Question about American Craft Council

Question about American Craft Council

Post by James R. Shield » Thu, 10 Jun 1999 04:00:00



In April I submitted an application along with 5 slides of bowls I had made
to display (and hopefully sell) at their Christmas Craft Show.  These bowls
are aproximatelly 3" x 9" and are various laminations of  zebrawood, walnut,
babinga etc. The slides were done by a professional  photographer friend of
mine. At a craft store here these bowls are priced at $200 plus. My
application was rejected without reason. Is this a "good ole boys club" or
what. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by John Jorda » Thu, 10 Jun 1999 04:00:00


James,

WIthout seeing your slides, it's difficult to say, but there are many
reasons to be rejected-some of us have a LOT of experience at it. Is the
show in Bellvue? ACC shows are as up and up as it gets, but jurors are human
(some anyway) and bring their own likes and dislikes, knowledge and lack
thereof etc, but most do their best to be fair and judge on the criteria
given by the show.

Without question, (other than doing better work)  the best thing one can do
to improve one's chances is better photography. Once again, without seeing
your slides, it is difficult to help here, but just because a professional
took them,, doesn't  mean they are suitable for the jurying process. Is he
intimately familiar with shooting for craft show slides?  The point is good
slides won't necessarily get you in, but poor, or the wrong type of slides
will keep you out every time.

Go to the show and see what kind of work is in the show, and try to be
objective about your work, and how it compares-overall, not just to wood.
Hopefully our work is always improving, and that will help.

Finally, no matter how good the work/slides/presentation, there is only so
much room at a show. I apply to a show at the Smithsonian, and the
Philadelphia Museum of Art every year. There are nearly 2000 applications
for less than 200 spaces. Probably half those applying produce work of a
quality suitable for the shows, which still leaves 1000 applicants, so out
goes the worst photography etc. Finally the top scores get in, but it
doesn't mean that there weren't plenty of others that weren't deserving. For
what it's worth, I get in the Smithsonian Show most years, (but not this
one), but I've only been in the Philly Show once. Same group of people
trying to get in-go figure.

Join a local arts organization if possible-they can be a lot of help. Try to
be as objective as you can about your work and your slides, and remember
that YOU weren't rejected, just your application. Frustrating as it is, it's
just part of the process. Hang in there.

Good luck,

John Jordan

Quote:

>In April I submitted an application along with 5 slides of bowls I had made
>to display (and hopefully sell) at their Christmas Craft Show.  These bowls
>are aproximatelly 3" x 9" and are various laminations of  zebrawood,
walnut,
>babinga etc. The slides were done by a professional  photographer friend of
>mine. At a craft store here these bowls are priced at $200 plus. My
>application was rejected without reason. Is this a "good ole boys club" or
>what. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by John Jorda » Thu, 10 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Nick,

Good points. I think that's part of "paying dues"-sometimes it probably does
give an edge even when the jurors make a real effort to be impartial. It
still doesn't always work.  Believe you would rather have knowledgeable
judges who recognize work, rather than those who don't recognize any
work-they won't know what they are looking at. For example, the ACC shows
(Baltimore at least) is noticeably more consistent in it's shows since they
instituted media juries.That is artists working in a media jury that same
category, and there are fewer "outside" jurors. The argument against this
was that artists on the jury would "jury out" their competitors, but I don't
think that's been much of a problem. It's been better than having a group of
people who likely new nothing making the decision.

On the other hand that advantage may not be too real. You may remember the
big exhibition a couple of years ago, "Curator's Focus" that almost none of
those you would have expected as shoo-ins was included. Another
consideration: One of the reasons Dave Ellsworth gave up shows was that he
was being out "Ellsworthed" if you know what I mean.

It's frustrating for all of us to be excluded, but I try to take the
attitude that it works out as it should, and I try to do a little better.

John Jordan

Quote:

>Greetings Friends,
>Having just gotten my rejection letter for the AAW show, I can sympathize.
>This was my first submission of Ornamental turnings, which is difficult for
many

>to judge. I'm not too discuraged since I'm confident they will sell and
besides,

>there will be other shows. The AAW show had approximately 200 entries
>for 20 slots (but I'll get to that).

