Artist Alley

Artists Alley is a place for our attendees to peruse a daily rotating list of individual artists for pre-made and commissioned works. Sketchbook commissions, prints, or other types of creative and unique artwork are all available from these talented folks!

Please see below for information on the operation of the Artists Alley. Questions? Please email us at artistsalley@furfest.org

Hours of Operation

Friday, December 6th

10AM - Noon: Artist Sign-Ups Open
Noon: Lottery Drawn and Posted
12:30PM - 1PM: Artist Set-Up
1PM - 7PM: Open to the Public
7PM: Lottery for Saturday Drawn and Posted

Saturday, December 7th

9:30 - 10AM: Artist Setup
10AM - 6PM: Open to the Public

Sunday, December 8th

9:30 - 10AM: Artist Setup
10AM - 4PM: Open to the Public

Artists may enter the lottery any time after 9AM on Friday during normal operating hours.

Artist Alley Rules

The Space

Artists must sign in before occupying a table and sign out when vacating their space. Artist assigned numbers must always be visible on their table. Artists that do not return their number to the staff desk WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE LOTTERY.

Artists must have the capability to and be actively engaged in producing original artwork while occupying their table. Artists who are only displaying who items for sale who have no capability to produce art are not eligible for space in the Alley. 

Artists are each allotted three feet of space at their table. All of their belongings must be kept on or under this space.

Within the allotted table space, Artists will be allowed a 14”x14”x14” display on which they may place merchandise or example work. They may also place display books or original art on paper freely within their three feet of space. Artists with larger displays will be asked to downsize or remove them.

Artists may have an overhang over the front of their table with their name or displaying some of their original artwork,  so long as it does not interfere with the display of numbers or exceed their allotted space.

All belongings and trash must be removed by the artist when they leave their space. Failure to do so will result first in a warning, then removal of Alley privileges. The convention accepts no responsibility for items left unattended.

Midwest FurFest is unable to provide power in Artists Alley. Now that we are located in the convention center, the penalties for plugging a device into an outlet are severe and artists will be liable if they choose to violate the no-power policy. Portable batteries are encouraged. There will be a laminator at the staff table that is free for use, but artists must provide their own lamination sheets. Please note staff will not laminate for you, and is not responsible for any damage that may be incurred to artwork.

Items that generate an unacceptable noise level are prohibited. The Alley is a loud enough room without someone's personal item adding to it. This includes excessive volume of one's voice, personal stereos, computers, hand-held game units, ect. Displays that use distracting or flashing lights may not be used. Headphones are strong encouraged for artists who want to listen to music. Repeated complaints will result in loss of Alley privileges. Be aware this is subject to the Artists Alley staff. Just because you think it is acceptable doesn't mean we agree.

Space behind tables is very limited and in many cases shared with the artist sitting behind you. Visitors and non-seated artists are not permitted unless it is to view or commission work. Unnecessary clutter is not permitted and aisles must be kept clear for people to walk.

Tip Jars or printed solicitations are prohibited. We prefer all charitable donations be made to the convention's selected charity. If a tip jar is set out, the artist will first be asked to removed it, then removed from the Alley themselves if they persist.

Ratings & Minors 

The convention center Artists Alley space is one large room. Now that that is the case we must all be aware that there will now be minors able to go through all artist's work. Minor badges are clearly displayed and it is an artist's responsibility to ensure they are aware of who they are dealing with. Artists who sell, commission or display any adult artwork to a minor will be removed from the Alley for the rest of the convention. This is a zero tolerance policy.

Artists will keep their adult artwork covered/censored at all times and kept in clearly marked binders. Binders will be closed when they are not being browsed. The exception to this policy is when adult work is actively being created. The responsibility in on the artist to keep that work discreet to prevent purposeful viewing by a minor. 

Underage artists must either be accompanied by an parent/guardian at all times, or have their parent/guardian discuss permissions with the Artists Alley Director.

Crafted items of an adult nature may not be displayed in the Alley space.

Be aware that the Artists Alley staff have the final say on what is or is not appropriate to display. We retain the right to require an artist to remove a specific piece from display at any time for any reason.

