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How to (correctly) Enter an Art Show

by | Oct 4, 2017 | Tips | 0 comments

So, you’ve decided to enter an art show.

Easy peasy, right?

You’d be surprised how many artists get it wrong!

And wrong for the simplest reasons.

You’ve applied to enter. The show personnel has sent you their application form with their entry requirements.

You fill it out and send it in with your entry fee.



READ the specs!!! READ.

READ and UNDERSTAND the specs!

READ and FOLLOW the specs!

Here’s where artists FAIL!

Biography, if required: One page which may include art experiences, contact information, art images and galleries. A copy may also be attached to the back of each piece submitted.

No name plaques on artwork.

Digital requirements for submission of entries for consideration:

Image size: (xxxx pixels) on the longest side. Resolution: (xxx dpi). File format: jpg (JPG) – highest quality. File name protocol: etc. Note: Any file received that is not the correct size, may be reformatted by the show staff if too large or you may be requested to resubmit by email. (If you are NOT a GOOD photographer, then get one to take professional images for you.)

Artist must be 18 years old. Artist must be a resident (or not, depending on the show you enter). All artwork must be original (reproductions and prints usually fall into a separate category and handled differently). All artwork must have been completed within the last (X number) of years. Work cannot have appeared in a previous show.

Art show and staff will take every precaution, but will not be responsible for any damage incurred. Artists are encouraged to carry their own insurance. (It’s always good to have your own insurance.)

Each artist may submit up to (X number) of original works of art. Artwork must have been completed after (Month and year), except bronze sculptures after (Month and Year) and not submitted previously.

There is a non-refundable entry fee of (X dollars) for each piece of artwork submitted. Artwork must be for sale. A commission charge will be deducted from price stated by artist at time of entry on all work sold during the show. Prices listed on entry form are final. If an accepted artwork is “unavailable” for the show or does not meet the show requirements, the artist will be prohibited from entering that medium the following year. Both “unavailable” and “pre-sold” works require a (X%) donation of the price on the entry form submitted to the show sponsor.

All wall art, prints and drawings must be framed and wired for hanging to qualify for the jury process. Wire must extend (X inches) below the top edge of frame. Hanging brackets or loops will not be accepted. If the wire or frame needs to be adjusted or repaired when delivered to the venue, there will be a ($X charge).

Artwork may not be larger than (X inches) x  (X inches) framed. Gallery style canvas wrapped sides must be painted as part of the artwork to be considered. Glass or plexiglass may be used.

Unsold artwork must be claimed (Date and time). Any artwork/items remaining after that (date) will be considered abandoned and shall become the property of the show to be disposed of at organizers discretion. (So pay attention to all opening and closing entry and pickup dates. Mark them on your home, computer or cell phone calendars!)

The show is a family oriented event. Any artwork found to be offensive or in bad taste shall be removed by show officials. (Unfortunate for those artists among us who wish to make a political, religious or personal statement! In those cases, look for shows who are not “family oriented!”)

Failure to comply with division rules will result in disqualification from the judging process.

(If a particular association is sponsoring the show, there may be a “membership fee” required in order to show at that venue, so that must be added to whatever entry fee required. Also be aware of any specialty or other requirements that may be included in the shows entry prospectus.)

READ the entry rules/requirements THOROUGHLY! It will save you time, money and the embarrassment of rejection!

Be friendly and PATIENT when you arrive to deliver your artwork to the show staff… they are often overworked and under appreciated for the long hours that they work to make the show a success!

I recently worked an art show and encountered many of these rules’ infractions. Artists showed up with no wire on the back of their pieces! Whaaat? How are we supposed to hang their work? Tape? Chewing gum? Spit? (If I had been allowed to set up a framing stand at the entrance, I could have charged $5 per inch for framing wire and hooks! I figured at that show alone I would have netted around $675!)

And folks actually showed up with their artwork held in the frame by masking tape! Needless to say, when we went to lift it up to place the art on walls, it fell apart and was rejected from the show with no refund offered.

Others showed up with marks, dings and scratches on frames where the artist didn’t appropriately stack or adequately separate their pieces, one from the other during transport. Jeez. if you don’t care enough for your own artwork, don’t bother to enter it. Visitors will not be interested in buying damaged work!

Now, for all you folks who visit those art venues… PAY ATTENTION TO ALL THE SIGNS POSTED BY THE SHOW ORGANIZERS… NO PHOTOS ALLOWED!!! The artist has put countless hours of energy and effort into making their art. It is NOT YOURS to take pictures of. IT IS CONSIDERED TO BE COPYRIGHTED by dint of the artist having done it and the artist owns ALL RIGHTS to it. (You folks that take pictures of it should have your cell phones taken away from you and destroyed. How would you feel if someone swiped your work from you and made money off the use or sale of your work?!!!)

If there are signs that indicate that there is NO CELL PHONE USE IN THE VENUE, then be human and courteous and put your phone in “airplane mode” or just turn them off until you are out of the building!

If there are signs that indicate that there is NO FOOD OR DRINK IN THE VENUE, then be human and courteous and wait until you are out of the building! (It’s a pain in the ass to have to clean up your spills right in the middle of a show event… unless you’d like to clean all your and others’ spills for the rest of the show!!!)

AND if there are signs that say DO NOT TOUCH THE ARTWORK, then KEEP YOUR FREAKING PAWS OFF! (And your kids’ as well!)

Click, CLICK.

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