>John makes some excellent points. But he left out that the judges are very
>important.
>I'd like to bringing this up as a point of  discussion. In the AAW show,
there
>were 20 slots open, but was there really? I recognized at least 10 'name'
>artists selected
>for the show. These are 10 that have a very distinct style or 'signature'
piece.
>I can
>recognize a John Jordan piece at 100 yards with my eyes cross-eyed. (I'll
use
>John
>since he was my teacher and is a good sport). The same is true for
Ellsworth's
>work, and
>the other 8 or so I recognized.

>Does this have an influence on the show?  I believe it does. 2 of the
judges
>were both
>collectors and owners of all 10 of the name artists works. This means they
are
>already familiar with the peoples work (overall), regardless of the piece
they
>submitted for judging, and also as owners that they LIKE the work. That is
a BIG
>plus, and probably has a sub-conscious influence. The point I'm being
delecate
>about is - these 10 would have
>probably been in the show no matter what. Why? Because they are
recognizable!
>That being
>the case, that leaves only 10 open slots for the show.
>Please, I'm not taking anything away from them all, all of them are
excellent
>artists and
>craftsmen, and the quality of the pieces and photography probably warrents
them
>being
>in the show.

>Anyway to get back to the point, If the recognition of the artists had any
>influence on
>the collector/judge it is bad, but there is NOTHING you can do about it. It
>always
>boils down to whether the judge LIKES it. The only headstart that these
artists
>had is
>that the judge already liked it, but virtue of owning some of the artists
works.
>This is why it pays to have judges who are not even related to the field -
a
>glass maker or basket maker would be good for instance. But in this case, I
>think they made a mistake by having collectors as judges. well at least
they got
>to preview the pieces they will buy.  :-)
>We all have NO control who the judges are, but you do have control over
what
>shows
>you send to. If you have success in one show, make sure they are on your
list
>for next
>year. If you have a continued failure in one particular show, maybe you
should
>reconsider
>whether you want to try that show again.

>The original question was whether shows were a 'good ol boys' club. The
answer
>is
>no. BUT, that doesn't mean it doesn't pay off to be recognized. Getting
>recognition however,
>takes time. Keep trying. Keep your work out there, use the Internet to your
>advantage,
>loan pieces to a bank or public venue. Send pictures to the Journal, to
>magazines who have
>gallery sections. You might be right up there with John next time.

>Best wishes to all.
>Nick

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by Nick » Fri, 11 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Greetings Friends,
Having just gotten my rejection letter for the AAW show, I can sympathize.
This was my first submission of Ornamental turnings, which is difficult for many

to judge. I'm not too discuraged since I'm confident they will sell and besides,

there will be other shows. The AAW show had approximately 200 entries
for 20 slots (but I'll get to that).

John makes some excellent points. But he left out that the judges are very
important.
I'd like to bringing this up as a point of  discussion. In the AAW show, there
were 20 slots open, but was there really? I recognized at least 10 'name'
artists selected
for the show. These are 10 that have a very distinct style or 'signature' piece.
I can
recognize a John Jordan piece at 100 yards with my eyes cross-eyed. (I'll use
John
since he was my teacher and is a good sport). The same is true for Ellsworth's
work, and
the other 8 or so I recognized.

Does this have an influence on the show?  I believe it does. 2 of the judges
were both
collectors and owners of all 10 of the name artists works. This means they are
already familiar with the peoples work (overall), regardless of the piece they
submitted for judging, and also as owners that they LIKE the work. That is a BIG
plus, and probably has a sub-conscious influence. The point I'm being delecate
about is - these 10 would have
probably been in the show no matter what. Why? Because they are recognizable!
That being
the case, that leaves only 10 open slots for the show.
Please, I'm not taking anything away from them all, all of them are excellent
artists and
craftsmen, and the quality of the pieces and photography probably warrents them
being
in the show.

Anyway to get back to the point, If the recognition of the artists had any
influence on
the collector/judge it is bad, but there is NOTHING you can do about it. It
always
boils down to whether the judge LIKES it. The only headstart that these artists
had is
that the judge already liked it, but virtue of owning some of the artists works.
This is why it pays to have judges who are not even related to the field - a
glass maker or basket maker would be good for instance. But in this case, I
think they made a mistake by having collectors as judges. well at least they got
to preview the pieces they will buy.  :-)
We all have NO control who the judges are, but you do have control over what
shows
you send to. If you have success in one show, make sure they are on your list
for next
year. If you have a continued failure in one particular show, maybe you should
reconsider
whether you want to try that show again.

