On my list of questions to ask before entering a juried exhibition, I said you should ask yourself: “Have I outgrown this exhibit? Am I better established than most of the other artists who will enter?”
Questions like these should be answered in conjunction with your long-term goals. Don’t stick around anywhere too long. Don’t get too comfortable with what is safe and easy, but know when it’s time to move on to bigger challenges and opportunities.
Some time ago, I came up with my version of the art world hierarchy of venues. (Note it’s not the types of exhibitions, but of venues where you show your art.) Embrace this list, ignore it, or make up your own.
Mine goes something like this:
Non-Profit Spaces & Art Centers
and Everything Else >>>
Coffee Shops & Restaurants
Libraries & Churches
Open Studios & Private Homes
This is extremely generalized and each gallery, museum, or venue should be judged on its own merit.
For instance, I have libraries under “Everything Else” near the bottom of the list. But the Boulder Public Library in nearby Boulder, Colorado, has an amazing exhibit space and they show top-of-the-line
artwork in the Canyon Gallery. I’d put it in an upper-tier space.