How to Become a Guild Member

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

As of August 2020, the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi is currently on hold for applications due to COVID-19 distancing. We will soon provide an update and complete application information. Thank you for your interest and patience.

Application for membership is open to all whose work reflects a high degree of competence, professional standards, and artistry in their medium and category. Eligibility is determined by a jury review process which takes place twice each year. 

 

HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER

 

The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi represents approximately 400 artisans of fine craft whose works range from traditional items—such as quilts, baskets, wood-carved spoons, blacksmithing—to more contemporary items—such as clay and metal sculpture, fused glass, handcrafted jewelry and mixed media art.

Membership is open to all whose work reflects a high degree of competence, professional standards, and artistry in a specific medium and category. Craftsmen working in more than one medium or category must apply for each medium and/or category separately.

Membership is available for individuals, or two or more people may apply as a studio (two or more artisans working under a designated leader). Acceptance of group membership is decided by the Standards committee on a case-by-case basis.

 

Member Benefits & Requirements

Benefits include:

Galleries – Exclusive ability to display and sell work at the Guild’s main gallery in the Bill Waller Craft Center in Ridgeland , satellite gallery at Outlets of Mississippi in Pearl and online gallery.

Festival/ShowCases – Option to show and sell work at all sanctioned Guild events, including the award-winning Chimneyville Arts Festival held the first weekend in December at the Mississippi Trade Mart in Jackson.

Exhibits – Opportunity to use the George Berry exhibit room at the MS Craft Center for exhibition and sale of your work; (available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

Teaching Opportunities – Eligible to teach classes, be an instructor at craft camp, as a paid demonstrator for field trips.

Referrals to individuals, collectors, buyers, designers and wholesalers; to other national and international festival organizers

Promotion of you and your work to the media and general public Invitations to special members’ meetings, workshops and social events

Networking – inclusion in member-only Facebook group for information exchange with other craftsmen about shows, supplies, marketing, etc; monthly e-newsletter

Reciprocal Membership – The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi and the Louisiana Guild have an agreement that allows members in good standing in either Guild to join the other without having to submit for jury review. Membership dues are required and all membership requirements must be followed, but the initial jury process and fee is waived.

 

 

Application Process

The Standards Review Process

The Standard Committee is composed of exhibiting members representing the various mediums, who have been appointed for three-year terms by the Guild president. The President is a voting member of the committee. The committee meets twice a year to jury prospective members. Exhibiting members are re-evaluated every three years for nine consecutive years before the member becomes a fellow and is no longer required to submit for further reviews.

The Membership Application along with the $30 jury fee, three (3) examples of work created within the past three years, five (5) photographs and all supporting documents must be submitted no later than the application deadline.

Applicants must state medium and category. Many craft items fall into a gray area. Do the best you can to identify the medium and the category. The committee will reclassify if necessary.

Examples of work may be submitted in more than one medium (wood, clay, glass, metal, etc.), but each medium must be accompanied by a separate application, resume, artist’s statement, photos and $30 jury fee.

Each piece of work is handled and scrutinized carefully by every member of the committee. Work made from pre-assembled commercial kits is not acceptable. A very high degree of skill and competence must be evident. Small details are considered. Photographs, resumes and artists’ statements are reviewed. Open discussion is held and experts in the medium are consulted. An artisan’s emerging potential is considered. Each committee member scores each entry using the ballot shown below:

Sample ballot:

APPLICANT #________

MEDIUM_____________________

CATEGORY__________________

CIRCLE ONE FOR EACH CATEGORY

DESIGN and creativity:                                              1 2 4 5

CREATIVITY OR TRADITION:   1 2     4 5

CRAFTSMANSHIP:                         1 2 4 5

Quality :                       1 2 4 5

TOTAL POINTS ______________

Each member of the standards committee fills out a ballot for each applicant. The totals are combined and then divided by four (the four areas of evaluation) to arrive at a score. An applicant must receive a score of 3.5 to be invited to membership. Applicants not asked to become members may resubmit as early as the next scheduled jury if the applicant feels his/her work has improved sufficiently.

 

 

Required Submissions:

Professional Resume

You can use some of these categories, but do not have to use all of them. Design the resume to fit your own professional career.

