The MCA retail gallery jury process is open to all craftspeople including MCA members and non-members who live and work at least seasonally in Maine. All qualifying work must be made by hand, well conceived, and expertly executed in Maine with the use of appropriate equipment and tools.
How to apply: To be considered for representation in the MCA retail galleries, please review the jury information below and complete the Self Assessment Tool. After this review, please contact MCA retail gallery managers, Whitney Gill and Maria Wolff, with information about your business, links to your website and social media, and/or images of your work. (see contact info for each gallery below).
All juries are now conducted on a rolling basis as of January 2021. Please note that gallery management must be dedicated to the operation of retail spaces and cannot conduct juries in the months of June, July, August, or December.
Questions? Please contact us anytime if you need assistance preparing for the jury or completing your application!
Center for Maine Craft
P.O. Box 342 Gardiner, ME 04345
288 Lewiston Rd.
West Gardiner, ME 04345
Manager: Whitney Gill
MCA retail galleries represent a broad spectrum of media, technique, and creative design. Work in the following categories of contemporary fine craft may be submitted:
Baskets, Ceramics, Fiber, Furniture, Glass, Jewelry, Leather, Metal, Mixed Media, Paper, Stone, and Wood
To be juried for retail gallery representation, please contact MCA retail gallery managers Whitney Gill and Maria Wolff with information about your business, links to your website/social media, and/or images of your work. If the managers feel the work qualifies for the jury and is a good fit for the MCA retail galleries, they will send a jury application form via email to complete online. After this form is completed, managers will set up an in-person jury interview with the applicant.
In order to conduct remote juries (a COVID 19 adaptation of our jury process), The MCA jurors and applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Option 1: At least two members of MCA management are in attendance (one may attend via zoom), with one manager present to meet the artist and review the work in person.
- Option 2: Two members of MCA management meet with the applicant via Zoom and samples are mailed or delivered to one (or both) of the retail galleries to be reviewed by management. Applicants are responsible for shipping to and from the retail galleries, samples must be retrieved by the applicant within 30 days of submission.
- At least one juror must be a staff member affiliated with retail gallery ordering and sales
- Applicant must fill out the provided jury form
- Applicant must pay the jury fee
- Non-Members $15
- MCA Basic Members $10
- Individuals within MCA Institutional memberships $10
MCA currently conducts juries in the following locations:
- Maine Craft Portland and the Center for Maine Craft
- New England Made Spring Show (Portland)
- Portland Fine Craft Show
- MCA Guild Shows
- MCA Haystack Weekend
If an applicant’s work does not qualify, managers may provide feedback on further development prior to participating in the jury. Possible scenarios may include the managers’ recommendation to refine craft techniques, more market research may need to be conducted for a particular product, pricing structure may need development, or the work may not be a good fit overall for historic sales trends in the retail galleries.
Completing the Self Assessment Tool is the best way to know if you are likely to qualify prior to applying!
Known as the Complementary Jury, the following products are reviewed on a rolling basis at the Center for Maine Craft + Maine Craft Portland:
Books, Calendars, Candles, Prints, Photography, Cards, Personal Care, Food Products, and Pet Products.
To have your product considered please submit samples, Complementary Jury Form and $15 jury fee to the Center for Maine Craft or Maine Craft Portland. If/when your product is accepted and ordered you will be required to maintain an MCA membership annually. You may mail your submissions to either gallery for consideration:
Center for Maine Craft
Mailings: PO Box 342, Gardiner ME 04345
Driving Directions: 288 Lewiston Rd, West Gardiner, ME 04345
Deliveries (FedEx + UPS only): 24 Service Plaza Drive, West Gardiner ME 04345
Center Manager: Whitney Gill | firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine Craft Portland
521 Congress St. Portland, ME 04101
Maine Craft Portland Manager: Maria Wolff | email@example.com
About the Jury:
Jurors will consist of two of the following: Center for Maine Craft Manager, Maine Craft Portland Manager, an MCA board and/or staff member, a professional consultant, or an MCA artist-member. Jurors will review work and approve it for possible future orders according to gallery needs for seasonal sales, price levels, and media/type of work. Work representing a different medium presented by the same artist needs to go through its own jury process. For example, if an artist has ceramic work approved for sale but wants to also sell new glass work, the artist would need to re-jury for glass.
A 70% difference in inventory must be maintained between the MCA Retail Galleries, meaning you will likely only be represented in one store if you are accepted. Your jury submission will be considered first for the gallery in which you prefer to be represented, however, the MCA Retail Gallery Managers may rotate or transfer work from a retail gallery at their discretion; this decision is based on sales income and space limitations within each store.
The full details of the MCA’s ordering and rotation policies can be found in the MCA Consignment Agreement.
Craft submissions will be evaluated based on:
- Execution of design
- Technique and craftsmanship
- Price point
- Creative use of materials
- Aesthetic qualities
Management (jurors) will schedule a 15 minute time slot for the interview portion of the jury appointment. Jurors will be available to ask and answer any questions and discuss aspects of the submitted work.
Applicants will receive a jury response with one of two answers via email from retail gallery management within 30 days of their jury date:
Approved (POOL): All approved applicants will be added to the MCA retail gallery managers ordering pool, their database of approved work from which to select new vendors .
MCA gallery managers will be ordering new products regularly from the approved Pool, however, orders are not guaranteed within any set time frame. Ordering factors depend upon customer demand, season, similarity to current products at the galleries, price points, vendor rotation, and other factors related to retail commerce. It is recommended that applicants stay in communication with MCA staff if work changes or a new product is being produced.
Not Approved (NO): The work is not considered to be an appropriate fit for MCA retail gallery inventory.
MCA Retail Gallery Applicant/Vendor Obligations:
- Applicants must be current seasonal (6 month minimum) or year-round residents of Maine.
- Applicants must be professional, capable of producing work of consistent quality, and responsible for fulfilling orders obtained from Center for Maine Craft and/or Maine Craft Portland.
- All work represented in the MCA retail galleries must be original and created by the artist or under the artist’s direct supervision. Applicants must submit only their own work, not that made by others. All work must be original and handmade in Maine or with the use of appropriate equipment and tools. Seconds, irregulars, and damaged goods are not acceptable.
- After receiving an order, all MCA retail gallery vendors will be required to maintain an MCA membership. MCA membership must be renewed annually by January 15th. Required levels are Professional ($100) or Retail ($25), depending on the products being sold.
Applicants must agree to abide by the general terms and conditions of the Maine Crafts Association as stated in the Retail Gallery Jury Process Information and MCA Consignment Agreement.
The Maine Crafts Association believes strongly in the benefits offered to its members. In addition to offering a sales venue through our retail galleries, MCA also offers educational, marketing, networking, and support services to craft artists. We strongly urge all MCA members to take advantage of these important benefits.
For more information about membership levels and benefits, please visit our member page.