I see a lot of questions regarding juried art exhibitions- to enter or not to enter, and what to enter, and which ones to enter… I thought I’d give my two cents on the issue. Personally, I like them and think they can be a great opportunity, as long as you do your homework.
Be choosey. If it’s a show in the middle of nowhere and juried by someone you’ve never heard of, pass it up. Focus your efforts on the shows that matter most to you.
That said, if you are just starting out and need to build up some exhibition experience, it may be worthwhile as long as you are spending little to nothing on entry fees or shipping.
Where is the exhibit being held? Look for a good venue, perhaps a space you’ve been interested in showing or maybe it’s a particular city of interest.
Who is the juror? Is it someone you’ve been wanting to meet or you admire their work?
What are the fees? Some juried shows have outrageous fees or some have high fees and require a high commission on top of that. Look for those that strike a balance between fees and commission rates, if there is one.
Is the work insured? If the venue does not automatically insure the work, you probably shouldn’t enter. Good venues have insurance. It’s just good business.
Shipping? This will kill it for some people, but if you want to show your work, you’re going to have to pay shipping. Find the safest, most economical way to ship your work. This will take some research and will be different for everyone depending on how you pack it and what you pack, your location, and the shipping carrier, but once you determine this, you can use that info for all other aspects of your art business.
Stay away from vanity galleries. I can’t stress this one enough. Some vanity galleries hold “competitions” and will look for a way to sucker you in to paying them thousands of dollars for your own solo exhibition. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Focus on galleries and venues with solid reputations- yes, this means it will be harder to get in and the competition will be fierce, but they are legit.
Presentation is everything. Make sure you follow all directions, dot your i’s and cross your t’s. Submit your best work, make sure that if there is more than one entry, all works are consistent in style, technique, and content. Remember, the juror is seeing this out of context- they don’t know the background behind the art. What you are submitting needs to make sense to someone just getting a small peek inside your world.
Follow up. If you get into a show or better yet, win an award, be sure to send out press releases to the local media. There certainly isn’t enough art in the news, so take the opportunity to get your work featured.
As you may recall, I posted earlier that I would be the juror for the Eye of the Beholder XXVI competition at the Lafayette Art Association. I made my selections for the awards (note: you’ll have to wait until the reception to know the results- my lips are sealed) and upon writing my juror’s statement, I thought it might be helpful to those that enter or even attend such events to know what it is like from the other side. First, I am an artist- I am usually the one submitting my work for judgement, be it a juried exhibition, an exhibition proposal to a gallery, or a portfolio review. I’ve always had some semblance of what it must be like for a juror to sort through hundreds of entries, having to make tough calls, and break hearts. Given the fact that I am an artist and know firsthand what it is like to be on the receiving end, I know how significant my choices are to the artists involved. In some ways I think it may be harder for artists to serve as jurors simply because we know what it is like to subject ourselves to these critiques. Some of the artists were complete beginners up against established artists. Nevertheless, I remained as objective as possible and looked at each piece as an individual. It was not easy given there were many strong works. There were even significant works that did not receive an award.
After I made my selections, I felt good about the variety of work, in which my eclectic taste came in handy for once. I would have loved to give everyone an award for their efforts and to acknowledge the merits of their work but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to diminish the awards for those pieces I felt were particularly strong. It is a tough call, and I can say from experience that there are many factors involved in judging a show, some of which are completely out of the artist’s hands and are nothing against the work itself. Sometimes the only difference between an award-winner and a non-award winning piece is an emotional response. That doesn’t mean the work isn’t any good- it’s my response, therefore it will be different from person to person.
In the end, I hope that the artists know that they have all contributed to make a great exhibit. I also hope that they continue to challenge themselves as well as aim for more exhibits and competitions. And the take-away here is just because a piece isn’t selected doesn’t mean it should be taken out of rotation. If it’s a work that you are fond of, keep submitting it for other opportunities.
If you would like to see the results and show your support for the artists, please attend the awards reception on August 19th from 4:30-6pm at the Lafayette Art Association on 1008 E. St. Mary Blvd.
