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Art Competitions & Open Art Exhibitions

Art Competitions can be an excellent way to get noticed and progress your artistic career.
However let it be noted that most competitions have an entry fee and at some point each individual artist has to decide for his or herself how much of their budget should be allocated to this avenue of promotion.

If you are picked out from the crowd and win one of the big competitions the benefits can be fantastic but don't be tempted to chase a dream. Judges for these competitions are usually artists themselves or worse - art critics and can be very critical of amateur work. Please be sure that you meet the standards of the competitions you are entering by checking out the work of previous winners or you could be in  for a great deal of disappointment and expense that could be avoided.

Here are links to information and entry forms for some of the best competitions out there.
Happy painting!! And Good Luck!!!

Chichester Annual Open Art Exhibition

Nottingham Annual Open Exhibition competitions competitions

Artmagazine competitions

Annual Bp-portrait-award

Jerwood visual arts prize

S.A.A Artist of the Year Competition

21st Century Watercolour Open Competition Juried shows

Questions to ask before entering art contests, art competitions, and juried art exhibitions

Is the event local, regional, national, or international?
What are the entry fees?
Will the art be juried from slides or actual work?
What type of awards are given?
Are purchase awards worth more or less than the normal sales value of your work?
How many works may be accepted for entry per artist?
Acceptance may be limited to one work per artist even though multiple works may be submitted. Also, because venues often have a limited amount of space, smaller works may be favoured.
Does your work meet the guidelines for theme, medium, size, weight, and presentation requirements? Are you required to send a bio, artist's statement, or other credentials with your submission?
Must all works be made available for purchase?
What commissions are taken on sales and will commissions be taken on purchase awards?
Where will the work be displayed?
How will the exhibit be promoted?
Is information available about the attendance or sales from previous exhibitions? (Keep in mind that purchase awards may be considered as sales.)
Will the gallery or venue insure the work while it is on the premises?

How can artists entering juried art shows or fine art competitions protect themselves from scams?
Are you asked to pay exhibit fees or reception fees?
Ask who will be judging the competition. What are their credentials?
What is their affiliation with the organization sponsoring/hosting the event?
Does the chamber of commerce (in the city or county where the event takes place) know anything about it or have any info on the business or organization sponsoring the event?
Ask the sponsor of the event how they are promoting the event. Be wary of events that are only promoted toward artists, rather than toward buyers, collectors, and the public.
Does the sponsor hold such events annually, monthly, etc.? Annual events tend to be larger, better promoted, and more prestigious. Be wary of sponsors who promote an annual drawing competition one month, an annual painting competition the next, and an annual sculpture competition the next.
Does the sponsor have a physical address or merely an email address or P.O. Box?
Find out in what form the awards are given: cash, gift certificates, merchandise awards, ribbons, purchase awards (your work is sold for the amount of the award), gallery shows, publications, etc. If the show has taken place before, there may be a list of winners from previous competitions that you could contact.

All of that said... consider what you want to get out of entering juried shows:
If your goal is to build your artist's resume, look for the most prestigious shows (which are also the hardest to get accepted into). Ask how many artists have entered previously and how many of those artists were accepted into the exhibition. If your goal is to sell your work, try to choose the art shows that are heavily promoted to buyers, collectors and the public or ones that have had the most sales in the past.
Entering art contests can be a great way to gain exposure for your work even if you don't make an immediate sale. So, always have brochures, business cards, or postcards of your work available to encourage future sales. If your goal is to win an award, find out as much about the judge/juror as possible and what he or she looks for in a piece. Find out what kinds of work have they selected in previous art shows? They will probably be more apt to have discriminating taste in their area of expertise.


Entering Art Competitions

It can be highly rewarding to enter and win an art competition or be given an art award. Collecting these accolades is part of the art business and you can achieve in one event what months of advertising can fail to do, and that is get your business noticed.
Make sure you study the market, look at past winners & study the judges for each competition you enter but remember stay true to your own style. There is still no guarantee that you will win, but at least you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did everything you could to stand a chance of winning.
Lack of preparation can spell disaster. So keep a diary of the competitions you are entering and add a reminder at least a month in advance reminding you to finish up your entry piece, make any delivery arrangements along with any insurance you need to arrange to protect your work during transit and display. Send for entry forms as early as possible as these will be returned with the entry requirements and outlines that you will need to adhere to. Remember, all work must be original and not plagiarized. Also worth noting is that many competitions require an entry fee, make sure you get a receipt as these expenses are tax deductible.
When you win an award, remember to add the details to your literature and fliers. Put up posters in your studio and send out press releases. Awards can lead to an increase in business as the public see awards as statements of your ability. You wouldn't win unless you were outstanding, right? So use this to your advantage and at every opportunity use the fact that you have won an award for your art, no matter how small, to promote your work.
In your studio keep a space for displaying your awards and certificates, along with the winning piece and use it to show people how much your work is admired by the art profession. Impressions count, and a person who is unsure about purchasing your work may be persuaded to part with their money when they can see that you are an award winning artist. Winning competition and awards will set you apart from the amateur artists and you will be seen more as a professional.
You can also use competitions to showcase what you can do but wouldn't perhaps normally. Such experimental pieces are often highly sought after once you become  recognised and can fetch large sums in auction houses. Don't be afraid to think outside the box when entering competitions, it is often the pieces that make a judge think or that challenge our perception of the world that win competitions. However, make sure that what you do does conform to the competition rules.



Thursday, August 17, 2017