risd craft 2017

This year's juried sale will take place on Saturday, October 7. Read the 2017 Prospectus here.

Applications for 2017 were due on February 20. No late applications will be accepted because of the jury process

Applications for RISD Craft always open in late January of that year, and are open for approximately three weeks. To receive emails about sales, please make sure your contact info is up-to-date by emailing us at alumnisale@risd.edu.


Failure to comply with the following terms and conditions will make you ineligible for future sales:

  • Only RISD alumni from full-time undergraduate or graduate degree programs may apply.
  • All work must be designed by you, made by hand and/or outsourced in an ethical way. If any part of the work is produced for you or bought to incorporate into your work, you must describe this process in your statement.
  • RISD alumni who are accepted for participation must be in attendance at their booth during the entire duration of the show. Assistants are allowed, but no representative may cover the show in place of the artist. You cannot share your booth with an artist that didn’t go through the juried process. Acceptance is non-transferable.
  • All work exhibited must be of the same body, quality and category of work that was juried through digital images.
  • Proper permits and tax payment procedures must be followed in order to participate in future sales.

We aim to showcase unique, sophisticated and original work being created by RISD alumni in all media. Work can be handmade or designed by alumni, as long as they have played an active role in the creation of the work.

Frequently asked questions


Who can participate in RISD Craft?
All RISD alumni from degree programs are welcome to apply.

Current RISD students have a separate application process and are selected by a lottery. Students receive an invite to apply at the beginning of the Fall semester.

When do I apply?
The application windows are generally open for a three-week period, from late January – mid February. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance no later than April 15.

Is there an application fee?
There is a nonrefundable application fee of $15 to cover administrative and jurying costs. All fees must be paid online with a debit or credit card; we do not accept personal checks.

What do I need in order to apply?
A computer, a statement and five web/print-ready jpegs of your current work representative of what you will bring to the show. Your statement and images will be used for the jurying process and for promotion if you are selected to participate. Images must be 300dpi and between 1400 and 4000 pixels on their longest side to be viewed correctly.

If I am accepted, what do I have to pay for a booth?
Regular (8′ wide x 7′ deep from the curb) booths are $225. There are a limited number of XL booths (12′ wide) available at $300, which are assigned by the jury. The booth fee is in addition to the nonrefundable $15 application fee.

Does RISD benefit financially from RISD Craft?
No. RISD has and will continue to subsidize the event. We view RISD Craft as a benefit to alumni and the Providence community and work hard to keep booth costs affordable to artists. Feel free to contact the Director of Alumni Relations, Christina Hartley, for a full budget explanation.

What if I have to drop out? Will you refund my booth fees?
If you withdraw from the sale, you will receive a refund of half your table fee if you request your refund in writing before July 30.  After July 30, we cannot refund booth fees since advance planning and materials are required to promote the show. Application fees are nonrefundable.

Can I ask someone else to man my booth for me?
No, sorry. Alums must be present to check in at the show, and at their booth the majority of the day. Of course, there are allowances for breaks! Sales representatives are never permitted to replace the alumni artist. This event is not a regular trade show or art sale, but a RISD community event-- the show only works with our mission if alumni are there on the street to present their work and interact with the RISD community and the public.

Can I share my booth with another artist?
Every participating artist/business needs to be juried and accepted. If you decide you would like to share your booth with another accepted artist, please contact us.

If I miss the application deadline, is there anything I can do?
Because of the time-sensitive jury process, there isn’t an opportunity to apply late to this show. We offer a long application window to ensure that there is ample time for people to apply. Sign up for notification emails by emailing our office at alumnisale@risd.edu.

Why are students invited to participate along with alumni?
We feel it’s a valuable opportunity for students to get involved in the sales exhibition before they graduate. Student participation in RISD Craft helps hone entrepreneurial skills and grants real-world experience. The student section of the show is unjuried and separated from the alumni section on the street. Students are not eligible for awards.


What are the jurors looking for when they select work for RISD Craft?
Jurors look for the best examples of unique, sophisticated, original work in all media – and are especially interested in exemplary design and exquisite craftsmanship.

How many artists are selected for RISD Craft each year?
There are 82 alumni booths available between Waterman and College streets. The waiting list is comprised of 20 artists that went through the jury process. Those on the waiting list will be offered booths as they become available. We have a student & new graduate section of the sale, between College and Hopkins streets, with 25-30 booths.

Who are the jurors?
The panel is comprised of RISD faculty and alumni, all working artists and designers working in different media. The panel rotates annually.

Why don’t you reveal the names of jurors?
Anonymity ensures impartiality.

Are there any prizes given as part of this exhibition?
The People’s Choice Award is based on votes from visitors to the show. The jurors select an artist to receive the Emerging Artist Award, which is given to an alum who has graduated within the last 10 years. Awards include a cash prize and automatic acceptance to next year’s show.