  • Present Position/Employment
  • Education – college courses if applicable, craft classes you have taken; people under whom you may have studied, etc.
  • Professional Organizations to which you belong
  • Exhibits/Publications
  • Award/Honors
  • Demonstrations/Teaching
  • Experience/Programs/Presentations

Artist Statement

  • When did you begin learning your craft?
  • What or who influenced what you do?
  • How is your craft different from others in the same
    area of specialty?
  • What is your process?
  • Where do you draw inspiration?

Work Samples

Submit three (3) examples of your best work, showing range and variety as much as possible within the chosen medium and category. Of course, the criteria will vary according to medium and category. However, examples of what the committee is looking for include functionality, creativity, unique design, as well as craftsmanship in the form of smooth edges, uniform glazes and stains, seamless joints; finished edges, etc.

Photographs 

Submit five (5) color photographs of work showing the scope of your work in one medium with descriptions. Photos should be of work other than what is submitted with your application.

Photos may be submitted in a digital format (CD or flash drive preferred). Photos should be clear and close enough for the committee to see the details and workmanship. Strive for good lighting, neutral backgrounds, and be sure photos are high resolution (300 dpi preferred.) The photographs presented with the application may not be returned.

Applications, photos and work samples should be shipped or hand delivered to:

Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, Inc.

Waller Craft Center

950 Rice Road

Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157

(601) 856-7546

Office hours are subject to change. Please check social media or call first. Hand-delivered pieces may be picked up by the Monday following the Saturday of the review and must be picked up within two weeks of the review or adequate shipping materials and postage submitted with entry for its return. Notification regarding membership will be made by mail within two weeks of the standard review.

 

 

Interested in becoming  a member of the Guild?

Click here to download our new member application.

 

 

Requirements to Stay Active:

Pay Dues – Individual Membership is $100 and Studio (more than 2 people) is $125. Dues should be paid at the first of the year and will be considered delinquent on February 1. After that, a $25 late fee is charged.

Additionally, members must do one of the following each year:

  • Demonstrate  Members are encouraged to demonstrate their craft at the Bill Waller Craft Center in Ridgeland or at a Guild-sanctioned event. Unless specified otherwise, craftsmen must  complete their demonstration by November 1st of each year.
  • Contribute Become a “friend” with a minimum donation of $100.

After acceptance in the Guild, a member’s work is reviewed every three years. After nine consecutive years of membership, and the successful completion of four standards reviews, a member becomes a FELLOW at their tenth year with no jury requirements thereafter.

Maintaining high standards for craft is important for everyone. Failure to maintain consistent standards may result in probation or expulsion. Members’ work is subject to review at all guild events and in routine checks of the retail galleries.

 

Standards Reviews:

Eligibility for Guild membership is determined by a jury review process that is held twice each year. One is held in March and one in August with applications and work samples due the last Friday in February at 5pm for first review and July 31 at 5 pm for the second.

The Standards Committee is composed of exhibiting members representing various mediums, who have been appointed for three-year terms by the Guild president. The President is a voting member of the committee. The committee meets twice a year to jury prospective members. Exhibiting members are re-evaluated every three years for nine consecutive years before the member becomes a fellow at their tenth year and is no longer required to submit for further reviews.

The Membership Application along with the $30 jury fee, three (3) examples of work created within the past three years, five (5) photographs and all supporting documents must be submitted no later than the application deadline.

Applicants must state medium and category. Many craft items fall into a gray area. Do the best you can to identify the medium and the category. The committee will reclassify if necessary.

Examples of work may be submitted in more than one medium (wood, clay, glass, metal, etc.), but each medium must be accompanied by a separate application, resume, artist’s statement, photos and $30 jury fee.

Each piece of work is handled and scrutinized carefully by every member of the committee. Work made from pre-assembled commercial kits is not acceptable. A very high degree of skill and competence must be evident. Small details are considered. Photographs, resumes and artists’ statements are reviewed. Open discussion is held and experts in the medium are consulted. An artisan’s emerging potential is considered.

 

Members of the Louisiana Crafts Guild:

We offer a reciprocal membership agreement to the members of the Louisiana Crafts Guild to become a member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi.

To download the Louisiana Reciprocal Membership Form, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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