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August 2010

Create Your Own Exhibition Opportunities

ArmoryShow_poster I've been reading my way, word by word, chapter by chapter, through the comprehensive reference book,  Makers: A History of American Studio Craft. There is a section about the famous Amory Show, which I'd heard mention as many of my favorite artists from the early 20th century exhibited at the Amory Show. It wasn't until now, that  I fully realized how groundbreaking this exhibition actually was, and why.

41OiZd-LhGL._SL160_ What astounded me was that this show was not organized by a museum or any other institution, but by the artists. "The members of the new Association of American Painters and Sculptors (AAPS) were seeking to undercut the power of the conservative American Academy of Design by independently showing their art (and that of their colleagues) that had been rejected by officialdom as too radical. They were quite successful: the Armory Show created a market for contemporary art almost overnight."  And subsequent to this  event, "the younger generation no longer pursued Academy recognition."**

This example illustrates the merit of reading such an in-depth book.  We can learn much from history, and with some understanding, we can also gain some inspiration.  Do you feel that you are limited by the exhibition opportunities in your community? 

ARMORY'Sleeping_Muse',_bronze_sculpture_by_Constantin_Brancusi,_1910,_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art
Sleeping Muse, bronze sculpture by
Constantin Brâncuşi, 1910, originally
shown at the Armory Show.
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Why not create your own exhibition opportunities? Put together your own show just like the artists who organized the Armory Show in the early part of the 20th century.  The Professional Guidelines offers guidance for exhibition sponsors along the entire project.

Why not be your own sponsor?  The Professional Guidelines Exhibition Contract (for non-commercial exhibitions) is designed for artists and non-profit Exhibition Sponsors to clearly define each party’s responsibilities. (For retail/commercial gallery exhibitions, refer to the Consignment Contract instead.)

Do be aware that sales in a non-commercial exhibition are usually a low priority.  The Exhibition is not expecting to represent the artists over an extended period of time like a gallery. Instead, the Exhibition borrows work from the artists  for a limited period of time, focusing on work that contributes to the theme or premise of the show.  Prices are not usually posted on the wall, although a price list may be available at the desk or upon request.

Exhibitions curated without the pressure for sales may offer an opportunity to show experimental work or work that is not viable in more conventional venues. These exhibitions often include work that is aesthetically challenging, provocative in content or concept, or made by artists not often seen in established galleries.  These exhibitions can be important opportunities to expand the audience for artwork and to educate the viewers.  

Armory painting by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso
Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, artist
Saut du Lapin, 1911

Ideally, such exhibitions produce quality, promotional documentation of the artwork and possible professional reviews and broad exposure to the community.  So while you are putting together this show, consider publishing your own catalog.

Picture of the Duchamp Brothers who helped sponsor the organization of the famous Armory Show.
Three brothers, left to right: Marcel
Duchamp,
Jacuews Villon, and Raymond
Duchamp 
in the garden of Jacques
Villon's n at their studio in Pateaux,
France, 1914, all three brothers were
included in the Armory exhibition.

Find more information

Consider the outcome of the Armory show. "The artist-organizers handled all the administrative details themselves and gave up a year of their art-making time to make the show happen." Summarizing the information from page 86, of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, $45,000 of work sold.  "Marcel Duchamp and his brother, Jacques Villon, sold everything they had at the exhibition." "All the most advanced works, including those of the Cubists were sold out...".**

Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase perhaps the most famous painting from the Armory Show.
Nude Descending the Staircase
Marcel Duchamp
Painting shown at the Armory Show.


For more insight from history, and potential inspiration, read the book, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, .

Ironically, Bruce Metcalf, co-author of the book, helped me by editing some of the early topics of the Professional Guidelines nearly ten years ago. How can you help your fellow artists?

Harriete

* Professional Guidelines Exhibition Contract

** Metcalf, Bruce and Koplos, Janet, Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, The University of North Carolina Press, 2010, page86.

