Juried Art Shows = Free Cake?

Decorating By rwarren Updated 22 Mar 2016 , 2:51am by rwarren

rwarren Posted 19 Mar 2016 , 6:41pm
post #1 of 6

Anyone have experience with juried art shows?  I had my first experience with a selection committee two weeks ago, for a show in November. I took two cakes, 12 cupcakes in 3 flavors (including matching cupcakes to the larger cakes), 12 cookies in 4 flavors, a fondant model, and some molded chocolates. (With two weeks' notice, a mom in the hospital, and delivering alone using public transit, not too shabby an output.) Not knowing what to expect, I prepared as though it were one of our bake sales, with napkins, tablecloth, carryout containers, etc.

My beef was that the jury (7 people) expected to taste everything I brought, and not pay for any of it. There was nothing in the info letter that specified I also needed to bring samples for tasting. They tasted one cupcake and (with some pleading from the hostess) one cookie. the hostess purchased 6 cupcakes for a personal party tomorrow. And everything else went back home in the freezer.  (I may be able to salvage one cake for our local cake show next month.)  I just got the email today that I was not selected. 

So my question is: Is my experience normal? My initial reaction was: you can taste one of the smaller items, but anything more and I would like to be paid for it. I apparently was the only cake decorator vying for a table -- other food vendors submitted include jams, pound cake, chocolates. All of which were aware their product would be tasted.  My reluctance to allow all of my submissions to be tasted / destroyed apparently put me at a disadvantage. I do have my generous moments, but I thought this was overboard. Feeling -- well, not sure quite how to feel about it all.

5 replies
julia1812 Posted 20 Mar 2016 , 4:40pm
post #2 of 6

Sorry about that! I haven't been to such event but to be honest I would expect them to pay me for a cakes ifor I'd go. If it's a competition then it's your choice to swollen up the costs and go for it with the prospective of winning a price (that is somehow valuable - and be it just reputation) or leave it. But again, very sorry that happened and I hope you could salvage enough of the cakes and cookies for something else....

leah_s Posted 20 Mar 2016 , 5:44pm
post #3 of 6

I definitely would have expected to provide tasting samples.  I would have brought a dummy cake and either cookies OR cupcakes for the judges to sample.  But then, jurying in food at an art show is bizarre itself.

julia1812 Posted 20 Mar 2016 , 6:36pm
post #4 of 6

Quote by @julia1812 on 1 hour ago

Sorry about that! I haven't been to such event but to be honest I would expect them to pay me for a cakes ifor I'd go. 

"Would NOT expect them to pay me for a cake if I would go". That's what I wanted to write. Don't know what happens and cc wouldn't let me edit. 

MimiFix Posted 20 Mar 2016 , 10:25pm
post #5 of 6

Quote by @leah_s on 4 hours ago     ... jurying in food at an art show is bizarre itself.

Bizarre is right. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I've never heard of vying for food vendor space by providing samples to a selection committee. Those people are full of themselves.

rwarren Posted 22 Mar 2016 , 2:51am
post #6 of 6

Thanks everyone for your insights.  I was hoping to get a table because I;ve done other art shows (esp at the university) and there my cakes were greeted with enthusiasm (and money waving).    This was to be one of the artists, not the lunchroom, and I was asked to provide " about ten examples of your work..... Prices need to be indicated for each item and you will need
to supply the jury with a short text explaining your work."  if I had known about tasting beforehand, I would have gladly provided samples.  I don't think there was any competition, just to set up and sell over two days.

I was sort of puzzled at one of the snotty remarks passed, where "our clients [i.e. the shoppers at the art show] rely on the jury's judgement and approval to select items for purchase."  So does that mean if I brought a different flavor that I didn't offer the judges beforehand, there would be a problem??!?  Some of my flavor choices were dictated by dough I found in the freezer from an earlier project.   I might not do the exact same flavors in November -- maybe I won't find dirt cheap bananas then to make banana cake!  I didn't have any dummies on hand, if I did I would probably have used them. I commented offhandedly during pickup about also making sugar-free items, and the hostess thought it was odd didn't bring any.  (The short answer:  Two hands, one oven.)

Oh well, live and learn.  I agree with MimiFix!  Their loss, and I get something tasty to munch on.

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