Three Zapplication Stories to Bring You Cheer


Here is my most recent information about Zapplication and applying to art fairs.Cukier & Stephen Fellerman enjoying a great day at Arts, Beats & Eats

1. Contrary to the accepted opinion all art fairs are not being deluged with piles of new applications because they have joined Zapp. An art fair that I am close to who instigated it last year had exactly two additional applications that year. Recently closing their 2008 jurying they had exactly one additional application.

What this says to me is that in general the BIG shows are receiving nice BIG piles, maybe even more because of Zapp, but the B list group is not profiting from more apps. But their staffs are happy about not having so much paperwork.

2. Here is a recent letter from a reader:

Hi Connie,

It’s nice to find online discussions such as these.  Have you seen this one?

It’s long but there are some heavy hitters in the craft world commenting on it.  I never even thought researching what other artists thought of Zapp until I got a few blog comments on my opinion of it.  Fortunately, I did get into the Lowertown Festival which would have been really disappointing if I had not since it is really not that great of a show quality wise!  I can’t wait to see if that will change since their application process was through Zapp.

I perused quite a bit of your blog, and I am adding it to my google reader.  I’m so glad I found it!


3.  Readers of this blog have perhaps before seen the heartfelt letters we receive from artists, but none more so than the straightforward posts received from artist Michael Solomon. Here is his latest:

hi – i have gone to war with the insane odds of getting into shows- what follows is my email to st louis art fair and there response which are both honorable and insane Zapp has destroyed allot of us and the odds keep getting worse – i am finding other ways to market my work and really do not care if they hate me.
Michael S.

To: Laura Miller
Subject: Re: 2008 Saint Louis Art Fair

the end is near – Me and allot of others will no longer support this antiquated process – a raffle would be fairer for 95 % of the applicants the elite 5 % might as well be pre selected for all the shows.
Michael Solomon
former artist

To: Michael Solomon
Subject: Re: 2008 Saint Louis Art Fair

Michael – Thank you for your email and we welcome your questions and comments. This year represents the most competitive application process we’ve ever experienced, with 1784 artists applying for 139 openings (26 award winners from the 2007 show were exempt from the jury process and will return in 2008.) Reviewing these applications is a daunting task that we take very seriously.

Every application is carefully reviewed several times by our panel of three independent jurors over the course of three days. We rely on their expertise and experience to select the highest quality work presented to them during the jury process. We select jurors that provide a diverse background of knowledge, skill, understanding and familiarity within the 14 media categories allowed. Our goal is a high-quality, balanced show, however we do not have individual quota’s in each media category. We also do not provide artists with scores or comments from the jurors, nor do we track the juror’s comments.

Again thank you for applying to the Saint Louis Art Fair. You have our best wishes for continued success!
Laura Miller

To view Michael’s art visit:

Put Zapp into the search box on the right side of this page and you can read comments the Art Fair Insider has received on this topic. We welcome your comments on this topic or any other of interest to you. Fill in the form below.


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3 Responses to “Three Zapplication Stories to Bring You Cheer”

  1. Peter a Brenner, Jewelrymaker Says:

    I personally am getting into more Zapp shows, but I am also applying to more zapp shows, since more shows are going to this format. Still am not getting into the “big” shows with any regularity, but I had the same problem before Zapp. Some of the “big” shows are not that big anymore, like “the Grove”, really down this year, many people won’t return, myself included. I’ve been a full-time art fair exhibitor for 35 years, and have seen many changes and ups and downs in this business. I personally don’t think Zapp is the problem, I think the population is “showed out”. And add to that the rise in gas prices, it makes keep any of your income very difficult. I am still doing a semi-national circuit, but most of my profit is going into my gas tank. Good news is, I’m 4 years from retirement, bad news is, not much in the bank to retire on. God, I hope I don’t have to keep doing shows until I’m 80.
    Peter A Brenner – Jewelrymaker

  2. Constance Mettler Says:

    Thanks for this comment, Peter. It pretty much echoes my own experience.

    Hold on for that retirement. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how much less income a person needs when there are no longer jury fees, booth fees, travel expenses, art supplies, etc., although it helps to have a social security check and some investment income.

    My friend photographer Bill Coleman, on the other hand, finally quit doing art fairs at 83. That was because his young(er) partner was no longer with him. But Bill’s website is doing well for him.

  3. Richard P Sullivan Says:

    Keep up the good work. Every year I fight the urge to enlist my shows into Zapp, it really would relieve a lot of the hassle, but the hassles are what I am supposed to tackle as a show director. So every year after attempting to convince myself that Zapp may be the answer that voice in the back of my head tells me that my artists deserve the best process, not the most convenient for me. It is I who loads all those trays and ensures all are in order and then replaced in the SASE’s. I also am an insomniac so that helps. In theory Zapplication is a great idea, sometimes I think it maybe the fact that many of the jurors haven’t attended enough festivals to notice great work, if they did I believe they would be able to distinguish and recognize the best art even in a digital format. So I am still hoping that the technology will succeed in helping to create the best shows with the best possible art. Until then I will be looking on ebay for more trays and spare bulbs and projectors.

    Richard P Sullivan

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