e. Do you make the clothes as well as decorate the fabric? Are you having the jewelry cast for you after you create the original?)
Which components of your work are you purchasing?
Question: Do you “weed” out in the jur ying process or a “pre-jury’ view of your applications:
Answer: I do not weed them out prior to the jury because each applicant has paid $15 to jury. I consider it an obligation to show their presentation because they paid to have it presented.
Question: If during the jurying process, do you leave it to the jurors or do you contribute to that process as well?
Answer: I do contribute in an organized fashion, for instance: I have a category called Fiber Wearables and another called Graphics on Purchased Wearables. This clarifies the work which is designed and made and often decorated (Fiber Wearables) and which work is decorating the clothes (Graphics on Purchased Wearables).
I also contribute to the process by asking provocative questions. It’s still up to the jury to discern if something is buy-sell. Sometimes it’s obvious, but more than likely it’s a component of the products in the presentation. With savvy jurors the weeding out process often happens almost through consensus, even though they are not allowed to voice opinions!
The Jewelry categories are especially tricky I have 4:
a) Metal Jewelry, including setting stones,
b) Non-Metal Jewelry,
c) Mixed Metal and Non-Metal Jewelry, where they must be manipulating 2 media, such as glass and metal, or metal and lapidary, and
d) Composed Jewelry, which is mostly strung beads and also includes beading and wirework.
I parse the jewelry categories very carefully. It helps the jurors sort out what they are seeing, and forestalls confusion. Over all, the jewelry made of fabricated metals including setting stones score the highest of all.
Rose Squared Productions, Inc.
We are in the unique situation that our jury process allows us the time to directly address the buy/sell issues. Other than jewelry, which has a set deadline for jurying, our shows have a rolling jury where categories close as they fill. With a traditional juried show, there is a director and a panel of jurors with a set jury date, sometimes with jurors completing the process, from a distance, on line. With our shows, we are the jury so we can take our time to do the needed homework before making any decision to even consider the application viable.
First, we require the price range on our application. If an exhibitor sends four images in the highest range only, we request additional images of the lower end work, unless you are talking about an artist with prints and cards, which usually comprise the lower range work. It is important, especially for jewelry, to see images of the full line of work to keep out lower end buy/sell.
We also take the time to check websites to learn more about the exhibitor and the shows they do. It is amazing how often and how easily one can discern if the work is artist created or manufactured and/or created by a cottage industry. An excessive number of shows can be one hint. Prices on the website is obviously another.
We can also take the time to closely examine the booth image. It is important to see the balance of work in the booth and to discern if there is work in a category that either they didn’t apply to or is not acceptable for the show. This is especially important with jewelry applicants. We do not allow strung beaded jewelry, which is clearly stated on our application, yet many applicants will have a booth with 70% beaded jewelry and apply with high end, one of a kind hand made pieces. Doing a google search by artist name and by company name is also important. No, it is not always definitive but it can be helpful in getting the full picture.
Listening to input from other exhibitors (yes, a controversial issue these days) can also be useful. No knee jerk immediate reactions but careful research and requesting a studio visit can be very, very useful before allowing them into a future show. Our studio visits have been very interesting. The refusal to allow one is usually a clue to the work not being made by the exhibitor.
There are promoters who require studio shots and even bills of sale for the materials used but neither of these are definitive. Many years ago, we questioned an exhibitor about whether their clothing was hand made by them or imported. They produced bills and images of bolts of fabric etc. but we were eventually able to confirm that the work was indeed imported when we requested a studio visit and they backed off from their hand made claim.
A few years ago, we were told the story of a Carolina company that sells hand carved bowls to exhibitors to resell as theirs at shows. They will even provide the exhibitor with a partially carved bowl and wood chips so they can sit in their booth and pretend to be carving a bowl. These days, there are stories floating around about artists who have their work painted in China (yes, painted not printed). From a promoter’s point of view, these stories are quite dispiriting.
Visiting shows for us has been incredibly successful, both in finding great talent and in weeding out the buy/sell. One example is seeing the booth at a show of an exhibitor whose application was waiting to be considered. The work and booth looked nothing like the images submitted. This was likely not buy/sell but just awful quality work.
