New CCAD Juried Art Fair Format Brings Benefits

June 18th, 2013 by Katlin McNally
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Art Fair entrance on CCAD campus

Art Fair entrance on CCAD campus

The reinvented CCAD Juried Art Fair took place April 13, welcoming hundreds of visitors and customers and showing the work of close to 100 alumni and students.

The fair underwent some exciting changes this year, the most important being a change from first-come, first-serve vendor sign-up (which resulted in vendor slots being filled in less than three minutes) to a juried process.

“Changing to this format allowed more students, alumni, faculty, and staff an opportunity to apply,” said Janie Robinson, assistant director of career services. “It also ensured that we didn’t miss out on showcasing a fantastic artist because they missed the very small sign-up window.”

The new application process provided vendors a four-week window of time to apply and submit work online through ZAPP (the same service used by the popular Columbus Arts Festival). Submissions were then judged by three jurors: Ken Emerick, Anne Holman, and Laura Kuenzli.

Emerick is the director for individual artist grants and the Percent for Art program at the Ohio Arts Council (OAC);  Holman is an adjunct faculty member at CCAD and a Fine Arts alumna (CCAD 2002), as well as the owner and creator of Anne Holman Jewelry; and Kuenzli is the owner of Rivet Gallery, located in the Short North, Columbus’ arts district.

Michael Bonardi at the fair in April

Michael Bonardi at the fair in April

“We wanted this event to be career prep for students,” Robinson said. “This juried process now gives students a realistic perspective of how art fairs work in the real world.”

In addition to students learning how to apply for a juried fair, participating artists were exposed to the creative professionals on the jury. The judges for the fair were a particularly rich source for networking.

“We really enjoyed meeting so many of the artists who participated in the sale,” Emerick said. “I was very impressed at the level of professionalism and knowledge of the exhibiting artists and how engaging they were to talk with. We collected cards from a number of people to pass on to a few curators and collectors. We also purchased a number of beautiful works.”

Of course the ability to network with repeat customers at the fair remains a big benefit. Fine Arts alumnus and admissions counselor Michael Bonardi (CCAD 2004) comments that he sees familiar faces at every sale.

Bonardi has participated in more than 20 CCAD art sales, as both a student and an alumnus. His work has ranged from photography to porcelain vases.

Customers also noticed the difference in this year’s sale format. Aaron Bucco and his wife have attended CCAD Art Fairs since 2008.

“I think the switch to a juried show is an important step toward maintaining the integrity and reputation of the sale,” Bucco said. “I see it as a showcase for dedicated new and established artists.”

Maxe Smith at Art Fair in April

Maxe Smith at Art Fair in April

Through the sales, Bucco and his wife have acquired a number of pieces, the most recent being from MFA alumna Kristin Baird. They comment that her path and style is ever-changing and they love coming back to talk to her about her current work.

“My wife and I see CCAD as a significant contributor to the energy of Columbus,” Bucco said. “The artistic influence it has over our city is important, and for that reason alone we are happy to not only attend the art fairs, but also support artists whose work we find compelling.”

Illustration alumna Maxe Smith (CCAD 2009), who has also participated in sales both as a student and an alumna.

Smith has participated in close to 10 sales and looks at them as an opportunity to not only show her work, but also stay connected with the school and help the students.

“The sale really gives students the ability to make connections and communicate with other artists that are out there in the real world selling their work,” Smith said. “This juried process allows students to grow and have a more polished presentation, and it also gives local businesses the chance to get involved with the jury.”

The next CCAD Juried Art Fair will take place December 7, 2013.

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