Do to the high accumulated costs of entering completions, I personal can not afford to enter any and can not help but wounder how many artist ( new or seasoned) that also Dont enter due to the low return and high risk?
"The Earth with our Art - is just EH"
I have only entered college art shows. Just the expense of getting my work matted/framed art supplies doesn't leave extra money to gamble on entry fees. In other words I understand your point. I can't understand why no one has replied to your post.
You are right. The costs of entering art exhibitions is expensive. I enter two or three national watercolor exhibitions a year. The entry fees, handling fees and shipping costs can be costly. However, at this point in my career, I consider it a necessary business expense. It is a good way to attain professional credentials and have your work viewed.
You might consider entering work occasionally in some local shows with reasonable entry fees—even if only once a year. The local shows would not involve shipping fees, the costliest part of entering regional and national exhibitions. This is the way a lot of us phased into exhibiting in larger shows.
I would wager there are many more artists who never enter competitions than those who do. However, juried shows are great way to build your resume and as Paul says are a cost of doing business. In my experience, there are two basic types of artists who do not bother with juried shows: those who have been at it for long enough that they have built up enough contacts, collectors, and galleries that they are content with what they have accomplished and those who are essentially hobbyists who don't really worry about their "career." For me, juried shows are great way to get my work seen and building my resume. I don't make many sales through juried shows but I have gotten into galleries because of them. If you're wanting to be a selling artist and don't have the contacts to get solo or group shows then I think juried shows are pretty much the best way to go. Paul has good advice, enter local shows for a few years. Find a local art organization that puts on a show or two and join and enter their shows. Be very targeted about shows too. When it comes to regional or national shows when you feel ready, research the juror and see if you can get a read on what that person likes. If you don't fit the bill, don't enter. In other words, reduce the risk.
Painting Arkansas Blog
what do you think about entering juried group gallery exhibitions?
i was offered to enter one in new york together with 20 artists. we are from Sweden.
the cost of shipping and installation is about 2000euro....for an unestablished artist, this seems very expensive. on the other hand, it could be good exposure and to add to my artistic resume. is this a viable legitimate business investment in my career?
If my math is correct the cost of shipping and installation for the New York exhibition you referred to would be about $1,460. How many paintings would be involved in your part of the exhibit? Without knowing anymore about this than you have mentioned, it sounds like a very expensive enterprise for an "unestablished artist".
I think JDWooldridge and I suggested a good approach. Try to establish yourself in your own area by entering juried exhibitions. Keep a record — a file folder with documentation— of the exhibitions that accepted your work and any awards won. In doing so, you are building a set of credentials that will be valuable in dealing with galleries and potential buyers. As you gain confidence in yourself and your work gains acceptance, try more prestigious exhibitions. Shipping is always the most expensive cost. Remember that most national exhibitions expect the artist to pay shipping costs to and from the exhibit. Also, the shipping container cost has to be taken into consideration. Here in the U.S., Airfloat Systems makes a product called Strong Box that is made for shipping paintings. One of the features of the product is that it can be used for several round trips.
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider. Start slowly, starting in local shows and eventually national and international exhibitions. My advise is to enter exhibitions that will involve one painting per exhibit.
JDWooldridge mentioned that it is a good idea to know who the judges are and what their art preferences may be. I have usually thought this also. However, in recent years I have noticed that most judges seem to be making a conscious effort to not let their personal taste influence their opinions as exhibition judges.
This brings up another point. When entering a juried exhibition, an artist can not let the results of the judging effect him or her personally. This requires a thick skin. What you have to remember is all of us have had our work rejected. I had one painting rejected in one national show and receive the top award in another national show. Later, I read of the same experience happening to two other artists. It's like the old baseball saying, "Ya can't win 'em all."
If you have any more questions, someone here will try to answer—if we can.Best of luck.
I would be very wary of this as I have read numerous accounts of some specific galleries in New York who offer this exact thing to unestablished artists and then wind up delivering well short of what you may expect. You should do a google search on the name of the gallery and see what you can dig up on other forums where I have seen this topic discussed. It isn't exactly a scam but it borders on it. Your art really will go to the gallery and it may be displayed, but the location may be poor. But then again it could just sit in a back room. Are you being asked to pay anything more than shipping? Usually, the worst among these ask the artists to pay a hanging fee or something like that. This one may be totally legit and may give you that big boost but then again, maybe not. Do your homework. Just a little search on my part, the gallery that I have read a lot of negative about about is Agora Gallery. They charge a representation fee.
Thanks Paul and JD for some common sense and professional advice. I am not an established artist and I don't feel that I have come to my potential yet either--so not only the credentials as you mention, but my own self confidence is not there yet either. I suppose that is why I was a bit wary about being invited to participate. I know one of the other artists and respect her, and she was encouraged by a local gallery owner that she should take the opportunity to build up her artistic CV.
I will make my goal for 2014 to do some research and enter some juried competitions as you say and I also agree that having a thick skin is good for the rejection ahead. in fact, both the recognition and rejection can be distorting--my art and satisfaction with how successful a given piece is has to come from my own judgement.
thank you for the patient and kind response here. Also, sorry for posting on the wrong places, I am getting familiar with this fora and how to use it!
thanks for the reply. I am not asked to pay for anything other than the transport fee and provide photos and an artist statement. if in New York, I am encouraged to come to their opening and a couple of other events they have arranged in the afternoon/evening. I guess I will give it a try and as you and Paul suggest, keep working on my paintings and enter a few juried competitions by reputable judges and contest arrangers.
I agree with you Paul. "Two or three national watercolor exhibitions a year...occasionally local shows with reasonable entry fees". I search for NO FEE opportunities. They are out there, however less bucks awarded, but I also consider the "published award" opportunities to be valuable.
Graham and all—
Regarding national watercolor exhibitions— they offer an excellent opportunity for recognition. Most of the shows require entry fees and this is understandable. It costs money to sponsor a large show and maintain a large organization.
The costs to look out for are the shipping costs. You will be paying for both the shipping to the show and the return of the painting to you. For this reason, as you begin to enter large exhibitions, look for shows in states that are close by. Check the Internet for watercolor societies that are sponsoring national shows. National shows are the most meaningful in building a set of credentials—proof of who you are as an artist.
Remember to be professional in the way you handle exhibitions and think about them. For starters, budget yourself for one or two shows a year. Consider the fees and shipping as part of being a professional and part of building your credentials. Remember, you should never allow yourself to be discouraged when you receive a rejection. All of us receive rejections. Accepting rejection is one more part of being and acting like a professional.