The affiliate links on ASK Harriete may provide this blog with a few cents to keep on going and defray expenses.

DragonFire72
DragonFirebk72
Dragon Fire Flower Brooch makes your day memorable and super hot. Constructed from post consumer, recycled tin cans by Harriete Estel Berman, 2010. Retail Price $595.


Publish Your Own Catalog - DIY

The previous post by Guest Author Larissa Dahroug titled, Self-Publishing An Art Catalog - Thinking BIG on a Small Budget, described how she decided to create her own catalog using Selfpublishing.com. This catalog was sold during her exhibition but more importantly, it can be used to approach stores, galleries, and exhibition spaces or as a gift for collectors.  I thought Larissa's catalog was great. Using all of the online programs, computer software and the resources of the Internet now available is so much easier than it used to be.

I've published my own materials several times, it was a worthwhile effort and investment in my career. Here are two examples:

HBcat_frontcover My first catalog was a collaborative project with the Triton Museum of Art. It was printed in black and white with one color (see the cover to the left). I offered to pay for the printing if their staff did the graphic design layout (a long time ago when graphic design layout was all done by hand and color printing was prohibitively expensive). It cost me $1,000.

HBcat2

It was a win-win deal for both the museum and me. They were able to produce a catalog for their exhibition (my solo show), and I had copies to distribute for years.  The whole thing was my proposal from the start including the design. How else was I going to have a catalog of my work so early in my career? 

The refrigerator door on the front cover opened, to reveal the inside of the refrigerator.  I used an Exacto knife to cut every door in the front of the catalog by hand to keep the cost down.  There is a lot you can do to keep costs low if you are willing to work. 

My next opportunity to produce a catalog came when I was invited to be Master Metalsmith 2004 at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. They were willing to contribute $1,000 towards a catalog, on the condition that I take responsibility to arrange everything.

Insidecover1ltgreena
 
This time I produced a CD-ROM Catalog of work from 1980-2004. 

Cd The catalog included:
*Images of all work
     1980-2004
* GRASS/gras' video
     (8:45 minutes)
* Essays by Jill Vexler
     and Deborah Trilling
* Introduction by Jim
     Wallace, N.O.M.M.


* Archive of 1984 catalog and appliance ads
* Past articles and reviews
* Image Directory suitable for PowerPoint presentations
* Compatible with MAC and PC
* Retail price $15.00 plus $3.00 shipping

CDenvelope
The $1,000 helped defray the cost, but producing the CD catalog was expensive. There were many challenges in getting all the CD programming done in time. Just like Larissa, every big project is fraught with problems. Nothing ever goes smoothly. It is impossible to foresee all the problems you will run into.

The fun part for me was that I literally constructed the cover design in my post consumer, recycled tin cans.  Then the metal was professionally scanned and printed. That was the fun and easy part.

The advantage of a CD catalog is that the CD and the catalog cover can be used as promotional collateral for years after the particular exhibition.  I can even add new work in a supplemental CD.  I send this catalog with all my more important packages to galleries, museums and collectors.

Alternative catalog ideas:
Some people are using online photo albums services to produce their catalog/portfolio with hard bound covers. I-Photo and Shutterfly are two examples.

These businesses market their product as photo albums, but you can use them as your own catalog or portfolio. Each printing of your portfolio (photo album) tends to be somewhere between $25. to $35, so they are too expensive to give away casually. On the other hand, you have something very nice that you can carry around and show your work to people anytime with beautiful, professional printing.  Some artists have their entire photo album/catalog layout and text completed, and simply print it on demand.  With this method, it can be updated anytime. The catalog is even listed on their web site, in case a client is interested in buying a book about their work.

Another resource is Custom Museum Publishing. I was recently introduced to their company by the president,  Jane Karker. She says, "We are actually less expensive, press proof each and every job for our artists before printing (meaning we actually set up the press, proof it, send it to the artist, make color adjustments as needed). We are a small outfit but have been New England's premier art printer since 2005. We also provide award winning graphic design. We work closely to consult with customers who want to design their own catalogs as well."