We all make mistakes in the jurying process, but facing them head on and immediately removing them is of the utmost importance. The more buy/sell tolerated by a show, the more the word gets around and fewer quality exhibitors apply, leading to more buy/sell accepted to fill space, etc., etc. These days, everyone has seen the decline, and sometimes the demise of a show for this reason.
Sometimes, the chutzpah (gall) of some of the exhibitors is mind-boggling. We had what we thought from the juried images, a high end wearable fiber exhibitor. Well, while the clothing was gorgeous, the “made in China” labels were quite upsetting. Not funny at the time, but hilarious and absurd now, that while the police were assisting us in removing the exhibitor, the exhibitor whispered into my ear, “I can cut out the labels.”
Other quick examples of exhibitors we have had to remove over the 31 years of our promoting shows: applying as a metal sculptor and arriving with buy/sell metal hair accessories; applying with images of fine musical instruments and arriving with Peruvian imported street show junk for less than $15 and claiming not to understand English (my Spanish came in handy that day); applying with fine fiber work and showing up with imported scented bean bag items for the microwave.
Production work is another issue but one that is usually obvious by the multiple shows participated in on the same weekend with other than the named applicant in the booth. Many years ago, we had a wood exhibitor who fit this category. While we no longer allow them into our shows, they are participating in some very high end shows without impunity.
We are more careful today than ever before to jury out buy/sell. It is imperative for all of us to work together, artist and promoter/director, to be successful in this. NAIA’s endeavor is this regard is much appreciated.
We look forward to hearing the input you received from the many other directors and promoters you contacted.
Show name withheld by request:
I do many things and not necessarily in any order:
1. I walk every show I do and see what’s being shown. If I have questions, I talk to other artists in the same field, I talk to the show director….etc. I keep myself educated on what’s happening out there. I take photos, so I have proof when I see “irregularities.”
2. I have a loose alliance with other NW show directors and we talk amongst ourselves when we have questions about artists being buy-sell, or in heavy production work.
3. We check websites
4. We call artists and talk to them.
5. I have a committee of people who walk our show making sure artists are complying with all our rules, including proper staking. They have copies of the artist apps w/ booth photo. Any questions I go back and review the booth and if there is something wrong I ask the artist to remove the work. (Never had to have the artist remove themselves yet…knocking on wood.)
6. This should be top of pile:
I trust my jury…to spot buy-sell even before I need to act. I pick good people with a wide range of experience and art background. I have my jurying go slow enough that they can really look at the images. If someone has a question they note it to me & I investigate further.
7. I write a strong contract that allows me to remove an artist and/or their work. I will remove work or an artist during a show. I think this is KEY to stopping the cheating.
8. We keep checking the artists ALL WEEKEND long to be sure they keep complying.
9. The hardest thing I do is finding black and white proof…..I don’t want to do a witch hunt on an artist because of heresy.
10. We have artists send us their government photo id to us with booth request and double check the id as they show up.
11. Its beyond just buy-sell, for us. It’s also artists who have large production shops and are not the primary “makers” of their work. Family “artists” where one there are several family members who do show, but all are showing the same body of work. So we work at spotting all this bogus stuff, some “artists” are trying to pull.
12. I always want to hear from artists about concerns. But they must know before I act I need to have actual proof.
Key West Craft Fair and Old Island Days Art Festival, Key West, FL:
Director reviews each application personally and if applicant is unknown to us and there seems to be any question about authenticity we do some or all of the following:
Check website if listed. Google if not . ( this got dings from NAIA forum artists if I remember)
Look for other shows, wholesale, continuity of work, numbers of products etc. If still suspicious we might call other show directors or contact other, ask? on forums etc.
Call applicant and discuss process, method, materials etc. (this seems to never help as they ALL make it themselves of course!) Also, if I see an application come through that I know is b/s or mass produced (Watches) I send it back, checks and all with a note saying why we will not jury it. (sometimes this is touchy. I can’t always say that I think it is not handmade, so I use terms like “it is not a fit for our show”.)
I believe it is the director and committee job to make sure any app we think is b/s does not even go to jury. Some are incredibly easy, others, incredibly hard! I don’t want to talk about someone when this is no proof. I can tell you this, it is incredibly difficult to question someone and have them say straight to you that they DO make their work and act hurt and saddened that you have accused them.