I'm going to be back at RHS Hyde Hall in early August for the RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show - (3-6 August 2017). This year it has an expanded Artists’ Pavilion featuring more exhibitors - including Janie Pirie GM SBA
Botanical artists would be well advised to study the opportunities for exhibiting at the various RHS Flower Shows around the UK - but note that
Information for the RHS application form
Botanical artists can apply for a trade stand within the non-horticultural products category. There are a range of tradestand sizes available and all exhibits are under cover - so you don't need to invest in a tent etc.
This is the page which outlines how to apply for a tradestand
Artists who are new to the RGS Shows need to provide the following information:
In other words, they are looking for relevant and reputable businesses run by experienced and business-like people - who can provide added value for visitors to their shows.
These are NOT shows to go to and exhibit for the very first time - you need some experience in showing on your own elsewhere. Like anything else in life don't apply for and pitch for "the best" before you are ready.
If you want to get to Chelsea you need to first exhibit at another RHS Show and provide documentation of what your stand looked like and what you sold - which essentially means you have to go to the non-Chelsea show with a standard of artwork and display "as if" you are exhibiting at Chelsea - if you want to impress!
Note also that "doing a show" is not for the faint-hearted and you will need back-up and support to deliver a good display and service on your stand.
You also need to note that the non-horticultural category is very much over-subscribed and hence you need to be able to demonstrate high quality and some aspect of being different from everybody else.
Tradestand selection critiera
Understanding what you need to do to apply is only the first step. You then need to know and meet the standards expected of your trade stand in terms of selection and being able to apply again! Plus what items are not allowed and what needs special permission.
The manual (for the recent Chatsworth Flower Show in June 2017) states the following:
Tradestand selection criteria
There is also a Code of Conduct for all exhibitors which must be observed.
Plus they also rate all trade stands for the standard of exhibit presentation.
Botanical artists at RHS Flower Shows
Below are some of the botanical artists who have had trade stands at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. They include
Recovering now from the Chelsea Flower Show. It was such a successful show despite the economic and political nervousness. What a lovely crowd, cheerful, positive and enjoying the sunshine and beautiful gardens. Loved every minute despite the long hours and sheer exhaustion of it all. What a privilege to be there.
These are also artists whose work "sings out" from inside a booth to those walking up and down the pathways at a show. I know from having visited Chelsea during the show that a booth needs to be filled with original and colourful artwork to catch the eye of the very many visitors - and while you want to sell as much as you can, you also must not sell out fast and deplete your stand which needs to look good throughout the show!
It's actually very much akin to having a solo art exhibition if you want to make a profit on the cost of having a trade stand - which is not cheap!
How to apply
The details of how to apply to exhibit at an RHS Show are provided on the Tradestand Non-Horticultural Page
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Katherine Tyrrell writes about botanical art and artists and has followers all over the world.
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