I would like to offer you more information about this company, but it will have to wait for another day, and another post.

In the meantime, next time you put a show together either on your own, or with your local arts organization, think about Doing It for Yourself documenting the exhibition event and your work with a self-published catalog.

Harriete

Mighty Mouse Frt72 

MightyMouseBk72
Mighty Saves the Day Flower Pin can super charge your day This Flower Brooch is an ongoing series by Harriete Estel Berman from post consumer, recycled tin cans. View my entire album of Flower Brooches by looking on Facebook or Flickr.

Self-Publishing An Art Catalog - Thinking BIG on a Small Budget.

Recently Larissa Dahroug, a S. F. Bay Area artist, sent a catalog of her work from her recent exhibition to me.  I was really impressed that she was able to put together such a fine catalog and asked her to write a Guest Author post about how this catalog came about.

Note: The opinions expressed by the author, Larissa Dahroug, in this post are hers and hers alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASKHarriete or Harriete Estel Berman. No endorsement or refutation is implied.

Larissa Dahroug color flier for her exhibition
FROM THE PEN OF LARISSA DAHROUG:
Self employment is tough. You have to wear so many different hats at once. Being self employed AND in the arts is even tougher, I think. Someone asked me recently why I’m an artist. I told them the truth. It’s the only thing I know how to be. Except for very infrequent, though dreaded, bouts of creative block, I pretty much have got the “make” part of my career down. The part I’m trying to get better at right now is getting an audience for my work once I’ve made it.  For my latest series, Sewn Paintings of Light & Love: inspired by 40 dedicated people living and/or working in Santa Rosa, I tried something I’d never done before. I self-published a catalog.

In these tough economic times the challenge of selling art is made that much harder.  Asking even $250 for a piece of art is a HUGE amount of money when so many folks are cutting back on things like food and health care. For the show of this work I wanted to make sure there was something for as many people as possible, and I wanted to tell the story behind my art. A catalog seemed like a good answer to my desires. But I only had a short amount of time before my show and I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to find a publisher willing and able to print a catalog for me. A writer-friend of mine had recently self-published his first novel. If he could do it with his novel why couldn’t I do it with my catalog?

Larissa, Omar, Simmon and Robin
Larissa, Omar, Simmon and Robin
© 2010
materials
Artist: Larissa Dahroug

I did a Google search for self-publishing companies. There are TONS of them out there. I ended up choosing Selfpublishing.com, a company based in New York, NY. Selfpublishing.com was not the cheapest company I found, but they weren’t the most expensive either. They were some where in the middle. In my experience I usually get what I pay for, and while I couldn’t afford the most expensive company I found I knew I didn’t want to go with the cheapest either. I am very pleased with my experience working with Selfpublishing.com as well as with the end product. For around $700 I got an ISBN number, all of my files translated into a printable format, 50 24-page-full-color-glossy-covered copies of my catalog, express shipping and excellent customer service from a real live person, Jacki Lynch.

I created my catalog using my digital Nikon and Mac’s iPages. iPages is easy to use, but unfortunately the finished files were not in the correct format for printing. Selfpublishing.com provides their printing requirements on their website. Files created using Adobe CS are generally ready to print. In spite of how it may appear, I’m actually quite computer illiterate. I don’t know how to use Adobe CS. If I did it would have cost me about $200 less to have my catalog printed. It also would have cost less if I hadn’t required express shipping.

The process of producing the catalog was not without it’s bumps.
There was a last minute issue when the printer accidentally shipped my finished job by ground instead of air. Jacki was on it though! She had my job reprinted and shipped on time at no extra cost to me. In fact, it turned out very well in my favor because the original job had already gone out so in the end I wound up with 100 copies of my full-color-glossy-covered catalogs for the price of 50!

