The inaugural exhibit There is No "Away" will be held during Earth Day TX 2017 at Dallas Fair Park April 21, 22, and 23. 

Entry to the exhibit is free and open to the public during the weekend's event. We will post our position within the park once it is determined by the event planners.

Call for Entries- No application fee


Submission Deadline: Monday March 27, 2017
Artists Notified: Wednesday April 5, 2017
Artwork must be received by: April 14, 2017
Artwork will be returned the week of May 15, 2017


Thoughtful Hands is a non-profit organization formed to promote artists and independent designers who use eco-friendly materials and processes. Exhibitions will be held in a renovated 1964 Airstream Overlander allowing exhibitions to be mobile and reach a wider range of audiences.

Thoughtful Hands’ inaugural exhibition will be held at Earth Day TX in Dallas’s Fair Park. The event is free and open to the public.  In 2016, the event had over 130,000 attendees and we believe the crowd will be even larger this year.

There is No “Away" is a phrase taken from biologist Barry Commoner's Four Laws of Ecology. Nature doesn't waste; biodegradable materials can break down and be used as nutrients within nature's continuous cycle. However, when people produce material that won't biodegrade and then throw it away... it has to go somewhere.

There is no required conceptual theme for the exhibit. However, due to the organization’s mission of environmental education, the artists’ materials and processes used must be in agreement. 


  • Open to all fine art and fine craft media
  • Work may not require electricity or batteries.
  • Up to 3 works may be submitted per applicant
  • Artworks must incorporate:
    • at least 75% up-cycled materials normally destined for the landfill OR
    • use natural, biodegradable materials OR
    • be created for disassembly with all components capable of being recycled
  • One written paragraph, no longer than 150 words, explaining the works’ materials and processes and how they are sustainable
  • One written paragraph, no longer than 150 words, explaining the impact of the artist’s materials and processes on the environment (all making leaves some sort of footprint so be honest)
  • Artworks MUST be no larger than 12” x 12” x 12” No exceptions as the trailer is a small space
  • Please indicate in application the price of the artwork.  Thoughtful Hands receives 30% from all sales.
  • All work must be ready to hang and require NO special installation needs
  • Artwork must be appropriate for the general public including young audiences
  • Work will NOT be shown in a climate controlled setting. If it would do well in an outdoor art fair booth, it should be fine in the trailer.
  • Selected work will require artist-paid shipping to and from Thoughtful Hands
  • If selected, the artist must sign a damage liability waiver.

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Comment by Harriete E Berman on March 8, 2017 at 2:09pm

Sending work to an exhibition without comprehensive insurance is endorsing poor, substandard practices. This amounts to an opportunity for your artwork to be damaged or mishandled.

Comment by Liz Steiner on March 8, 2017 at 12:04pm

No worries! Thanks for the clarification!

Comment by Deanna Ooley on March 8, 2017 at 11:43am

Yes, 3D is accepted. We will be building tables and pedestals for the interior once entry selection is concluded. 2D needs to be ready to hand. My apologies for the confusion. 

Comment by Liz Steiner on March 8, 2017 at 11:22am

Deanna- Are you involved with this organization? I have a few questions regarding "ready to hang". I know it says open to all media, but then it also says all work must be ready to hang. Does this mean they're looking for 2D work only? Are they accepting 3D works that sit on a pedestal rather than the wall?

Comment by 2Roses on March 8, 2017 at 9:36am

We have to agree with Harriete on this point of insurance. While we strongly support the good intentions of the show's purpose, artists have a right to expect fair and reasonable practices from their business partners.  Asking artists to pay a commission for the privilege of assuming the risk of theft, damage or loss of inventory is neither fair or reasonable. While the show's organizers justify their position by stating they are novices and volunteers, this simply indicates an even greater risk on the part of artists who entrust work in this circumstance.  

Make no mistake, we are supportive of the intention and purpose of the exhibition and the people organizing it. With love, and respect, we are pointing out that there are professional standards for these types of events. We would whole-heartedly participate in a such an event that lived up to minimum professional standards.  

Comment by Harriete E Berman on March 7, 2017 at 6:18pm

This discussion about insurance is not a new topic. I have been raising the visibility for this minimum standard for over 16 years. Crafthaus itself is an online social network for artists and makers that establishes a minimum standard by requiring all photos to be submitted for review.   

Topics of discussion in posts on Crafthaus are intended to inform the paying members about issues relevant to the arts and crafts community. Insurance during exhibitions is a minimum professional standard and relevant topic.

The people organizing the show may have the best intentions, but this issue of no insurance is more than an erosion of standards. They are transferring onto the makers all of the risks and responsibilities of unpacking work, set up and exhibiting work, take down and repacking work, and shipping.  Although they will "do their best" -- without insurance, they are abdicating any and all liability and responsibility.  Something will happen.  Then the maker bears all the risk, yet has no control -- except to decline to participate.   

Readers of these comments are welcome to add their opinion. In the meantime, I will list a few posts from ASK Harriete about insurance for exhibitions.

No Insurance at an Exhibition....What Shall I Do?

Should Artists Be Expected to Pay the Gallery's Deductible?

"Uncommon Couture" - How Do I Decide About Participation in an Exhi...

Insurance Value, Wholesale Price, Retail Price For EXHIBITION CONTR...

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price for $HIPPING

In$urance Value, Whole$ale Price, Retail Price - Under$tand the Money


Comment by Harriete E Berman on March 7, 2017 at 6:00pm

Thanks for the additional information, but a minimum standard for exhibitions should include insurance during the entire time it is in your possession.  I understand that money is tight, and this is a start-up organization run by volunteers, but that is all the more reason why insurance is important. Volunteers may not be familiar or experienced with handling artwork. The exhibition space is not standard. This actually increases the exposure to theft and accidents.

I am unwilling to accept that "exposure to a very large audience" is a justification for the lack of comprehensive insurance. "Exposure" to a wide audience is overused and abused term in all manner of situations including fundraising auctions, etc.that do not benefit the artist in a professional capacity.  An artist doesn't need to send their work to an exhibition for "exposure" as there is no wider exposure than the internet.  

It would be better to increase the sales cut and your revenue model to provide insurance rather than endorse a less than professional standard and protection for the artist's work.

I assume that the Earth Day event has the best intentions.  With that in mind, insurance is establishing and endorsing a professional standard for all the participating artists and artwork.
Nothing less is acceptable.



Comment by Deanna Ooley on March 7, 2017 at 4:23pm

The venue, Earth Day TX, will have insurance during the event while on view however transport from the shipping drop off space to the location it will not, thus the waiver.  This is a start up organization run by volunteers and donations.

The opportunity is exposure to a very large audience, free application, and a sales cut that is less than a for profit gallery and many other non-profits. 

Comment by Harriete E Berman on March 7, 2017 at 12:59pm

Note that this exhibition does NOT include insurance which I consider an absolute minimum for a professional exhibition. Without insurance there is no protection for the artwork. No recourse for the artist/maker if their work is damaged. 

I question why this is even considered an "opportunity" when it doesn't meet a minimum standard for exhibitions.


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