What are the other benefits of participating?

  • Artists retain 100% of their sales.
  • Artists’ website and contact information is distributed throughout RISD Weekend.
  • Advance promotion through press releases, email blasts, postcard mailing, advertising placement on local and regional press, and on our social media platforms.
  • Exposure to potential customers and RISD Weekend attendees who would never have seen your work in person, which may turn into other opportunities: future sales, wholesale opportunities, commissions, media exposure, networking and more.

Why didn’t I get into RISD Craft?
Our panel of jurors chooses work based on many criteria, listed above. There is a large pool of applicants every year, but we can only accommodate 82 alumni booths. Unfortunately, we cannot provide individual feedback to applicants.

The photos you submit on your application are extremely important in their ability to convey to the jurors the craftsmanship, quality, originality, depth and breadth of your work. Avoid repetitive images, and model shots where a juror might not fully understand what they are being asked to judge.

How can I improve my chances of being accepted into next year’s juried exhibition?
While the show will continue to evolve, the factors that make for an excellent application remain the same. Your application is your opportunity to put your best foot forward and show us what makes you an outstanding RISD alum and artist.


Do I need to charge sales tax for the items I sell?
As of December 1, 2013, the state of Rhode Island has enacted a tax exemption for “Artistic Works.” RISD has applied for this exemption and works that are “unique,” “one-of-a-kind,” or “limited edition & signed by the artist” are exempt from sales tax. Works created for mass production are not exempt.

Since artworks and handmade items are tax exempt in Rhode Island, do I still need a permit to participate in the sale?
YES! Every participant must have an up-to-date permanent permit to make retail sales in Rhode Island, or purchase a temporary permit for the day of the show. The State of Rhode Island requires that RISD keeps a copy of your permit on file. Here’s a link to a more detailed explanation.

Do I need to fill out an end-of-sale reconciliation worksheet at the end of the show?
Yes! EVERYONE, regardless of whether they have a temporary or permanent permit to make retail sales issued by the State of Rhode Island needs to fill out an end-of-sale reconciliation worksheet. RISD is required by law, as the holder of the main permit for the sale, to collect this information from you. If you fail to report information at the end of the sale you will be ineligible for future sales.

Do I need to pay taxes at the end of the show?
If you have a temporary permit and charged tax to the customers-- yes! At the end of the day, if you are selling works that are not tax exempt, you will calculate your sales and write a check to the “RI Tax Administrator” for the 7% tax you owe. If you have a temporary permit, we are, as the main permit holder for the show, required by law to collect any tax due. Failure to do so will make you ineligible for future sales.

If you have a permanent permit with RI, you file taxes quarterly as usual. Check out our Taxes page for more info.


When can I set up my display?
Check in between 8-9am at the corner of Waterman and Benefit streets, where you will be assigned your booth number. Participants must check in 60 minutes prior to the start of the sale, or let the show coordinator know they are running late. You will not be allowed on the street to set up until 8am, and you will not be able to check in until then.

The weather is terrible. Does the show still happen?
Yes, RISD Craft takes place rain or shine! We’ll be reasonable in case of very extreme weather, of course, but generally we tent and light the entire street if it rains.

What can I do to prepare for rain?
We’ll keep your head covered with a large tent but be prepared for a slightly more crowded environment. We advise you to bring extra bags or plastic to wrap your merchandise for customers. The tables are set up in the street so be prepared to stand on wet ground for the day (rain boots or sturdy shoes are advised).

Any tips for when it’s crazy windy on the day of the sale?
Wind catches many artists unprepared on the day of the show. Large racks or shelves have a tendency to blow over and paper goods can take a tumble. Work should be placed in protective glassine or plastic to protect it, and weigh it down with rocks or other weights. The show is outside so it is up to you, the artist, to prepare for the elements.

Do I need to bring my own table and display materials?
No, we provide one table (6 ft x 2.5 ft) and two folding chairs. You are welcome to bring your own display materials but you must follow the display guidelines for each sale. In general, don’t use over your allotted space and don’t block anyone else’s work.

Will there be any electricity available in my booth?
No, sorry. It isn’t possible at our street sale.

Are there credit card readers and access to wifi?
No, sorry. You’re welcome to log into RISD’s guest wi-fi, but service isn’t guaranteed, so please plan ahead with a data plan if you want to accept credit cards. Plan ahead and visit squareup.com or paypal.com/here to learn how to accept credit card payments on your mobile device.

Can I leave before 5pm if I have a scheduling conflict?
Sorry, no. By committing to the show, you are agreeing to bring enough product and remain set up for the duration of the show. Booth displays must remain intact until the show ends. Failure to respect the time frame will result in future ineligibility.

Can I get a refund if I don’t sell anything?
We cannot guarantee sales and do not offer refunds. We do our best to make sure that every artist has a good experience and hope that the exposure and connections made with customers will add value.