I forgot to mention that this series of work and the culminating show were also a fund-raising event for an institution in my community. Planning any art event, but especially one like this can be very stressful. Over the phone (me in California and Selfpublishing.com in New York) Jacki was with me each step of the way, reassuring and soothing me when I was stressed. Customer service like that is priceless.

Dahroug12
Page 12 from Larissa Dahroug's catalog "Sewn Paintings of Light & Love."

My show was a great success! I sold some of the series and a bunch of catalogs. Sales are still happening and I also now have an impressive and professional promotional item to use to market myself to galleries and other venues. With the technology that's now at our fingertips a beautiful catalog once only possible if an artist was picked up by a big name gallery or museum, or had tons of extra money sitting around and a friend in the publishing biz can be a reality for anyone. $700 is no small sum of money these days. But it was a smart investment in my business, and it’s important to remember that cost and value are not always equal. My businessman father has taught me, value transcends cost.
Larissa

Larissa is a socially minded multi-media artist. She lives and works in Santa Rosa, CA with her husband and five spoiled cats. See her work online at www.spatoochna.com.

FROM HARRIETE:
The affiliate link (below) to
  
Selfpublishing.com is provided for your convenience. The web site is very interesting. There are many different ways you could approach creating your own catalog or publicity materials. In the next post, I will tell you how I put together two different catalogs for my work.
Harriete

Selfpublishing

Dahroug12
Page 12 from Larissa Dahroug's catalog "Sewn Paintings of Light & Love."

Pricing Your Work - the series

Are You Wondering How to Price Your Work?

ASK Harrite has a whole series of posts about Pricing Your Art or Craft Work

Listen to the SlideShare PowerPoint Presentation "Not Just Another Pricing Lecture" and a podcast discussion with the audience and speakers.
Find both now available on line for free at:
•     Professional Development Seminar page on the SNAG website:
•     Professional Development Seminar page on Harriete Estel Berman’s web site.


Plan Ahead If Hand Delivering Your Work to an Exhibition.

Remember Me by Harriete Estel BermanImagine you are hand delivering your work to an exhibition.  Most likely you'll walk in to deliver your artwork and won't know any one there.  Then you hand your art and craft to a total stranger, and everyone is busy and excited. The staff may be inexperienced volunteers, but all are thrilled that you are participating.  Ultimately, you turn around and walk away.

Whoa Nelly!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Did you get any documentation that you dropped off your work? Could you possibly remember who you spoke to during that frenzied morning?

Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the Front Door from the Street by Harriete Estel Berman
Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the
Front Door from the Street 
©
1997-98
Multiple frames fabricated from recycled
tin cans and vintage steel dollhouses.                   
18" height x 20" width x 5" depth
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

Before you go, be prepared.  Make two copies of your documentation BEFORE leaving your house (or studio) with your art work. This could be an Inventory Record, Condition Report, Exhibition Contract, or one page Invoice. Upon arrival at the drop off location for the exhibition, hand both copies of your paperwork to  a representative of the Exhibition Sponsor and have them sign one copy and hand it back to you before you leave. The other copy stays with the work.

Print the representative's name on your copy of the paperwork.  Ask to see their driver's license if you have any uncertainty. (Discretely make a note of the person's appearance, so you can remember in case there is a problem.)

This is your only proof that the work was delivered to the exhibition sponsor and to a responsible person. Don't just leave your work without this level of documentation that your work was delivered and received. 

Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the Front Door from the Street close up view by Harriete Estel Berman
Reality Studded with Thorns Hides the
Front Door from the Street
(close-up)
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen


Frankly, a well run exhibition should have all this paperwork ready, anticipating your arrival. If so, fabulous! You can feel very comfortable that this exhibition is going to be well organized. You'll sign each others' papers and everyone will be satisfied.

