Stacy Jarit and Artrider-part 1

7 December 2006

Stacy Jarit was kind enough to spend an hour of her time with me at Park Avenue answering questions and sharing her observations about the crafts marketplace.
Jarit started on the circut making and selling enamels. Since 1982 her organization, ARTRIDER, has produced crafts shows, currently doing 6 shows each year. Her shows are in the NYC area, the largest market place in the country. Her shows are juried, selective, competitive.
She refers to the exhibitors at her shows as Designer Craftsmen. The price points of the work for sale is the high. Some of her exhibitors (no web accessible images) also exhibit at the American Craft Council Shows (they have images and links) . These exhibitors (full disclosure requires that I state that I am one since 1990) are professional; that is this is what these Designer Craftspeople do full time and is the way they make their living. They have an expertise and vision in their field. They also run a small business; doing such administrative things as collecting and paying sales tax in several states, marketing tasks such as photography to generate jury slides and postcards. They also pack and transport their booth and wares to the show–the marketplace. Then they construct their booth and set up their display. They sell for 3 or 4 days. Tired, they tear down the booth and take it home again. Jarit says these Master Designer Craftsmen are the best: have talent, know how to market their wares and are very hard working.
There are other tiers of shows; one is acessible to hobbists and retirees. And a middlemarket where people struggle to earn a living. These shows are just for selling direct to the public, some crafts people also sell to shops and galleries and there are different shows for that.
Brito: Do you see any changes in the craft market place say since 2000?
Jarit: Absolutely! Big changes.
Part 2. The evolution of the Designer Craftsmen Movement.


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