This is the first of a series blog entries, for artists who apply to art shows. As a show artist and a show director I am fortunate to see the application system from both sides of the booth. I have learned things I wish I knew years ago, as well and new info as our profession changes, that I need to share. I hope this is helpful information, to artists new to art shows as well as experienced art show artists. Please feel free to ask questions, post comments, suggest other areas you'd like to see me discuss.
It’s not the mystery you think it is….but there are some things to be aware of.
Your profile info:
One thing I wish all artists knew, is that ZAPP has an excellent Excel format for show directors to use. Meaning we can sort and resort data and send it out to whoever needs it (for printing, booth assignments, media counts, geographic break-down). What it means for artists is be sure that your ZAPP profile is updated and clear of any typos, outdated info, etc.
The shows I was in kept referring to my husband by his full name and middle initial. I did not get such elegant treatment. I was ready to call a "sexist foul!" when I realized I had filled out the ZAPP partner's name with his full info, but not mine. Oops. I changed it and now all is accurate. Artists often ask why I don't list their website, or have the new website listed...on our festival's show pages. It’s because in the Excel info that I get from ZAPP, artists have the old info.
Bottomline: Recheck your ZAPP profile info and make sure it is all current. And please capitalize in the proper places. ee cummings is long gone and I spend a lot of time putting in capital letters before I hand over the info to our web, print, etc designers.
Order Jury sees entries:
Another thing and this is a biggie to me as an artist. It is my understanding that shows can set the order that artist images are seen by the jury. I set Art in the High Desert’s show's default to the date the application is received to make it most fair for all artists. In shows & categories that are loaded with artists, applying early means your images will be seen earlier by the jury before image-fatigue sets in. Check with shows you apply to and see if they are screening artist images by application date, application #, or alphabetical. I think the first choice is fairest to artists.
Please feel free to post any questions you have here.
Director, Art in the High Desert