Unfortunately, all too often the exhibition sponsors are not this well prepared.  And if you didn't bring your own copies of this paper work, it is too late. By bringing in your own paperwork, you have a "back up plan."  I believe in preparing back up plans before a crisis.

Your level of preparation will make you look like an experienced professional. You are the artist that is going to have a good night's sleep instead of nightmares about lost work.

Harriete

P.S. Don't forget to read the previous posts about preparing the boxes for your artwork. These principles apply even if you are hand delivering your work.

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions
Tips on Packing Your Art or Craft for Shipping to an Exhibition.

Shipping Boxes for Art or Craft Should Include Instructions

When shipping work to an exhibition I include instructions for UNPACKING, DISPLAY, ASSEMBLY (if necessary), and RE-PACKING MY WORK for return shipping.

IMG_2860In every box, a copy of the instructions are glued on the inside flap of the interior shipping box and a separate set is in the box. I glue the instructions to the box so that even if the loose copy is lost or misplaced, there are always instructions with the box and artwork. I also include disposable gloves in my interior shipping box. (See image below.)

Instruction Labels should include the following:
  • Labels on the boxes should be neat and easy to understand.
  • Use Elmer’s Glue or rubber cement – not glue sticks – to adhere the labels to the box.
  • Glue an ADDRESS label or ‘rubber stamp’ inside all boxes with your complete name and address. 
  • Glue a TITLE label, including title, date created, materials, and dimensions on the outside of your interior shipping box.
  • Include assembly instructions, if necessary, along with a diagram or photograph of how the artwork should look or be displayed. (READ the previous post.)
Sample image for your packing box.

Artwork should be well-constructed and designed to survive shipping conditions.  During the creative process, it is a good idea to design the work to survive the sometimes unpredictable vibration or "rough and tumble life" of shipping conditions. Consider what will happen if your box is turned sideways or upside down. Work that is not appropriately designed for shipping is much more likely to become damaged during shipping and consequently unable to be shown in the intended exhibition. For this reason, sometimes it is best to design work to be disassembled and reassembled at the exhibition location. This is especially important if there are heavy components and lightweight or fragile components in the same artwork.

Remember Me by Harriete Estel Berman
Remember Me     © 1998-99
Recycled tin cans and vintage steel doll
houses, Brass wire embroidery,
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen



Consider how the work will be displayed.  Include a custom display, if needed, along with clear instructions for the set up. If you have a pre-conceived idea of how the work should be displayed, this information should also be sent to the Exhibition Sponsor two months prior to the show.

Just in case the exterior of your shipping box is damaged, the interior shipping boxes should be labeled with:
Artwork
Title       
Artist name

Address
City, State, Zip
Phone (area code) and number
Email:
Web site: 

Here are Packing Tips to Download PackingTIPS PDF


IMG_2866
Remember Me in it's custom made interior shipping box. The interior of the box is upholstery foam cut to fit the artwork. The foam is covered with flannel and felt. In this photo the felt flap is open. This interior shipping box is appropriately sized for storage. For shipping it should be surrounded by 1"-2" of peanuts in a larger exterior shipping box.

SHIPPING PRESENTATIONS WITH AUDIO

Documentation for SHIPPING Art and Craft

Custom Shipping Box /Design Your Work for Shipping

PACKING one-of-a-kind artwork for SHIPPING


Tips on Packing Your Art or Craft for Shipping to an Exhibition.

PACKING YOUR WORK FOR EXHIBITIONS

INTRODUCTION
Thoughtful preparation for packing and shipping your work helps ensure that your work will arrive without damage, makes you look like a professional artist, establishes that your work will be handled and installed carefully according to your expectations and returned without damage.   What more can you expect?

Sloppy packing increases the chance that your work may be damaged during shipping, lost in the packing materials, possibly damaged when it is unwrapped, returned in an inappropriate shipping container or poorly repacked because the artist did not provide adequate packing instructions or reusable packing materials.  Is that what you want? That is what you are going to get if you don't pack your work properly.