The original question was whether shows were a 'good ol boys' club. The answer
is
no. BUT, that doesn't mean it doesn't pay off to be recognized. Getting
recognition however,
takes time. Keep trying. Keep your work out there, use the Internet to your
advantage,
loan pieces to a bank or public venue. Send pictures to the Journal, to
magazines who have
gallery sections. You might be right up there with John next time.

Best wishes to all.
Nick

Quote:

> James,

> WIthout seeing your slides, it's difficult to say, but there are many
> reasons to be rejected-some of us have a LOT of experience at it. Is the
> show in Bellvue? ACC shows are as up and up as it gets, but jurors are human
> (some anyway) and bring their own likes and dislikes, knowledge and lack
> thereof etc, but most do their best to be fair and judge on the criteria
> given by the show.

> Without question, (other than doing better work)  the best thing one can do
> to improve one's chances is better photography. Once again, without seeing
> your slides, it is difficult to help here, but just because a professional
> took them,, doesn't  mean they are suitable for the jurying process. Is he
> intimately familiar with shooting for craft show slides?  The point is good
> slides won't necessarily get you in, but poor, or the wrong type of slides
> will keep you out every time.

> Go to the show and see what kind of work is in the show, and try to be
> objective about your work, and how it compares-overall, not just to wood.
> Hopefully our work is always improving, and that will help.

> Finally, no matter how good the work/slides/presentation, there is only so
> much room at a show. I apply to a show at the Smithsonian, and the
> Philadelphia Museum of Art every year. There are nearly 2000 applications
> for less than 200 spaces. Probably half those applying produce work of a
> quality suitable for the shows, which still leaves 1000 applicants, so out
> goes the worst photography etc. Finally the top scores get in, but it
> doesn't mean that there weren't plenty of others that weren't deserving. For
> what it's worth, I get in the Smithsonian Show most years, (but not this
> one), but I've only been in the Philly Show once. Same group of people
> trying to get in-go figure.

> Join a local arts organization if possible-they can be a lot of help. Try to
> be as objective as you can about your work and your slides, and remember
> that YOU weren't rejected, just your application. Frustrating as it is, it's
> just part of the process. Hang in there.

> Good luck,

> John Jordan


> >In April I submitted an application along with 5 slides of bowls I had made
> >to display (and hopefully sell) at their Christmas Craft Show.  These bowls
> >are aproximatelly 3" x 9" and are various laminations of  zebrawood,
> walnut,
> >babinga etc. The slides were done by a professional  photographer friend of
> >mine. At a craft store here these bowls are priced at $200 plus. My
> >application was rejected without reason. Is this a "good ole boys club" or
> >what. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by John Luca » Fri, 11 Jun 1999 04:00:00


James     I am a photographer for Tennessee Technological University.  The
Appalachian Center for Crafts is a part of our campus and I started shooting
work for the artist there.  Over the years we learned a great deal more and now
shoot work for maybe 30 or 40 different artists.   John and Nick are right on
the money.   the biggest problem I see is the number of rumors that abound.
some people swear work should never be shot on white some think you should never
have a horizontal slide etc.  I could go on and on about all the reasons people
give for why they don't get in a show.  You have to be brutally honest about the
quality of your work and the photography.   Choosing a photographer is tough.
Just because you can shoot a good wedding doesn't mean you can photograph art.
Personally I am a really lousy wedding photographer and I admire the guys that
do this well.  the thing is you need to find someone who shoots art   work.
Look at a lot of books really closely and see how the photos are done.   Take
samples along to the photographer so he or she knows what you want.  The most
important thing is to join some group to get outside input.  In the Tennessee
Arts and Crafts Association we show our slides to each other and critic the work
and the slides.  this has proven very valueable to me as a woodturner and
photographer.   Good luck and keep on trying.   John Lucas

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by Nick » Fri, 11 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Greetings all,
Oh yes, paying the dues is part of the deal. One good thing I have seen (at
least
at the AAW symposiums) has been the 'mock' juries. These give people the
oportunity to have thier slides shown as they would at a juried show. The
'judges'
then proceed to tell you if it they would have selected it, however mostly it is

a good indicator whether your photography is helping or hurting your chances.
The first time I did this was 5 years ago in Greensboro. The judge was Frank
Cummings. I had been turning about 3 years and had just starting doing my work
with the dentist drill. Frank proceeded to rip my work apart. He just hated
everything about it. In fact, the instant gallery critique was 'pre-selected'
that
year, and during it Frank insisted on stopping and again ripping my work in
front of everyone, even though mine were not one of the pre-selected pieces.
(JERK). I learned two valuable lessons that trip, one of course was to develop
a thick skin - absolutely necessary if you are going to put your work out for
show.
Second, a bad critique is not always a bad thing. The fact that this
narrow-minded art
teacher hated it, means I have drawn outside the lines of his scope of thinking.

