Sorry to those who feel like I'm a whiner... but I'm having an issue that I'm hoping putting down on "paper" will finally go away (well, at the very least will leave my head).
I recently started signing up for some local events, to sell my photography, stationery, invitations, and clothing made from my graphic designs. I got in contact with an art gallery in South Jersey who was thrilled to have me at one of their events, as they had mostly jewelers contact them, so my work was completely different for them. My mom then suggested, why not trying to get a table at our home town's special community day. Though I don't still live there, she does, and she goes to the event every year. So I thought, what the heck, let's do it. Maybe I'll see some people I know.
I got in contact with the director of the event. I explained that I'm originally from the town, am trying to really get my art career off the ground, yada yada, and would love to participate in the event, if she could possibly guide me in the right direction as to how to become involved, it'd be wonderful. The director emailed over an application along with due dates for the application, payment, etc. A few hours later, she sends me a one line email, "Oh, and by the way, you do not count as an artist or crafter," meaning I had to pay $60 for a corporate table if I wanted to participate, rather than the $25 they charge artists/crafters.
So I inquire, why is my photography and hand crafted stationery not considered an art/craft. The reply, "it's not handmade." So I reiterate...though I do not make the actual paper or ink used to create my pieces, I do design everything myself, I hand cut each card as most are custom sizes, I hand print everything myself, as well as package everything myself (yes, this includes photography and stationery), so I don't understand why I'm being considered corporate, when it's little ol me doing everything by hand. (isn't that the definition of handmade?) Her response...."sorry, you just don't qualify."
So I'm confused here. Isn't my purchasing paper and ink the same as a crocheter, knitter, or needleworker, purchasing the yarn/wool/floss to make their products? And since when is photography considered to NOT be an art? Am I wrong here? Did I just miss something? My personal feeling is that she wants to charge me more since I'm not a resident of the town. And if she had said that non-residents pay a higher fee, I could live with that, as I've done other events where that was a stipulation.
In some ways I'd like to write her a nice little letter (maybe on my "not" handmade stationery) telling her where she can put that space where my table would be...yup, right up her keester. Or that the next time her town comes to me in desperate need of work to be done...but on a budget, that they will no longer be receiving a discount for me having grown up in that town, being as they could not return the favor.
I don't know...any thoughts out there?