Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Entering an art show

There are so many shows, it seems like there are always choices to make.    Where will your art fit the best?   Where might you actually win money and a ribbon?      How do you want to frame your art?      How much should you spend?  What are the entry fees?     D o you really want to drive there and back to enter, for the reception and then to retrieve my piece at the end of the show?   Any way you look at it there are three trips to the location.    Receptions are usually in the evening and that means driving after dark.    

Little by little I watch the older artists dropping off from showing their work for all of the above reasons, and it's a shame.      I see them producing wonderful art, and they show in galleries regularly, but entering competitive shows is so much more complicated, however it's where the prize money is, and where the art gets seen by a wider audience.   Many of the older artists resist the online entry shows, just because it is new and hard for them to deal with.

Most of the larger shows must be entered online, so there is the additional problem of getting good photos and figuring out the entry systems.     Getting photos the right size and quality for uploading.    Getting the lighting right so there are no glares.     Showing enough detail to whet the judges interest.      Three dimensional things are judged based on two or three photographs to enter a show.  Paintings, prints, and wall art - you only get one chance with a single photograph.     Some things just don't look as good in a photograph, you simply cannot see the subtleties in color and texture.      But, this is the way the world of art is going.   The people putting on the shows have found they get many more entries online, each accompanied with a fee for entry, so this system brings in more money.   People can enter from anywhere and then arrange to package, insure and ship their pieces if they are accepted.   To me, this is not worth the work, but if the prize money is high enough, you'd be surprised how many people want the big purse and are willing to do this.    And sometimes it works.      Sometimes not.  

My decision right now is what to enter in the next show in Lodi.  It is the Small Works and Itty Bitty works shows, running simultaneously.     Small works can be no larger than 8 x 10.    Three dimensional no larger than 8 inches in any direction.        Itty Bitty works can be no larger than 3 x 3 inches.

I have quite a few small works ready.   I'm thinking mainly of the gelli prints that are mounted and framed now.  I really love them and have a strong feeling that their simplicity and starkness set them apart.  There is something so straightforward and honest about the images.  And the fact that they are monotypes and cannot be duplicated.    I think I will enter a few of them.    I have a lot of small paintings, but nothing worth showing.     I have to finish the backs of the frames to get them wired and ready to hang.    And do the paperwork.      And write the check for entry.
Guess I'd better get buzy. Friday is the deadline.


1 comment:

  1. This is a very thoughtful post that identifies problems i hadnt thought about for artists getting on in years