Saturday, March 24, 2012

Juried shows...to enter or not to enter?

I have neglected the practice lately, but in the past I have kept a "call for entry file'. When I came across a show that sounded interesting, I would print off the submission info, put it in the file and write on the outside of the file the show and deadline. In my day book, I would give myself ample warning to prepare work, photograph and complete the submission (mail etc.). The prep stuff always takes way longer than planned with renaming files, checking discs, getting things emailed/mailed, writing a statement...

Dates would often come and go without completing the entry, but it was a good practice to have and the ones that were important to me were entered. Also, shows that were a good "fit" for work I already had hanging around were easy to apply for, but always considering the costs associated with a show and the benefit to be had. Shows in prestigious venues, big prize money, shipping paid if accepted, always made more sense than others. Always aim big. It's like dressing for the job you want rather than the job you have. Ask for feedback and don't take rejection personally (hard one, I know). Some shows you may be rejected for a couple of years and then you get lucky. It is a subjective process. I have been known to do a bit of research on the jurors. I look at their work or interests and may gear what I enter based on that if I happen to have something that fits their aesthetic.

This subject had come up for me because I have been fortunate to be busy enough with invitational shows, submitting proposals when I have a show idea, and teaching, that I have not even been looking for juried shows. I have however, for years always entered my local Arts Council's show. We have many talented local artists and I have been in very good company. I have debated if I should enter, but after so many years, I think I may lament not being in...but then there is always the fear that I won't get in! It does not matter what stage you are at, how many times you are published or what grants and accolades you receive, there is always that uncertainty! I will keep you posted....


Visit my site www.andrea-graham.com

1 comment:

Dawn Edwards said...

Hope that you decided to enter your local show, Andrea. I'll bet people who know of you and your work, go in hopes of seeing your marvelous creations.

But, agreed it is a lot of work, all of the planning, and as I am not good about that, I can't harp on it too much;-) I love your method of printing out and noting the deadline dates, etc. Very organized and a great way of staying on track. Thanks so much for the fantastic tip.

Keep us posted.

Big hugs,
Dawn

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