Friday, April 2, 2010

Why Enter Art Shows?

Cowboys and Indians, 20 x 24, oil on canvas

The next few posts will be about juried art shows. They can be expensive to enter and ship the work. Are they worth it?

Yes and No. It really depends are what you are expecting to get out of the show. 

1) When you are first starting out  it's a great way to get a resume. It's good to start with smaller shows and local shows to get your feet wet.

2) It gives you something to talk about. If you get into a show you can email your list of folks and tell them about it. You can email them again when the show opens. You can email them again to remind them the show is about to close. And of course you email them when you've won that award. NEVER tell folks in email, facebook, twitter, your blog etc that you've been rejected from a show. We all get rejected from time to time. But that's our little secret. We want folks to know about our success not out failures.

3)Think of the show as advertising. You may pay a $30 entry fee, and then another $50 to get the painting to the show and back again. $80 total.(more if it's a large painting and the show tacks on a "repacking" fee) But how much would you spend if you advertised in a magazine? A Lot more! If you get in the show it will be seen by folks that normally wouldn't see your work, in a part of the countrywhere you work isn't often seen. True, a magazine ad reaches more people but the folks that go to art shows are more likely to buy art now or in the future (that's my opinion)

4) You may win an award or sell the painting. I left this for last because I rarely sell at juried shows. I am more likely to win an award than to sell a painting. I think the reason is because the work accepted into shows is based on artist merit. The paintings people BUY are based on emotion.

What do you think?


  1. I've entered a couple of juried shows and was disappointed in not getting in; however, I look back and see that, IMO, I wasn't quite ready. On attending one of the shows, it appeared that it was more along the lines of contemporary art, which I don't do. I found your information very helpful.

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  3. Lokelani, Thanks for the comment. I'll post some tips in a few days that may help you find the right juried shows for your art. I've had that happen too, entered representational art and only abstracts and ultra modern works was selected.