ART Application Guidelines

PREPARING A SUCCESSFUL INDIANA ARTISAN ART & FINE CRAFT APPLICATION

Indiana Artisan is an economic development organization accomplishing two things. It identifies, recognizes and promotes Indiana’s high-quality art, fine craft and foods and the Artisans who make them, with the goal of helping each Artisan expand his/her business.

At the same time, Indiana Artisan is building a brand that identifies Indiana by its high-quality art, fine craft and foods, defining that brand by the work of the state’s highest-quality Artisans.

Definition of Art & Fine Craft

Indiana Artisan defines art and fine craft broadly. To provide clarity, the work reviewed includes, but is not limited to:

Basketry
Ceramics
Fiber
Folk Art
Furniture
Glasswork
Home Accessories
Jewelry
Leatherwork
Metalwork
Mixed Media
Musical Instruments
Outdoor Art
Painting/Drawing
Papercraft
Photography
Pottery
Printmaking
Sculpture
Toys/Games
Woodwork

Two important things to note:

    1. Candles and soaps/bath/body products fall outside Indiana Artisan’s definition of art and are not considered for adjudication.
    2. Work must be able to be sold at retail, so commissioned and made-to-order work also are not considered for adjudication.

Do you accept artwork assembled with repurposed items?
Assemblage of commercially produced items is generally not considered to be handcrafted work and is discouraged; however, strong overall design, interpretation, and originality can affect the decision of the jury panel.

I make several things, and I wonder if it makes sense to include everything in one application.
Work employing techniques, styles or materials that vary greatly should not be submitted as one application. Feel free to submit two different applications to allow yourself the opportunity to explain different processes, materials, wholesale/retail prices, etc. For example, turned wood vessels and wood jewelry would be two separate applications because the panel is interested in the process to make the work, the material involved, the pricing, sizes, etc., and answers would be too different to include wood vessels and wood jewelry in one application.

The same would be true for watercolor paintings and notecards using those paintings as cover art. There is a lot of overlap, but the material, time involved, prices, and descriptions are too different to adequately explain each in one application.

Application Information

How many applications can I submit?
There is no limit to the number of applications an applicant can submit; however, applicants should consider submitting no more than two. Why?

  • It saves you time, effort and expense to learn the outcome and receive feedback. If the application is successful, you have a winning formula. If not, you will know how to approach a reapplication.
  • Different people comprise the jury panel each year, and the outcomes for applicants submitting more than two applications at one time have been consistently unsuccessful.
  • Can I submit more than two applications anyway? Absolutely.

I have applied before. Is the review panel the same?
Panelists change every year, allowing applications to be reviewed with a fresh perspective each time.

I am not a full-time artist. Is that an issue?
No. Applicants must be willing to create their work on a regular schedule but need not be a full-time artist. Applicants must state whether they are willing to sell their work on consignment to retail markets, however willingness is not a factor in adjudication. Artisans must produce the majority of their work in Indiana. Sales representatives are not eligible to apply on behalf of an artist’s work.

American Indian-made artwork requirements.
Artisans producing crafts identified as American Indian-made will not be accepted into Indiana Artisan if their work is not made by an American Indian. The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 makes it illegal to sell or display for sale, any product not made by Native American Indians in a way that falsely suggests it was. If submitting Native American work, please submit a copy of your membership card in a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, or organized group or community, with your entry for authenticity purposes.

Before I begin, what is the best way to approach the application?

A couple of thoughts: We assume you are reading this because you consider yourself among the very best at your craft in Indiana. Keep that in mind as you write because your audience, the review panel, needs to understand why you are among Indiana’s best to make its decision. Tell your story. Be clear you know you are the best at what you do and explain why.

Because you will not be present when the panel convenes, the application speaks for you during this review, so it is important to explain why your product and process are the best, providing facts and answering questions that set you apart. Most questions on the application are open-ended and encourage you to tell your story.

Including “See my website,” as an answer to a question is a losing strategy.

Some panelists will visit your site and social media channels to answer their own questions or to further evaluate your product, but their sole focus when they meet is your application and sample(s). Applicants often are encouraged to reapply if the application is unsuccessful due to unanswered jury panel questions.

There is an option to save your application and return within 30 days to complete. When you’re happy with all of your responses, upload five images of your work, and submit it. You will be emailed an acknowledgement that your application has been received, and it will include a copy of your application.

What kind of work is Indiana Artisan looking for?
Applicants may include any artisan who, or any business that:

• Produces a visual arts product, handcrafted by the applicant, or under the direct supervision of the applicant, that can be purchased and taken by, or shipped to, the buyer;

• Creates work that contributes to the positive reputation of the artisan’s business and to the brand development of quality Indiana-made/produced arts and food;

• Desires their art to be part of a set of locally produced work branded as the highest quality coming from Indiana today;

• Creates their art or fine craft in Indiana and has been located in-state for at least one year prior to application;

• Would benefit from entrepreneurial support – education, workshops, and on-site assessments, and;

• Seeks to expand their business through a broader reach into retail markets.

