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Jury Process

This document may answer any questions that you may have regarding our Jury Process and may explain any concerns that you may have regarding our shows.

The Whitehouse Fire Company and The Craft Show Committee are proud to present a nice variety of high quality handmade items at each of our Exhibitions. Although our main priority is fundraising for the Fire Company, our goal is to become one of the top shows in our area. We think our system is one of the main reasons our shows have gained a good reputation for variety and quality. Many have commented on how the show has improved over the years. We are receptive to new and innovative work and are constantly on the lookout for something new and exciting. A Local Craft Shop owner and Artist assists in the jury process and provides valuable information so that we may accomplish all of our goals. The following information is provided to assist in your application and hopefully explain the process and reasoning behind the decision making of the Committee. Some excerpts have been included from a national magazine called "The Crafts Report" and are shown in italics. We hope that this information is helpful.

All applications are juried on a first come basis. Applications for all of our shows are available one year in advance. Jurying for each of our shows begins at least 6 months in advance. Applications in hand are juried on a regular basis until the show is full. If your application is received and your craft type (soaps, doll clothes, etc.) is full prior to the show filling, or the show has already been filled, you may be placed on our waiting list if you so choose.

No item will be approved if it is not handmade. If there is any doubt that your craft is not handmade we will either ask for a better photo or a sample. This is why the photographs that you send are so important. If you bring non-handmade items to the show you WILL BE ASKED TO REMOVE THEM! If these items are not removed, you will be asked to leave the show and be deleted from the mailing list. The public is coming to these shows to see handmade goods, not imports with the tags taken off.

We suggest that artists complete the show application carefully, especially in terms of describing the work in detail. Every jury should hear a description of the work they are looking at. It's an immediate clue that someone was not a professional when they had little or no description of their work. Tell us about your craft and your process and materials. It only adds to the value. Furthermore, your description assists us in your placement at our shows. It's proven more successful for the artist not to be placed too close to a similar craft.

Jurors and organizers unanimously agree that the best thing applicants can do to improve their chances of getting into a show is to provide high quality photographs. The care and consideration you give your work must carry over to your photographs. To some artists, this can seem unfair. But you are likely competing with artists who appreciate the importance and will spend good money to get great pictures.The jury does it's best to be fair to all the applicants. We do try very hard to look through bad pictures to see the quality of work they present.

Artist's creations are juried for their work. We accept only high quality items that we feel will be received well by the public. It is important to us that your items sell. If you do well at our shows, it is obvious that we are accomplishing our goals. Although we do not retain a percentage, your good sales mean a successful show for both the artist and the promoter. We want the public to return to future shows, and by providing the best items possible we will accomplish this.

Artist's creations are juried for the work submitted in the photographs provided. If you misrepresent your craft with misleading photographs, you will not be allowed in future shows. The photographs that you submit must be your primary craft and make up the majority of your display. You will not sublet any part of the area or display items that have not previously been juried. If the items in your display do not fulfill the requirements you will be asked to remove them.

Some items are chosen (or not) based on how they will balance out the show. It's very important to us that the artist be able to sell when they get here. We don't want to have too many booths with the same look, or the same type of thing. For example, we will accept only one crafter who makes American Girl doll clothes. We are a smaller show and want to provide the best possible variety.

It is true, no show can please everyone. But shows can enforce fair practices from their jurors to their show floors. Artists can continue developing a dialogue with show promoters about what they think is fair and unfair about their practices. Show promoters can listen and make changes where possible. Still not everyone will be happy with the jury system, but maybe a few more than are happy now.

It's impossible to have a completely clean, perfect system, but we try to respond to issues as artists bring them up. We believe that our jury process is fair and all work submitted is equally considered for acceptance. If you have concerns... We do listen.

A rejection without any evidence or reason leaves many artists frustrated. But feedback is not always received in the gently, constructive manner than it is intended. We will provide a general reason for any application that is returned. There will always be people who are disappointed. Please do not take this personally. We serve a lot of people well and the work we do is good for the craft community as a whole.