Exibiting Your Artwork
Art Tips | Exibiting Your Artwork
It's happened to us all at least once. You sent in your application to an event and you were turned down. It's one thing to be turned down for a show because your work was not what the selection committee or juror was looking for, but if you're on the outside looking in due to the oversight of a small yet important detail (e.g. the form was not filled in correctly, the deadline was missed, your slides were fuzzy, no check was included, etc.), then it's time to get yourself organized! Follow these tips next time and improve your chances for success:
Always have the following items at your fingertips:
1) Slides: Multiple, quality slides of your work are a must. Always take more than one slide as you may wish to enter the piece in a number of venues and you will also need one for your records.
The photography has to be the best possible. The image should be centered, in perfect focus, and represent the true colors. There should be nothing in the slide but the image. If the image does not fit slide dimensions, mount the work on a black background. Any black background areas showing are acceptable. The jurors do not want to see your sofa or the mattes and frames. Label the slides with a permanent marker (not tape) according to instructions. Tape can cause jams in the projector and you don't want to be the cause of that! The offending slide, when retrieved, is often thrown out.
2) Current biographical material, Curriculum Vitae.
Read carefully and follow instructions
Be a professional. Read the registration form carefully and completely. Any of the terms not met can be grounds for rejection.
1) Note the conditions of entry. Highlight each one.
2) Note the conditions of acceptance.
3) Put all the required materials in the package.4) Meet the deadline.
You're in - or are you?
You are on cloud nine as your work has been selected. Congratulations - but you're not done yet!
Make sure you follow the terms of acceptance. For the most part, volunteers run all of these events. Their time is precious so making changes and dealing with participants' requests for favors, outside of normal set-up procedures such as title changes, prices, in-take and pick-up, is often irritating and usually impossible. Remember, everything has been organized well in advance. One little change can lead to hours of work for a volunteer. For example, galleries often need the information for their catalogues and changes for them can mean lots of money. Work that arrives with information other than what was requested on the official registration form may not be accepted.
The bottom line; take charge of those mind numbing, boring details and let your work speak eloquently for you. Good Luck!
1. Here is a fantastic list of things I do when getting ready to exhibit. I call this my "manager mode". In manager mode I go into autopilot, working through every mundane activity on this list. Of course, they are only mundane to me as I know there are people who love doing this sort of work and I admire them enormously for it.
• Get photographs done of each new piece of work.
• Send every piece off for 35mm slides.
• Sometimes sending items for larger transparencies (depending on what you see that piece being used for).
• When the slides come back, label, number and file them.
• Photos - label and file.
• Pack and ship unframed/framed paintings.
• Make sure your address book is updated.
• Attend to Web matters - new content, responding to e-mails, etc.
• Send out brochures and postcards.
• New work sent off to interested parties or shown to clients who want to see new stuff every month. These don't necessarily make sales but they need to view them. The Web has helped with this enormously.
• Invite interested parties to view work from the studio.
• Host/attend art lunches and coffee mornings where original pastels can be seen and appreciated.
• Make presentations...live with mounted work.
• Make books and folios with photographs or laser prints - usually presenting a coherent story.
• Fine tune books and folios to cater to viewer (this is not a mass production business).
• Write up news for the newsletters.
• Make on the spot decisions about which competitions to enter.
• Enter competitions.
• Make on the spot decisions about which arenas to go for and where to exhibit.
• Organize exhibitions.
• Decide on framing.
• Hang exhibitions.
• Have the courage to say, "No" to offers that do not make the heart sing.
• Have the courage to walk away from friends who ask if "your stuff sells".
• Embrace those friends who support what you do.
• Book keeping and sorting out the accounts.
• Update your biography.
• Planning, planning and more planning...all while keeping a keen eye on goals and dreams.