Daily Wire Tip April 24: What is a Juried Craft Show?

By on April 24, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
April 24, 2010


Can you please tell me what a “juried” craft show is?


To meet the expectations of their customers, a ‘jury’ is how a promoter selects the art/craft combination that will be exhibited at their show.

A ‘juried’ art and/or crafts show means that the artist or crafter must submit certain materials to the show committee, while applying to participate in the show. The requested materials can be any combination of: a specified number of slides, photos or electronic images of their work with definitions; an artist’s statement; a description of how the artist executes their art form and what materials the artists uses in said work; a link to your website; a photo or two of your booth set-up; a specified list of the items you wish to sell at that show; and often a nonrefundable fee to have your work ‘juried’. (Rarely, certain arenas may even request a physical sample).

All of the requested information is then presented by the show’s promoter to their panel of judges (a committee of experts) who decide which applicants meet the promoter’s criteria for that particular show. Jury standards and fees can vary quite a bit, from show to show.

Juried shows often have a higher booth fee, but in my personal opinion they are worth every dime. Many juried shows charge an entry fee to their customers, and if someone is willing to pay to get into a show to purchase, they are serious about what they are looking for and they know they will find quality products. Juried shows also weed out a lot of ‘buy-sell’ vendors (note I said ‘most,’ not all, because some folks are just unscrupulous!). The promoters of most juried shows also take better care of their vendors, do quite of bit of advertising for their show, and usually have on-site officers to help with crowd control and eliminate theft. Because they have specially selected their group of artists, they usually limit the number of ‘same products’ and often offer cash awards for a list of contests you can enter with your works.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    April 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I also find a distinction between what I call “lightly juried” and the real thing.

    Many craft shows want a picture or two to be sure it’s not flea market material and don’t look much beyond that. That’s not the real jury process.

    Others more closely match Cougar’s description above, with serious quality control, a specific mix of vendors, security, etc.

  2. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    April 24, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    You are much better off at a juried show, even “lightly” juried. The “buy-sell” vendors can kill you at a show, as their “handmade” (in Taiwan or India) is a lot cheaper than yours, and often, at a non-juried show, people are looking, not for art or craft work, but cheap.