CrumpledNEWSpaperHERE ARE A FEW TIPS for PACKING YOUR WORK
.

DON’T do this:      
                                               
•    Don’t use newspaper for packing material.
•    Don’t reuse an old or beat-up box.
•    Don’t reuse a box with printed product information printed on the box.
•    Don’t wrap your work in bubble wrap sealed with plastic tape.
•    Don’t tape your interior shipping box closed.
•    Don’t eat or drink when packing or unpacking work.

DO the FOLLOWING for your Exterior Shipping Box:
•    Design your packing materials and boxes to be reusable for return shipping.
•    Label the inside of your exterior shipping box with your name and contact information.
•    Make your shipping boxes look professional and new.
•    Double-box your work. This means that your work is packed in an interior box surrounded by at least two inches of “shipping peanuts” between the interior box and the outer shipping box.
•    Attach FRAGILE stickers to the exterior of the shipping box.

SAMPLE INTERIOR SHIPPING BOX BELOW:
IMG_2864

Do the Following for Your Interior Box:
•    Design the packing materials used inside the interior box to be reusable.
•    For small artwork, a Tupperware-type plastic container (with a resealable lid) may be an excellent interior box.
•    Label the interior box with your name and address – inside and out.
•    Label the interior box with the title of your work ON THE OUTSIDE.
•    Glue instructions for Unpacking, Display, Maintenance and Repacking on your interior box. (see below for more detailed information).
•    Always include a pair of disposable gloves with your work (placed inside the interior box).
•    Place the following papers inside the interior box with your work:
        o     A List of Inventory (including wholesale and retail value).
        o    Condition Report (especially if this is an important piece or traveling exhibition).
•    Include a current RESUME and ARTIST STATEMENT if you haven’t sent them already.
BRASS BRADS •    Use brass brads with string to securely close the box (if the lid doesn’t already seal like Tupperware, for example). DO NOT USE TAPE.

Stay tuned for more shipping tips and a printable handout next week.

Are you wondering why I made the recommendations listed above? Just ask.There is a reason for every suggestion.

Harriete


Evaluating a Juried Exhibition Prospectus. Is it worth it?

In the previous post, we discussed entering juried exhibitions in the post titled "Should I enter jury shows? Usually a juried show provides great exposure for your work and your professional reputation.  However, the next issue for artists and craftspeople is to determine from the prospectus whether a juried exhibition is going to be worth the investment of your time and money.

Study the prospectus. Use the Professional Guidelines topic, Juried Exhibitions and the Exhibitions: Artist Checklist in reviewing a show’s prospectus. If the prospectus leaves you with unanswered questions, call or email the exhibition sponsors.  Glasses

Here are the most important questions to ask:

Does the exhibition have insurance? If there is no insurance during the exhibition, don't enter. That is my bottom line. If insurance isn't mentioned in the prospectus, then email or phone the exhibition sponsor and ask directly. There is no justification for not offering insurance during the exhibition. No exceptions.

Does this show fit your work, media, style, concept? I am going to be very frank. Not every juried exhibition is a perfect fit for everyone. It's a big waste if this show doesn't fit your professional objectives or your work. I am all for s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g a theme, but if your research indicates that the exhibition sponsors or the jurors are not a good fit for your work, be realistic, and decline. For example, if the jurors are into traditional landscapes and your work is abstract figurative work using glitter and gumballs, this is not a good fit. 

Dimensionalweight Will the exhibition sponsor pay for return shipping? While this may or may not be a deal breaker, consider how much it will cost you to ship your work before paying the entry fee or spending time filling out the application. Many juried exhibitions will pay for shipping in one direction (or at least cover return shipping up to a fixed amount), but shipping across country or internationally can be very expensive, and it seems to be getting more expensive all the time.