For a change of pace, I will serve as the juror for the upcoming LAA “Eye of the Beholder” exhibition in Lafayette, LA. I was honored to be asked and more than happy to be this year’s juror. I’m excited to see the work that is submitted, especially as I am sure to see work by new artists and those that are just new to me, in addition to new work by artists that are fixtures in the art community here. The competition is regional and open to anyone in from Texas to Florida. Submission dates are May 16- 25, which is right around the corner, so get your entries in soon. Also, it is an open themed show, so don’t get too caught up in the exhibit title. More information can be found on the Lafayette Art Association website at this link: http://lafayetteart.org/wp/2012/05/eye-of-the-beholder-xxvi-submit-may-16-25/
I have some exciting news to share! My work was selected as a runner-up in the Creative Quarterly magazine’s CQ19 competition. This is the first time I’ve ever entered, so this was a nice surprise. Here’s their bio: “Creative Quarterly publishes the best work being done internationally in graphic design, illustration, photography and fine art. Published four times a year, we’re the only competition accepting entries from all parts of the globe.”
So as a runner-up my work will be featured on their website- www.cqjournal.com in June to coincide with the 19th issue on newsstands at that time. By the way, they picked my painting “Untitled (Heads)” as seen on the left. (Good thing, since that was the only piece I chose to enter!) You can see a larger photo on my website www.AmyGuidry.com.
Here’s a list of all of the winners:
Fine Art: Professional
William Grigsby*, Reactor Art & Design Ltd.
Fine Art: Student
Sean Larson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Graphic Design: Professional
Matteo Bologna*, Mucca Deslgn Corp.
Adrienne Hooker, Studio Wan-ker
Therese Joanis, Leibold Associates, Inc.
Christine Strohl, The Strohls
Marius Valdes, Zoo Valdes
Rozina Vavetsi, Rozina Vavetsi
Karin Von Ompteda, A Work of Science
Graphic Design: Student
Jeffrey Carpenter, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Johnny Chang, Art Center College of Design
Jiyun Ha, Art Center College of Design
Wayne Tang, Art Center College of Design
Jou Ying Liu
Catherine Choi, California College of the Arts
Sam Wolfe Connelly, Savannah College of Art & Design
Barbara Graetzer, Fashion Institute of Technology
Tory Novikova, Pratt
Shigeko Okada, School of Visual Arts
Alexa Thoen, Minneapolis College of Art & Design
Michael Alberstat, Alberstat Productions Inc.
Harold Lee Miller
Richard Tuschman, Richard Tuschman Images
Runners-up will be displayed on the online Gallery June 2010.
Fine Art: Professional: Runner Up
Lucas Richards*, MouseSaw
Fine Art: Student: Runner Up
Antony Anderson, Minnesota State University Moorhead
Sean Larson, University of Wisconsin-Stout
Cole Swavely, Massachusetts College of Art
Ina Yun, Cranbrook Academy of Art
Graphic Design: Professional: Runner Up
Phil Choo, Choo Renyer Ball Loftis
Yongseuk Lee, Adhesive Art & Design
Jamie Burwell Mixon, Mixon Freelance
Kurt Munger, Interbrand
David Ter-Avanesyan, Ter33 Design
Graphic Design: Student: Runner Up
Sara Alway, Temple University/Tyler School of Art
Sean Barnes, Texas State University, San Marcos
Emanuel Cohen, Université du Québec à Montréal
Jiyun Ha, Art Center College of Design
Katie Hatz*, Temple University/Tyler School of Art
Elizabeth A Herrmann, Maryland Institute College of Art
Jee Won Kim, Art Center College of Design
Amanda Mocci, Université du Québec à Montréal
Francesca Staffieri, Montgomery County Community College
Cynthia Wiley, Iowa State University
Illustration: Professional: Runner Up
Matthew Daley, Three in A Box, Inc.
