Assessing juried art exhibitions

Not all art exhibitions are equal.

In today’s Art Marketing Action newsletter, I give subscribers a detailed list of questions to ask themselves and to ask others before entering a juried exhibition.

Take a look at the list and let me know what I’ve forgotten.

Or, just share your experiences about what you wish you would have known.

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7 comments to Assessing juried art exhibitions

  • What are the awards? If Best of Show is $25, I’m not going to waste my time. This is a poorly funded show. I like to see what work has been in the show in the past or what artists. It’s embarrassing to me to have my work hanging with poor art. How long will the show hang? Some shows are so short it’s hardly worth the effort of sending the painting (unless the show has a great history)

  • When considering a juried show I first google the jurors. If they paint realistically in watercolor I can usually (not always) infer that my palette knife painted, oil abstracts will be passed over. Another important consideration is how new is this show? If this is the first year in existence there is a chance it will fall apart-particularly if it is too ambitious. And lastly, some of the jury fees are so high that it often appears the fees themselves are the main point of the show.

  • Are you talking of in the flesh shows or juried online shows? I’m a little wary of online shows. Who’s getting a copy of your artwork? It seems that a lot of artists are jumping on the bandwagon to have juried shows. Then who sees them? In the flesh shows can be great if they are shown in a museum where there is a sales force to help. But Alyson is correct, if there is no one to see them or sell the art what is the point?

  • In addition to looking at what the awards are, I think it’s important to look at how the awards stack up to the entry fee. Some shows just seem like fundraisers for the organization – high entry fees and little exposure or reward for the artist. Those should be a no-go. I think you covered just about everything in your list. I started asking myself these questions a few years ago, and now I’m down to only 2 national shows that I bother to enter each year. It saves me a lot of time that I might otherwise waste trying to get into shows that wouldn’t do squat for my career!

  • My husband & I are both members of an artist union that protects our various rights…Part of their advice literature is the ethic that artists should not pay fees to show their work…this includes juried show submissions that require an up front fee…of course we are free to do as we please, but this is always in the back of my head when evaluating opportunities…

  • K & Stacey: Yes, look at the awards vs. the entry fee. Lori: I was really talking about any juried show. I think the questions are equally applicable, but the online twist might be different (how long has the Web site been up, what’s the mailing list like, how many visitors each day, etc.) Sari: I’m kind of with you, although juried exhibits offer the brand new artist a venue that they might not otherwise have. They’re often the first place where an artist tests the waters (after hanging the art in the bathroom for a bit!).

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