On December 10, OVAC held an Artist Survival Kit workshop at the Price Tower Arts Center in Bartlesville. This evening workshop focused on the subject of juried competitions for artists. More specifically, we hoped to give artists an idea of how things work on the other end of these competitions, from the juror or presenting organizations’ perspectives.
Scott Perkins, Curator at Price Tower Arts Center, and Joseph Gierek, owner of Joseph Gierek Fine Art Gallery in Tulsa, were our speakers. They have seen many submissions from artists, both in their roles as curator or gallery owner, as well as guest jurors for exhibitions. There were some recurring themes in the discussion with Scott and Joseph, including:
*Follow the rules! Most juried exhibitions have a list of do’s and don’ts for submitting. Even though they may seem frivolous when you’re getting your submission together, do follow those rules to the letter. It makes a memorable, positive impression on the organizers of the exhibition and makes life easier for the juror.
*Invest in making a good impression. Getting high quality images of your artwork, a coherent artist statement and professional framing can take a commitment on your part of time and money. But, these are some of the best ways to improve your odds of being accepted into exhibitions or receiving awards.
*Consider the juror’s perspective. Imagine you are the juror of the exhibition. What would you like to see? What information would you like to have for making your decisions? Additionally, you should also consider how the juror will be viewing your work – will they be looking at actual work, slides, digital images? Will the images be projected or viewed on a computer screen? Is the computer a Mac or PC? When possible, find this out and do a test run on your own to make sure your work is being shown to its maximum advantage.
*Strategize. With the multitude of juried opportunities available to artists, you could spend hours every day submitting and never get to them all. Investing a little time in research could save you lots of time and energy in the end. Make sure the competitions you are entering are right for you. Here are some good examples of questions to consider when you’re deciding to which competitions you will submit.
From artshow.com: http://www.artshow.com/juriedshows/entering.html
From artbizcoach.com: http://www.artbizblog.com/2009/11/juriedquestions1.html