The Independent Artist recently interviewed Karla Prickett (above, right, with two of her volunteers), Director of the 34th Annual Smoky Hill River Festival Fine Art Show (June 13-24) and Four Rivers Craft Market (June 12-14) in Oakdale Park, Salina, Kansas. Sponsored by the Salina Arts & Humanities Commission, the event consists of two shows, juried by a separate panel of professionals. Each is nationally solicited and highly competitive. (The juried Four Rivers Craft Market Show presents a combination of traditional craft, folk art, and contemporary craft.)
How long have you been director of the art fair?
I have been with the Salina Arts & Humanities Commission since 1991 when I was hired as clerical support staff. As a visual artist myself, with a background in arts education, I naturally and eagerly directed my experience and goals toward the visual arts areas of the Festival. In 1995, I was given the opportunity to coordinate those components and have since directed the Fine Art Show, Four Rivers Craft Market Show, and the Art & Craft Demonstration Area. I am also responsible for developing and coordinating the Art Patron Program and large-scale, on-site Art Installations. This Juns event will be my nineteenth! I also serve as the Citys Community Art & Design Project Coordinator for Salinas public art program and coordinate the Commissions Cultural Calendar, a quarterly arts event publication.
What brought you to work in the arts?
I have been interested in art, artists, and creating artwork all my life. I earned a B.A. in Arts Education in 1972 from Kansas Fort Hays State University. After graduation, I taught art and coached womens basketball at Cloud County Community College, Concordia, Kansas; worked as a clerk in Salina, Kansas with Union Pacific Railroad for 13 years; and
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by Jon Hecker
I was recently asked by a show director to lend my thoughts on shows that have made a complete transition from slides to digital without utilizing ZAPPlication (ZAPP) or Juried Art Services (JAS). This particular director runs a small budget, art-focused series of shows and chose not sign on with ZAPP, nor is she interested in playing in the big arena with the top-level shows. In the course of our discussion, I mentioned several shows my wife Pat and I have applied to that accept digital submissionsmostly online via an upload directly to the shows servers.
The online giants of ZAPP and JAS are a formidable force in the art show industry, but we are starting to see more independent systems surface from individual shows savvy enough to develop their own internal procedures. This article wont delve into the technical aspects of such systems or the image requirements they impose. Rather, it will take a closer look at what formats various shows accept for their digital images and what procedures we artists must use to apply to these shows.
Whatever system a show decides to utilize, I would like to plead that all image requirements match the ZAPP-specified (and now almost universal) format of 1920 x 1920 pixels at 72 ppi with a file size no larger than 1.8 MB. Each time artists face another show with a different set of digital requirements, it becomes a laborious and time-consuming process to reformat the images yet again. On the other end of the spectrum, I am frustrated by the large number of completely vague applications I have seen where the instructions dont specify a file size or any other requirements at all.
I started to take note of some of these systems, observing what was appealing about them and what was detrimental. My experiences revealed a wide range of application
methods, from simply sending images via email to shows offering a fancy one-page form where one can upload all of the images in one click.
One of my first encounters with shows developing their own systems was through Erin Melloys series of events in the suburban Chicago area. Ms. Melloy made the switch to digital in 2008 after using slides for years. Now she accepts both digital submissions and traditional slides. The digital submission process consists of simply sending each
image in a separate email. Its simple and it works. The images can be the same format as your ZAPP image files, so no re-sizing is necessarya real plus. On the receiving end, the images are imported into a PowerPoint file and composed with all five images in one PowerPoint slide. Of course, the ease in managing this relies on the proficiency of the user with Powerpoint. The downside, from my perspective, is that all five images are drastically reduced in scale to comprise the entire presentation. This setup only requires one digital projector, but necessitates a very big screen to enlarge the images for effective viewing. As Melloys shows offer no online payment form, jury fees can be charged to a credit card by phoning the director.
A lovely little one day show in Lafayette, Indiana, the Round the Fountain Art Fair, utilizes a simple one-page form for artists to supply entry information. Once the form is submitted, the artist emails six images to the show. Jury fees are then paid via a secure PayPal link on the shows website. (For any show that may not be setup to receive online payments, PayPal offers an inexpensive solution.) Once the application is complete, the artist will receive a confirmation email. All in all, this system works well; the only drawback is Round the Fountains image size requirement of 400 pixels in the longest dimension. This falls well below the almost-universal standard of 1920 pixels. This extra step of re-sizing the images is an easy task for me but may pose a challenge for the technophobes among us.
By Hand Events, based in Columbus, Ohio produces two shows, one in Columbus and one in Cleveland. Artists applying to
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