Sometimes that is called Inovation.  Other artist and teachers who I respect,
really encouraged me after that reaming which certainly helped restore my
confidence. Oh yeah, if you are interested which pieces he hated, see here:
    http://www.flash.net/~nexus1/fandancer.jpg
    http://www.flash.net/~nexus1/aphroditie.jpg

Best Regards,
Nick

Quote:

> Nick,

> Good points. I think that's part of "paying dues"-sometimes it probably does
> give an edge even when the jurors make a real effort to be impartial. It
> still doesn't always work.  Believe you would rather have knowledgeable
> judges who recognize work, rather than those who don't recognize any
> work-they won't know what they are looking at. For example, the ACC shows
> (Baltimore at least) is noticeably more consistent in it's shows since they
> instituted media juries.That is artists working in a media jury that same
> category, and there are fewer "outside" jurors. The argument against this
> was that artists on the jury would "jury out" their competitors, but I don't
> think that's been much of a problem. It's been better than having a group of
> people who likely new nothing making the decision.

> On the other hand that advantage may not be too real. You may remember the
> big exhibition a couple of years ago, "Curator's Focus" that almost none of
> those you would have expected as shoo-ins was included. Another
> consideration: One of the reasons Dave Ellsworth gave up shows was that he
> was being out "Ellsworthed" if you know what I mean.

> It's frustrating for all of us to be excluded, but I try to take the
> attitude that it works out as it should, and I try to do a little better.

> John Jordan

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by John Jorda » Sat, 12 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Speaking of that,***, how about posting pictures of your work that you
were INVITED to submit to the "Turned Multiples" show at Craft Alliance.
That was a pretty hot piece, but then you knew I liked the first one I saw.
People on the group would like to see it-course some people might think
you're weird......

John Jordan

Quote:
>> James....
>      As it was clearly put to me by someone I admire and respect,
>enter often and never expect to get in. Then it becomes a pleasant and
>genuine surprise when you do make it. The real pleasure comes when you
>get invited to submit something based on work the curator has seen
>previously. Never stop trying and never stop improving your work. I've
>always liked the adage, "Good enough never is..."
>Ranger***

>Sent via Deja.com http://www.FoundCollection.com/
>Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by rangerd.. » Sun, 13 Jun 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
> In April I submitted an application along with 5 slides of bowls I
had made
> to display (and hopefully sell) at their Christmas Craft Show.  These
bowls
> are aproximatelly 3" x 9" and are various laminations of  zebrawood,
walnut,
> babinga etc. The slides were done by a professional  photographer
friend of
> mine. At a craft store here these bowls are priced at $200 plus. My
> application was rejected without reason. Is this a "good ole boys
club" or
> what. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

> James....

      As it was clearly put to me by someone I admire and respect,
enter often and never expect to get in. Then it becomes a pleasant and
genuine surprise when you do make it. The real pleasure comes when you
get invited to submit something based on work the curator has seen
previously. Never stop trying and never stop improving your work. I've
always liked the adage, "Good enough never is..."
Ranger***

Sent via Deja.com http://www.FoundCollection.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

 
 
 

Question about American Craft Council

Post by rangerd.. » Mon, 14 Jun 1999 04:00:00




Quote:
> Speaking of that,***, how about posting pictures of your work that
you
> were INVITED to submit to the "Turned Multiples" show at Craft
Alliance.
> That was a pretty hot piece, but then you knew I liked the first one
I saw.
> People on the group would like to see it-course some people might
think
> you're weird......

> John Jordan

Hey, John!
Thanks for the compliment! Coming from you, it means a lot. I'd post a
picture or two, but believe it or not, I've yet to set up a website! I
haven't been able to come up with a page design I'm happy with. If
anyone is interested, e-mail me and I'll send out a picture of the
"Junk Cans - A Six-Pack." I just finished a "soup can," complete with
dents and triangular opener holes in the top. Sfirri bought it, but I
didn't get it photographed... :-( Suppose I should get it back for a
bit.
I think I've finally found something that "can" (groan) lead to "a body
of work!"
*** Tuttle

Sent via Deja.com http://www.FoundCollection.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.