Thursday, July 14, 2011

Entering Juried Exhibits


The basics:

1. Have a body of work ready to exhibit (4-12 pieces)

2. Determine a yearly budget for entry fees, insurance, shipping, and travel.

3. Decide which types of shows you will enter.

4. Locate calls for entry.

5. Prepare a calendar for the exhibit year.

1. You will need a cohesive body of work that shows your current style and technique. Choose a theme or technique that may make your work unique from that of others. Highlight what you love to do best and you are expert at doing. Don’t be discouraged if a juror doesn’t pick your art piece for the exhibit. The next juror may give you an award in an upcoming show.

2. Be prepared to pay to enter and don’t expect to win awards. To pay an entry fee, then to pay insurance, and shipping and handling both ways if your work is accepted, will easily cost $50. If you travel very far to drop off the entry, then attend the reception later, your cost will be considerably more. Your non-refundable entry fee alone will run $15 - $40 for anywhere from one to three works. If you are paying $30 - $40 you will want to enter the maximum number of pieces, although it is rare for an artist to get all three accepted since there will be so much artwork for the juror to choose from. Ship your work where it is convenient for you unless the call for entry tells you specifically to send UPS. The post office may be a more convenient option than UPS or Fed x.

3. There are always several local galleries holding periodic juried exhibits. You can drop off, pick up, attend receptions and view the exhibits easily. If you decide to exhibit farther away, you may choose gallery shows that will run for a month. You can choose to exhibit in Expos and fairs that run only a few days, or shows that travel up to a year. Other opportunities are group exhibits and solo exhibits.

4. To learn about where to exhibit, contact a local group or get info from your art friends, search the internet to get on some mailing lists, or search the exhibit entry section of topic related magazines. When you find an entry that you like, read the form thoroughly to determine if your work can qualify and if you can meet all of the deadlines and comply with criteria. Most current methods of entry for non-local exhibits are sent on CD or e-mail. Locally, you will just drop off the form with the artwork. Be sure to always keep copies of all paperwork.

5.Keeping track of even a few shows may require you to have a running calendar. For example, during August, you may have an entry deadline for one show, a ship date to another, a reception, or a work return date, etc. Most shows cover a three to four month span from the date of entry deadline to the date the shown work is returned to you. If a work isn’t accepted in a juried exhibit, you can then enter it in the next upcoming exhibit. Remember, some shows may have so many entries that the juror will only pick 20% of them for exhibit. It is very important that you don’t commit a piece to a new show while it is still in a current one. Also, if the piece sells, you won’t want it entered into a new show.

If the artwork doesn’t sell, plan on showing it as many times as you want over a two or three year period before “retiring” it, gifting or donating it. Remember, it is unlikely that the same people in Lowell will see the piece again in Wichita or Springfield.

Dianna Callahan

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