Marcelo Garcia, Aparelho Produtor de Imagens
Illustration: Student: Runner Up
Christian Castro, Fashion Institute of Technology
Marian Dilan, California College of the Arts
David Gonzalez, Fashion Institute of Technology
YooJin Guak, Ontario College of Art & Design
Nicole Jarecz, College for Creative Studies
Deena Pagliarello, Sheridan Institute
Photography: Professional: Runner Up
Harold Lee Miller*
Richard Tuschman, Richard Tuschman Images
Merrell Virgen, VSPOT Photography
Photography: Student: Runner Up
David Corso, Indiana University
Stephen Crimarco, University of Central Florida
Dan Elstone, Langara
Nicole Gavrilles, Ringling College of Art & Design
Jessica Holcomb, Cal Poly Pomona
Ashley Matthews, Louisiana Tech University
Awhile back I wrote about a potential scam, which then got me into some hot water. I do feel, however, that it is important to discuss this issue since scams seem to run rampant among the art community. (Do emails from Nigeria ring a bell?) To be clear, I am not talking about art competitions that don’t lead to overnight success. I’m talking about competitions that are dead-ends with someone looking to run off with your money. These are the real scams. Often these are run by people with shady financial backgrounds (bankrupt, etc.), but this is not always easy to find on the internet. So here are some common traits I’ve come across:
First, the organization that’s running the competition is probably one you’ve never heard of before. If you do a search for their name on the internet, you may come up with nothing. If other artists have had success with said competition, they post it on the internet via blogs, press articles, resumes, etc. There will be a trail.
If the organization contacts you directly via email, and again, you’ve never heard of them, then where did they get your contact information? This is not to say that every email you get from a stranger is a scam, but usually the email should at least be directly written to you. If it is a mass emailing, then clearly they are just shooting arrows in hopes of hitting a target.
Who are the jurors? Often scams do not give names of jurors. They can certainly make up jurors as well, so that is why I highly recommend you do your research.
One of the more flagrant traits of an art competition scam is the deadline extension. I’ve seen many legit competitions extend a deadline (for example, the original deadline falls on a holiday) but usually the reason for the extension is stated in such a case. And, not to mention, this is usually done by a competition that is well-recognized in the first place. The ones to worry about are the ones that nobody’s ever heard of and they extend their deadline…again…and again…and again. Keep tabs on their websites and you’ll find this to be true.
Lastly, if the prize money is outlandishly big, but their company looks cheap, then it’s probably a scam. Successful arts organizations that have money to dole out, also have money to hire a great marketing team. Their websites will be top-notch, their logo is well-designed, and there are no grammatical errors on their marketing materials. One of the best examples I discovered was a website with overlapping text and photos. You have 10 grand to give me but you don’t have the money to hire a decent web designer? Oh, and their photos should be of actual events and of their actual gallery, etc. If all they have is stock photography (or NO photography), then something is fishy.
Well, it seems to me that many artists out there are questioning the upcoming deadline for entries to Studio Visit Magazine. I’ve had quite a few hits to my blog searching for Studio Visit or Studio Visit scam. So, here’s something that I can discuss without getting into trouble for a change. Yes, you should enter! Studio Visit is the sister publication to New American Paintings. Both of which are published by The Open Studios Press. I’m sure many of you are unsure of Studio Visit because you’ve never heard of it. True, it’s new and fairly unknown, but I’ve noticed a remarkable increase in popularity over the past few years, so they are building a following. Studio Visit just started a matter of years ago- 3 or 4, if memory serves. They are lacking the legions of fans of New American Paintings, but that’s not to say they won’t build their own impressive fan base. Good things come to those who wait… or those who with good PR efforts. Regardless, the magazine is a good-looking publication. I’ve been in it before, so I can vouch for their slick presentation. The jurors aren’t too shabby, either. As with New American Paintings (or NAP, for short), they’ve managed to get prestigious museum directors and curators to jury their exhibitions-in-print.
I won’t say that getting into Studio Visit will be the overnight success you are looking for… then again, I wouldn’t say that about anything. However, it will get your work in front of galleries. The magazine is shipped out to galleries and museums all over the place, as is NAP. I can say that I’ve had a gallery contact me as a result and it helped grease the wheels to get me representation with another gallery. It jogs people’s memories and gets them thinking about your work. And when your work is in front of a gallery over and over again, your name starts to stick. So I leave you with this: if you’d like to have your work noticed by important people, in a high-quality publication, then the upcoming deadline is February 5th.
