Sunday, January 2, 2011

That Time of Year - And the times they are a'changing

Welcoming the Dawn
It is that time of year for visual artists when we must consider shows, fairs and exhibits we would like to participate in. I have one downloaded prospectus for an exhibit in Santa Fe that I am considering what art to enter. Believe me it is not as easy as your three best pieces. This particular juried exhibit has a maximum and and minimum size.

The minimum of 18 x 24 is giving me no ends of problems as it is one of my most common sizes. And I have of late been working in odd sizes like 14 by 46. Big enough one direction but below the minimum the other way. I finally came up with three possibles like the one above. The one below has actually been too large for a couple exhibits. But both of these works are currently at a gallery representing me and if they are accepted I have to take them out which means replacing them with other work.

The number of possible submissions for this show is three and it makes sense to submit that many in hopes of getting at least one juried in. My third will be a previous prize winner in another exhibit. Always wise to watch that because some shows preclude paintings that have received awards. For Lamentation of the Spirits it was a Best of Show.
Best of Show
And another frequent restriction on submissions is date of creation. No work created before January 2009 in this case. Just one of those reasons that why artists with studio walls full of art are still painting new work. Well, that and artists must paint. But even for those fairs and shows you have routinely been juried into you must have new work to submit - generally 3-5 new pieces. And for some of the top shows those 5 pieces are projected on a wall simultaneously and so must be a cohesive whole.

Electronic submissions are the growing trend these days with being one of the leaders. I need to log on this week and check for exhibits that are accepting entries in the next month. I worked on some very interesting sketches yesterday and given the size minimum I ran into with this show I am applying for I may want to paint them larger. Tuesday is my day journey to my art store to buy more stretcher bars.

But it isn't just Zapplication engaging in electronic submissions, calls for entries, etc. Even some Facebook Fan Pages maintained by galleries and art councils are getting into the electronic game. Learning all the left brain tricks isn't easy for right brain artists. As a board member of Moreno Valley Arts Council we still get calls asking where their mailed application is for Artsfest. There is no mailed application. It is on line at our website and available to download.

I was frankly thrilled when art fairs began the shift from slides to CD's with digital images especially as slide film got hard to find. But digital images mean a digital camera or a hired photographer and a computer to copy them to the CD's or a service (don't do Wal-Mart) to do it for you. With Zapplication you format your images to their specs and post them on their site. You even apply for fairs from there. With the show I am entering these pictures in I will go to their website and electronically apply, submit and pay. All of which makes the entire process of applying for shows faster. The deadline is January 9th and the notification of acceptance is January 14. All accepted work must be framed and in their hands by February 4th.

Clearly the times are changing. And artists are having to get with the program.

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