PLEASE NOTE: The application questions sound repetitive, and to a degree they are.  The one application serves potters, painters, glass artists, jewelry artists, paper and wood artists, and a large variety of media.

For one application to meet all needs, there are subtle variations in the questions.

PLEASE FEEL FREE to answer a question with “see my response to question #_;” however, be thoughtful about the intent of the question. Successful applicants take the time to tell their story, and the story of their work, to the jury panelists. One-sentence responses and quickly completed applications seldom are successful.

INCLUDING IMAGES IN YOUR APPLICATION

How important are the images I upload?
Very. Images answer questions about the design, the technique, and/or the marketability of the work. They answer questions the application and samples don’t. Note this: Applications can be unsuccessful because of the images. Do they have to be professionally photographed images? No, but they need to be high-quality enough to reflect the high quality of your work. As you might guess, if the images are poor, so is the impression of your application.

Applicants are required to upload one image of their work, and may upload as many as five, with their application. You are strongly encouraged to upload five images. Take full advantage of the opportunity to highlight the depth and breadth of your body of work. Also, you are encouraged to upload images of work OTHER THAN that of the sample(s) you intend to submit. That allows your sample(s) to further define the breadth and depth of your work.

Is there a size limit for the uploaded images?
Yes. Each image cannot exceed 5MB in file size.

submitting your application

Application to Indiana Artisan must be made online: Art + Fine Craft Application  Paper/snail mail applications are not accepted.

There is a $30 application fee that is paid online by either credit card or PayPal.

Submitting Samples

Do I have to submit a sample of my work?
Yes. Applicants must submit at least one sample and may submit up to three. To make an informed and fair decision about high quality work, it is essential to evaluate its visual and tactile nature. The panel will not review an application without samples.

My work is large, heavy, of an awkward shape, and/or I live far from Carmel. What happens if I do not provide samples?
We truly understand this requirement can be difficult, and we recommend submitting three samples in order to demonstrate consistency across a body of work. Even so, to make an informed and fair decision about high-quality work, it is essential to evaluate its visual and tactile nature. The panel will not review an application without samples, so any application submitted without samples will be unsuccessful.

My work is very expensive, and I would prefer to send less expensive pieces to avoid loss or damage.
Your objective in applying to Indiana Artisan is to demonstrate how your work is among the very best coming from Indiana today. Successful applicants do not submit “under the bed” samples.

• Send your best work; otherwise the panel cannot evaluate how exceptional it is. Your goal is to demonstrate its high quality, and the jury panel’s goal is to identify it – which it cannot do if it is looking at second-rate samples.

• To further demonstrate consistent high quality across your body of work, submit at least one sample that is different from the images uploaded with the application.

• Samples do not have to be for sale. They can be part of your collection or a piece already sold.

Should the sample(s) be something sitting around the studio, or should it be a very high-quality piece (that I’m concerned about shipping)?
Again, your goal is to make a positive impression on the panel. Keep in mind that your application and samples are speaking for you.

How many samples should I submit?
Three samples are preferred. Three samples and five images uploaded with the application reflect a wide enough body of work for the panel to make an informed decision.

How are my samples returned?
Samples will be returned immediately after adjudication to those applicants submitting a postage/shipping-paid, self-addressed container (envelope, box, tube, etc.) with their work. We hold onto the container the work arrives in, and we are happy to pack samples in the same material/container for their return trip to you. Applicants who personally deliver their samples can pick them up starting the day after the jury convenes.

Pick up your work from our store:

Indiana Artisan
22 N. Rangeline Road
Carmel, IN, 46032

the jury panel

Panels have included a mix of artists, fine craftspeople, art educators, gallery owners and directors, collectors, museum staff, and others with broad insight into art and fine craft. Increasingly, Indiana Artisans are among the panelists. Indiana Artisans are at the top of their craft, and those who have reached that point recognize it in the work of others.

Panelists’ names are not published so that they cannot be individually lobbied prior to a review or individually questioned afterward. We value the time and effort given by panelists for the review, and we thank them with an experience as anonymous as possible.

review criteria

The jurors use the following criteria when reviewing and scoring your application(s) and samples:

Design & Quality (25 points maximum)

• The design of the work must satisfy the intent/function of the piece.

• The components of the design must relate to each other.

Technique (25 points maximum)

• There must be evidence of skilled craftsmanship (finishing, joinery, construction,
balance, etc.).

• Materials must relate to the original intent/function of the piece.

Originality & Authenticity (25 points maximum)

• The work must reflect a unique style, personal expression or interpretation that distinguishes it as superior within the medium/genre.

• There must be an authenticity that reinforces or exhibits the tradition or heritage of Indiana communities and groups. The panel asks “What makes this work particular to Indiana?”

Marketability (25 points maximum)

• For you to gain from Indiana Artisan, the work must be appropriate for our marketing activities and supportive of the Indiana Artisan brand development.

