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4 Invited, 3 Rejected, 1 Waiting

4 Invited, 3 Rejected, 1 Waiting. That's the tally so far for this year's submissions to shows and residencies. I wanted to try and increase the number of shows that I am invited to but, the entry fees can start adding up. Therefore I have to be selective. Here are a few thoughts for how I go about choosing which shows to enter;

1. Proximity. If it's local, meaning I can drive to the location, I try to enter. I don't have to worry about shipping costs. I can go to the opening and it provides local exposure for my work.

2. Juried. I only apply to shows that are juried. It's my own personal goal and I like the challenge. Plus I think it pushes me to produce good work.

3. Prize MONEY. I haven't won a prize...yet. It's another personal goal of mine. I want to win a prize but, I want to win prize money, not just a ribbon. I use to think, it's a privilege just to win something but, now I believe that it is our (meaning the community's) duty to provide artists with some way to continue their journey. Just like if you were an inventor and developed some new product. You might argue that the Arts are not as important as inventions but, I believe they are both important and if not one and the same. I wish I had saved the article I read about the importance of giving cash prizes to artists but, let's just say that it convinced me.

4. Who is the juror. This was a piece of advice given to me by a gallerist. He suggested choosing shows that are juried by museum curators, gallery owners or art critics. It helps increase my exposure so, that even if I don't get in at least someone has seen my work. And that someone who might see it again or remember if for something else.

5. Theme. Or rather the lack of a theme. I tend to not submit to shows that have a very narrow theme. For example, paint something that represents love. It's not the way I work. Most of the shows I enter are very broad and open ended.

So that's a little bit of insight into how I select a show to enter. Do you have any criteria that you use?

*The above painting was recently selected for the "Our Town" show at the Richmond Art Center.

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