Leaving the Space

Artists must remain at their space at all times during open hours if they with to retain it. We allow a fifteen minute break period for artists to utilize the facilities, quickly grab food, meet with commissioners or friends, or generally any brief break an artist may need to take. If an artist wants to leave for an extended period of time we request that they sign out of their table and place themselves back into the lottery. Not that artists with a disability requiring extra time will be given it.

Sales & Merchandise

Only artwork created by or featuring the seated artist may be sold. The Artists Alley is not a free alternative to the Dealers Den or Art Show. For that reason we cannot accept any agents people reselling another artist's work. If there are any doubts that work is appropriate please contact the Artists Alley staff prior to the convention.

Artwork must be appropriate for a furry convention space and no more than half of displayed work may be non-fandom related.

Sales are only allowed in the Artists Alley. Artists may not make sales in any other convention spaces. This is a violation of both the Artists Alley policy as well as Midwest FurFest's Code of Conduct and may result in not only losing Artist's Alley privileges but also convention privileges, up to and including expulsion from the convention.

As the Alley is not a paid-for space, Midwest FurFest has chosen to limit the type and amount of merchandise that can be sold in the Alley space. These rules are revisited and may change on a year-to-year basis.

For 2019, acceptable items for sale include the following: Original Artwork produced before or during the convention (including sketchbook commissions), prints of original artwork, books of original artwork or writing and small crafted items to include buttons, stickers, handmade plushes, figurines, swag, magnets, and other small wearable items. Clothing and DVDs and CDs may be sold but are limited to two displayed designs. The Artists Alley staff reserves the right to interpret what is appropriate and what is not.

Important note: Original Artwork refers to art created by the seated artist. This can include collaborative work but may not be another artist's exclusive work. We understand that some work may be produced by others, and that may be displayed if it features the seated artist's work. 

Art that is not acceptable for sale in the Artists Alley include: Fursuit and costuming parts to include heads, tails, paws, armor, and masks, consumables of any kind (no food or drink), copyrighted/trademarked items of any kind including commercially produced plushes, clothing, buttons, toys, etc. This also includes items that are too large for the allotted display area.

If an artist has questions about the suitability of their merchandise, please contact the Artists Alley staff, preferably before the convention.

Taxes

Per Illinois law, any vendor selling items at Midwest FurFest is required to collect sales tax. The collection and remittance of taxes to the Illinois Department of Revenue is the responsibility of the individual artist. Information on filing can be found at the Illinois Department of Revenue's website (https://www.revenue.state.il.us/). Midwest FurFest is required to provide the names of all vendors to the Illinois Department of Revenue, and we are not able to offer assistance with tax questions. Required paperwork is available through the Department of Revenue's website. Please note: The city of Rosemont's sales tax is 10.25%.

Artists Alley staff will not answer any questions regarding taxes, except to direct artists to the information above.

Food & Drink

Only closed, sealed containers are allowed on tables. Beverages in cups or cans are not allowed. All drinks must be sealed when not being consumed to prevent accidental spills. No artist wants their work ruined by an accident.

Candy and other finger foods may be offered by artists, provided they are in wrappers of some kind. Open water cups or containers are permitted for the production of art.

Communication 

Artists Alley staff will post any announcements and/or policy changes at the administrative table during the convention, as well as be available for feedback and comments.

Please be aware that we will require at least one method of contacting our artists for the purposes of standby seating.

Alley staff and Midwest FurFest cannot be held responsible for communications between artists and customers for any reason. Contact information provided by the artists to the Alley staff is confidential and will not be shared with attendees without the expressed permission of the artist. However, artists are expected to provide customers with an appropriate method of contacting them, whether it be business cards, website links, and so on. Artists who show a pattern of misconduct related to business conducted with customers in the Midwest FurFest Artists Alley will no longer be welcome in the Alley. 

Questions before the convention can be addressed to the Artists Alley Director, Kelshin or the Art Track Lead, NallTWD, via email: artistsalley@furfest.org.

Final Word

The Artists Alley Staff has the final say on anything not immediately covered by the rules in any section of this document and are responsible for resolve any disputes regarding it.