The last day in May came and went before I could complete this edition. As usual this time of year my entire mind and body is focused on June 12th, the last day for entries to the Cork Street Open Exhibition, but this time personal events pushed things over the top and I wasn't able to meet the deadline so you will receive two issues of OPEN EXHIBITION in June.
In this month's E-Zine I would like to introduce you to Rachel Gibson - artist, writer, former arts administrator (which is more like a manager/director in the US, where she hails from) and editor of Arts and Art Deadlines.com.
Check out her website for write-ups and announcements about exhibition and competition opportunities in the US and around the world, as well as, tips for facing life as an artist with grace and good humour.
In this issue she shares her suggestions for getting your own art show.
This issue is Sponsored & Brought to You by Art Practice Action Points, a FREE weekly bulletin with motivational messages and easy-to-implement Action Points for moving your art practice forward. Sign Up Today!
If you want to look back on previous issues of OPEN EXHIBITION or if someone has forwarded this E-Zine to you and you would like to subscribe just go to our archives at www.aweber.com/archive/openexhibition. As always, please feel free to forward this email on to anyone you think might find it useful or of interest.
Things to Consider - Behind the Scenes
I've heard many artists complain that the larger, better known exhibitions are impersonal and not particularly user-friendly.
While not advocating bad customer service, it should be noted that the shear numbers of entries to many of these shows makes it impossible for the administrators to answer specific questions from artists in a timely manner, if at all.
Regardless of the events size, location, age or reputation every entry submitted must be dealt with by several individuals throughout the selection, acceptance, rejection and exhibition process. Here are some things to consider that, as a submitting artist, that you might not necessarily think about.
It should be obvious, but only enter your best, most recent work that clearly demonstrates your commitment to a unique - well developed style. If you don't have "new" work that you feel is good enough to enter, then save your money and go back to the studio to produce more. There will always be other opportunities. It just isn't worth flogging the same pieces over and over hoping to get different results.
When registering for an exhibition online make sure that the title is free from any punctuation or accent marks, these can often be added before a catalogue or label is printed, but often don't interact well with website/database interfaces.
Only upload images in the file size and format specified. If you are unsure how to re-size images properly or don't have the necessary software to do so, get help from someone who does - well in advance of the entry deadline. Most incorrect entries will not be viewed by judges.
Consider all the costs involved, in addition to the entry fees there is the transportation to (and if not sold) from the judging and/or exhibition. There is your own cost of attending and of course the cost of photographing and framing your work for proper presentation.
Make sure that when handing in your work it either has, or is free from the specified hangers. At some exhibitions work is stacked and you will be asked NOT to attach any hooks, strings or hangers to your work. In other instances the work will only hang if it has been prepared and delivered by you with the correct hanging apparatus.
Don't wait until the last minute. Many artists do and it means that offices, or in the case of online submissions, servers strain under the burden of processing thousands of megabytes of data. In addition, if you have problems or questions about your entry the organizers may not be able to get back to you before the deadline has passed.
Lastly, enter only if you will enjoy the experience, I know the stress of deadlines and receiving rejection notices is never fun, but if you really can't handle either of these, both of which are at least occasionally inevitable, than don't make yourself miserable, just don't enter.
How to Get a Show Article by Rachel Gibson
As a Gallery
Director for more than a decade, I have been asked over and over for
"tricks" or "tips" to getting into group and solo shows. Well, your art should be good, or at least promising - that should be the most important fact. But to tell the truth, there's a gallery out there for most art- the sumptuous, the bland and the sour.
is not intended to be used exclusively by the burgeoning artist that
needs a place to start. But, a lot of the artists that have been
working for years still make the same rookie mistakes, too. So, for the
record, I offer you The ART of Cooking: How to Get a Show.
