Thursday, July 23, 2009

Entering Art Shows

Entering an art show, at any level of your career, is a wonderful means of gaining validation and recognition. For beginning artists, receiving appreciation from people other than friends and family can be very encouraging. Competition is an excellent way of building up a resume, especially if one is fortunate enough to win an award. Plus, more people may see your work, increasing the possibility of sales and getting into galleries.

Annie Strack ( work is included in a number of museum and other public and private collections. She recommends starting with small shows, and work your way up.

She says, if you are new to art competitions, you should start by entering smaller, local shows in your area. Non-juried shows, which are judged but not juried, will offer an introduction to the exhibition process and provide education about competition. This way, you can learn what judges look for and compare your entries to those of your peers. Remember, though, that non-juried shows tend to have a wider variety of entries ranging from poor to excellent, making it difficult to evaluate the quality of artwork. The hit-and-miss nature of a non-juried show means that while the event may provide you with a great opportunity to learn, a juried show will look best on your resume.

Annie believes that once you have entered a few non-juried shows, you can proceed to local and regional juried shows, and eventually work your way up to the most prestigious national juried shows. Competition at the national level is extremely tough. Winning consistently at the local and regional levels will help you develop confidence and experience as you work your way up to the national level. This will also help you learn to be more selective in choosing competitions as you progress. Only enter shows that you respect and which reflect your current level or experience, skill and expertise.

Annie recommends to enter shows known for high quality work that you would be proud to be included in.

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