Here are just a few photos from the 2009 Art Melt at the Brunner Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. These are actually from the Preview Gala which was held July 9th for the artists and arts patrons. The jurors were in attendance as well, as you can see Dan Cameron speaking in one of the photos. Jurors were Dan Cameron, director of the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans and curator of Prospect 1. Arts Biennial; Ann Connelly, director and owner of Ann Connelly Fine Art in Baton Rouge, LA; and Brian Young, curator of the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD.
True to form, I have created yet another bad title for my writing… Anyway, for those of you interested in my recent news about my acceptance into this year’s Art Melt, here is a complete list of the selected artists. All work will be on display for the Preview Party at the Brunner Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts in downtown Baton Rouge, LA on July 9th. The (free) opening reception will be held July 10th from 6:30-10pm! And the artists are:
Susie Blyskal, Michael Aldana, Marianne Antoine, Erin Barker, Patricia “Muffin” Bernstein, Mary Beyt, Craig Black, Brad Michael Bourgoyne, Ralph Bourque (yes, the same guy in my links on the right!), Brandi Braud, Benjamin Bullins, John Michael Byrd, Mallory P Chastant, Wang-Ling Chou, Michelle Conques, Cynthia Courage, Yvette Creel, Jessica Danby, Robin Daning, Shanna D’Antonio, Chris Dennis, William DePauw, Ashton Despot, Dara Engler, Ernie Fournet, Kit French, Mark Galasso, Denise Gallagher, Donna Gamble, Denise Greenwood-Loveless, Kerry Griechen, Amy Guidry (I hear she’s good…hahaha), Gerald Haessig, Diane Hanson, Alex Harvie, Jessica Hebert, Stacy Hennessy, Susan Talbot Hoffmann, Meg Holford, Robert Holford, Christopher Holt, David Humphreys, Kathryn Hunter, Aaron Hussey, Warren Irwin, Heather Kelley, Maggie Kleinpeter, Katie Knoeringer, Andy Lemoine, Lory Lockwood, Rebecca Luke-Lirette, Jill Moore, Keith Morris, Lee Ann Moser, Liz Noble, Jared Normand, Bruce Odell, Tiffany Olson, Isoko Onodera, Jonathan Pellitteri, Mary Perrin, Nancy Poirrier, Andrew Pollack, Rebecca Rebouche, Kathy Reeves, Colin Ross, Rich Roth, Nancy Smitherman, Shannon Songe, Tom Stigall, Lacey Stinson, Katie Swetman, Dan Swetman, Jill Thomas, Philip Thompson, Sidonie Villere, Kenneth Wilks, Caroline Youngblood, Alan Zakem
I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to further my art career. Unfortunately, there are some losers out there who are looking to take advantage of that. I did a little research online concerning an opportunity I came across that sounded too good to be true. Apparently that’s because it is. ArtistGrants.org is promoting their Biennial Competition with a $10K first place award- yes, 10,000 dollars. Aside from the fantastic prize money, I had to wonder about this since I’d never even heard of them before. I’ve heard of many artist grants organizations, but never this one. So I kept an eye on their site… interestingly enough, I discovered that their entry fee kept changing (increasing, of course) over the past couple of months. And the deadline has been extended three times so far (at least since I’ve discovered this “competition”). And who the hell are the jurors?
Well, further investigation has dug up some more interesting tidbits… According to Art Opportunities Monthly, ArtistGrants.org tried to get their Biennial listed in their classifieds. Turns out AOM discovered their domain had been registered for a matter of days before they were listing their competition. AOM also states that the address provided to them for the listing “was a private home which had been bought for well over the asking price just a short time ago (arousing a newspaper’s suspicions that a kickback and finagling with mortgage money was involved). And now, the house just appeared on the market as a HUD foreclosure, meaning that the extra money the buyers had borrowed will not be paid back.”
In addition, AOM also asked about their organization, judging, funding, etc. and never received a response. I found the same to be true for others’ attempts to contact ArtistGrants.org. So, after finding out all of this, I am steering clear of this “opportunity” and passing on this information to everyone in the blogosphere! Just goes to show that unless you are already familiar with an organization, you should always look into them before entering or sending them money. Many artist listings sites have a disclaimer that they are not responsible if it turns out a listing is a scam and that they do not do background checks, so to speak. So be sure to do your homework!