1. Read the Recipe.
If you are trying to build your artistic resume, I recommend starting
with juried group shows. Most galleries offer an online prospectus that
you can download and/or print. Read them carefully from start to
finish and follow directions. Make sure you are sending your submissions in the right size, right format, with the right payment and on time.Make
sure that you clearly understand the theme, if applicable. If you
don't understand it, don't submit because you're wasting your money.
2. A Watched Pot Never Boils.
The deadline for notifications on a juried show has passed, and you
haven't received word. Do you call? Do you email? No and No. Artists
are often deadline-challenged and so are jurors. Be patient; they'll get back to you.
3. Research Ingredients.
Be careful to always use quality ingredients-canvas, primers, paints.
With rare exception, hot glue and craft paint is discouraged. It never fails that the one time you're goofing around sketching on the back of a napkin-you'll create a masterpiece.
A masterpiece can be copied but never duplicated. Doodles on the back
of a Waffle House napkin are not often sought after for gallery shows.
4. Wear Your Chef Whites.
Self-taught artists are often treated like the dishwasher in a 5-star
restaurant. You have to prove you can cook with the best of them.
First, do your research. Understand the gallery's mission and previous
shows. Learn about both the gallery director and the jurors. Google is
your friend. Second, package yourself for the show and the gallery. Do not lie on your resume (ever...and I mean it), but learn to present the side of you and your work that they want to see.
5. Spilled Milk.
You WILL be rejected regardless of the quality of the work. It is
inevitable. Keep records of every entry. Know exactly what you sent
and when. Keep all rejection letters. When it is time to send out a
submission, you can then figure out what hasn't worked and where. Don't
send duplicate work to the same gallery. Sometimes you will even get an HONEST rejection letter that will teach you where your recipe went oh so wrong.
6. Cream Only Please.
Learn how to self edit. Don't send all your work to a gallery for
review. Only send the cream. An artist does not exist whose
hollandaise hasn't curdled. Allow yourself the freedom to create bad
work occasionally...just don't send it to a gallery, please.
7. No Cheetos.
Photoshop is a wonderful thing. Color correction is a wonderful thing.
It is amazing what you can do to the photo you took on the grayish wall
in your bedroom lit only by the single bulb suspended over your bed.
However, if your still-life oil of bananas does not glow like Cheetos in
the original, don't oversaturate
it after the fact. If your little banana souflee is juried into a show
and fails to rise on arrival, it will be returned to you C.O.D.
8. Iron the Tablecloth.
Granted, not all artists are photographers, and not all artists can
afford professional photographers. Not being a photographer does not
excuse bad backdrops. If I see one more piece of sculpture shot in front of a wrinkled tablecloth, I may lose my appetite-permanently. Iron the tablecloth.
9. Bread Doesn't Make the Sandwich.
The same sentiment is true of frames. The fastest way to have your
slides or CD thrown in the trash is to put a bright brass sectional
frame on your work. Either frame your work conservatively or photograph
your work unframed. I prefer to crop images tight so as not to distract the juror by framing, edges or backgrounds. Alternately, use gallery wrapped canvas.
These are the tips that pop to mind, but I'll keep this post updated as a page calledThe ART of Cooking.
Please click here
to send us your comments and feedback about OPEN EXHIBITION. We really
want your input, this is your chance to share your experiences both
good or bad, ask questions or seek advice. We may not be able to
answer you individually, but we will try to answer your questions in
The content of the pages of this E-News is for your general information and use only. It is subject to change without notice.
Neither we nor any third parties provide any warranty or guarantee
as to the accuracy, timeliness, performance, completeness or
suitability of the information and materials found or offered in this
E-News for any particular purpose. You acknowledge that such
information and materials may contain inaccuracies or errors and we
expressly exclude liability for any such inaccuracies or errors to the
fullest extent permitted by law.
From time to time this E-News may also include links to other
websites. These links are provided for your convenience to provide
further information. They do not signify that we endorse the
website(s). We have no responsibility for the content of the linked website(s).
Copyright 1995-2010 OPEN EXHIBITION. All rights reserved.