Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It Feels Good to Buy Handmade

by Jerry Kermode
Throughout the early 70s at the end of the hippie movement, it was a time to reflect about the craziness of the 60s; the Vietnam era and the civil unrest that had come before. One of the things that has made America great is the people and things we’ve done with our hands and our brains; the entrepreneurs. And that’s what crafters are. And so my feeling is that the general population wanted to be around the people who made things by hand doing what they could do best. It was a good thing to be around us and everyone bought a funky little coffee mug and people hung out at the parks and played the guitars. It was a fun time. We did our first show in Laguna Beach in 1970 and I remember it rained so hard that we made the newspaper because we had a couple of friends with guitars and a violin and everyone huddled under our tent singing and playing music. I don’t remember making any money. Both the hippies and the rich people flocked to those shows. It was just a fun time to buy really high quality stuff made by the people standing in front of you. An acknowledgement of what America was, and still is today. And I think people are reaching back for that because those were the things that really had meaning and made people feel good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Wendy Rosen on Why the Jury System is Flawed

From a conversation with Wendy Rosen, director of the Buyers Market of American Craft, the nation’s largest wholesale craft trade show.
The standard craft show jury system does not allow for the revelation of whose work you’re looking at, and so you could be looking at derivative work made by someone who’s actually copying the original designs of someone else. That’s the first reason. The second reason is that sometimes photographs of great work look terrible and photographs of bad work looks great. The photographs are not always representational, and the worst thing that an artist can do is take their own photographs. Click here to read the entire article.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

ACC Cancels Charlotte and Sarasota

The ACC Charlotte (Nov 6-8) and Sarasota (Dec 4-6) shows for 2009 have been cancelled.

This is the e-mail that was sent to the artists:

Dear Artists,
As our valued partners in presenting some of the nation’s best craft shows, I’d like to share important news about program changes at the Council: the American Craft Council's shows in Charlotte and Sarasota are being cancelled. Like other industries, the arts – especially nonprofit arts organizations – are facing severe economic challenges locally and nationally. We are dedicated to our mission of promoting understanding and appreciation of contemporary American craft. Although we regret closing these two shows, we are reaffirming our commitment to our core programs while at the same time finding the need to make difficult program cuts.

The Charlotte and Sarasota shows have provided great community outreach but unfortunately have experienced a decline in artist participation, public attendance and revenue. It no longer makes sense for the Council to subsidize these losses. This change will allow us to focus on our four shows located in diverse geographic areas: the flagship show in Baltimore and the shows in Atlanta, St. Paul, and San Francisco. Through these four shows, the Council will concentrate on presenting the best shows and best work for our artists, members and public audiences. We look forward to working with all artists who choose to present some of the nation’s finest craft at these venues.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lincoln Center September Shows Cancelled

The ACAC has cancelled the two Lincoln Center September shows (Sept 5-6 and 12-13) due to lack of applications. They will still have their June Lincoln Center shows as well as their May and October Nassau County Museum of Art shows.

Boston Mills Jury - Round II

On March 26, Boston Mills sent out the following e-mail to artists that unknowingly had problems with their application last month.

Dear Artist,
Growing pains inevitably accompany any new system of doing things, and we have had a few growing pains with our new system of jurying for the Boston Mills Artfest. We tried to make our application as easy as possible, and we also tried to extend the deadline as long as we possibily could to give people more time to figure out the new application process.

Unfortunately, there were a handful of artists whose applications were found to be incomplete on jurying weekend for various reasons. And because of the later deadline, we did not always catch the incompletes in time to contact the artists and have them fill in the missing information before jurying. You are one of those artists whose work was not juried in February - and this is because we either did not receive images from you, or the images that we did receive were not able to be opened or viewed correctly.

Don't worry, though, you can still be considered for a spot in the 2009 Boston Mills Artfest. This email is to let you know of an alternate jurying process that we are holding just for you. If you can get us your digital images by Tuesday, March 31st, we will review them and let you know whether you are accepted into the show.  

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to call or email them over as well. We appreciate your patience as we work though these growing pains, and we look forward to considering your images for our second jurying.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Improved Booth Slide

Almost every artist knows how important a professional looking booth slide needs to be. Though a show may never tell you how it’s going to be used, at the very least it will be used to break a tie if two or more artists have the same jury score. And in the case of work where the size isn't clear, it will be used to give the jurors a sense of scale.

To improve their booth slide, I work with artists having them set up their booth in their house or backyard and then e-mail me the images while the booth is still set up. Then I make suggestions on the placement of the items in the booth, camera position or how the exposure can be improved enough for me to do the final post processing and make it look like a professional display photo. The result gives them a better chance of getting into shows. Click here to read the entire article.

The original booth slide