• Similarly, wholesale and/or retail opportunity must exist for your work, and the pricing must be appropriate for Indiana Artisan to help you in expanding sales opportunities.

the review process

Before meeting in person, jury panelists review the application and images individually. When the full panel meets in person, it reviews your samples, and as a group reviews and discusses your application and images. At this point, each panelist completes a scoring sheet and writes comments designed to explain why the submission was accepted, and, if not accepted, designed to be helpful in improving and/or marketing the applicant’s work. Jurors’ comments are compiled and e-mailed to unsuccessful applicants who request them.

All applicants are notified of the jury results via email. The decision of the jury is final and may not be appealed; however, applicants whose work is not selected are oftentimes encouraged to reapply.

Jurors’ comments are compiled and e-mailed to applicants who request them.

Sometimes as many as half of the unsuccessful applications are unsuccessful because they fail to follow this advice: Samples must be a line of work made in the same medium/technique and must constitute a coherent body of work rather than a range.

To be clear, it is better to submit samples that demonstrate consistency in high quality, design, technique, and originality versus different, unique pieces intended to reflect a wide range of work. Sets (earrings, dinnerware, gloves, etc.) are considered one sample. Samples should be presented as you would sell them.

NOTIFICATION

All applicants are notified of the jury results via email.

The decision of the jury is final and may not be appealed; however, applicants whose work is not selected are oftentimes encouraged to reapply.

PLEASE READ

This is highlighted because it’s so important. All Artisans whose work adjudicates into Indiana Artisan must participate in the required workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, from 6-8 p.m. to fully participate in this organization. Attendance is mandatory at this enjoyable event where you will meet the other new art and food Artisans and learn the benefits of the organization.

Applicants whose work juries in, but who are unable to attend, are not considered to have completed the application process and must apply again.

This workshop is held in the Indianapolis area; the locale will be announced to all successful applicants.

Member requirements

Artisans whose work juries into the organization are permitted to sell ONLY that work through Indiana Artisan. For example, if your pottery juries into the organization, you will be permitted to sell pottery through Indiana Artisan, not paintings, woodwork, nor any other work you create. You may, however, apply again so those different media are considered.

Once my work juries in, is there any cost?
You get what you pay for, and in Indiana Artisan’s case you get much more. In 2016, the Artisan Advisory Board recommended annual dues to help the organization provide more. As the organization pursues grant funding, in particular, grantors ask about the financial commitment of the Artisans and the board members. Dues allow Indiana Artisan to provide more services to Artisans and to secure funding to provide even more. As the organization moves into its second decade, the Artisan Advisory Board will continue to communicate with all Artisans about what they want and need, and it may suggest a change in dues. Currently, the yearly dues are $100.

Once your work has juried into Indiana Artisan, and if you continue paying the $100 annual dues, it will not need to be juried again. However, at any time, and for any reason, Indiana Artisan reserves the right to remove work from the organization or to ask the artisan to reapply.

member benefits

  • Recognition by the State as, and the opportunity to call yourself, an Indiana Artisan.

  • Use of the Indiana Artisan logo. Indiana Artisans are encouraged to participate in developing the Indiana Artisan brand by incorporating the logo into their labeling, hang tags, promotional material, and more.

  • You and your work promoted as part of the ongoing development of the Indiana Artisan brand, defining the highest-quality work in foods, art and fine craft coming from Indiana today.

  • Promotion to media, retailers and the public.

  • Opportunity to sell your work in the Indiana Artisan stores, ecommerce and Gift Collections.

  • Searchable, individual web page with your profile on the Indiana Artisan website.

  • Opportunity to participate in the annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace and Holiday Marketplace, both of which showcase some of the best work coming from Indiana today.

  • A listing (name, company, city, URL) and image of your work in the Indiana Artisan Viewbook, the annual print catalog showcasing Indiana Artisans and their work.

  • Participation in the private Facebook group page, where Artisans collaborate and share successes, advice and opportunities.

  • Educational and networking opportunities.

Application CHECKLIST in five easy steps

STEP 1:  Check your schedule to confirm you can attend the Sept. 20, 2022, Bootcamp Workshop from 6-8 p.m.

STEP 2:  Submit the online application(s) to arrive prior to the deadline included on the “Timeline” posted on the Indiana Artisan website.

  • Upload up to five photos with the application (a minimum of one photo is required)
  • Include a copy of your membership card in a federally recognized Indian tribe, band, nation, or organized group (if applicable)

STEP 3:  Once your application is submitted, the “Timeline” is your one-stop shop for every detail you will need. Review the timeline posted on the Indiana Artisan website to remain up to date on the process.

STEP 4:  Submit the $30 application fee online when you submit your application.

STEP 5:  Contact Indiana Artisan at any time if you have questions. Rosalyn Demaree can be reached via phone at (317) 964-9455, and via email at [email protected]

questions?

Indiana Artisan is about building a community of high-quality Artisans. No nameless, faceless people here. Ros Demaree oversees the jurying process and is available any time. Her email is [email protected], and her cell number is (317) 964-9455. She is happy to help!