White gloves for carefull handling of your work. Is the show sponsored by an organization such as a non-profit exhibition space or museum with professional staff to unpack and install the work? Sorry to say, but shows sponsored by academic institutions or artists groups often have students or inexperienced people handling the work. This often results in problems. Your packing and installation instructions are going to have to be superior to protect your work from damage.

Follow the TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine from the Professional Guidelines to make your entry more successful.

The next post will offer helpful tips for packing and installation instructions on your shipping box to protect your work.

Harriete

Consuming Identity is a sculpture by Harriete Estel Berman. While it looks like a chair, it is not functional. It hangs on the wall as a discussion about consuming to create an identity in our consumer society.
Consuming Identity             © 2001            Harriete Estel Berman
Constructed using recycled tin cans; stainless steel screws, aluminum rivets, sterling silver rivets; fabric seat cover with black ribbon applied in a UPC pattern. Available for purchase of exhibition.

Chair hangs on the wall.
51”  height of chair back
10.5” back width
19.5 front width
10” depth


Should I enter jury shows? Words like "museum" and "juried" intimidate me.

Harriete...I have been asked to submit to a juried show. It's pretty exciting...but scary.  All the work and the shipping ...the prospectus is pretty daunting to a self taught artist like myself. 

Mary Anne Enriquez
  "21st Century Fusion" coat and 3 accessory
  ensemble (includes the woven boot spats.) 
 Materials: 98% recycled household trash
  Artist: Mary Anne Enriquez
© 2009
  View information about her outfit on Flickr.

     Are juried shows worth the effort and trouble?  How can they help an up and coming artist?  Can you give some reasons for going through all the motions.  I guess, I am scared off by the words "museum" and "juried" show. 
     Thanks.  Great things have been happening to me and my art career as I follow your advice! 

Mary Anne

Juried shows provide great experience for you and exposure for your artwork.  A definite way to climb up the professional art ladder.  In addition, you never know who might see your work.  Such shows can launch your career forward, but even so, it usually takes years to establish a name and a reputation for your work.

Keep documentation of your participation in each show and update your resume. Shows held at non-profit exhibitions spaces and museums are definitely better resume boosts than shows held at galleries. This is not to say that galleries can't put together interesting shows. It's just that a gallery's focus on selling may influence the selection of work.  Museum and non-profit exhibitions seem to show more interesting and unusual work.

Most academic undergraduate or masters programs don't  teach their students about entering juried shows, although they should. Consequently, being self taught or inexperienced should not hold you back from applying and participating at this level of exhibition experience.

The Professional Guidelines offer several documents about how to enter juried opportunities with more confidence and success. My first recommendation is to use the TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine.

Here are the TOP TEN TIPS.
TIP #1. 
   DAZZLE THE JURY WITH AMAZING IMAGES!  
TIP #2. 
   DYNAMIC DETAIL IMAGES ARE KEY.
TIP #3.
    DO NOT SEND A BAD IMAGE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
TIP #4.  
  CAREFULLY CONSIDER THE ARRANGEMENT OR ORDER OF THE IMAGES CHOSEN. 
TIP #5.
    AVOID AMBIGUITY IN YOUR IMAGES, DESCRIPTIONS AND APPLICATION.
TIP #6.
    CONSIDER YOUR ENTRY THOUGHTFULLY AND STRATEGICALLY.
TIP #7. 
   FILL OUT THE APPLICATION NEATLY AND COMPLETELY.       
TIP #8. 
   ALWAYS LABEL YOUR IMAGES.
TIP #9.  
  PLAN CAREFULLY TO MEET ALL DEADLINES. 
TIP #10.
  BOOTH IMAGES NEED TO BE FANTASTIC! 

This document also includes an appendix with additional information:
Appendix I   Sample Contact Sheet
Appendix II  Where can artists learn about juried exhibitions, craft shows, books or magazines to submit their work.
Appendix III  A word about publicity

Read the entire TOP TEN TIPS for Getting Into a Juried Exhibition, Show, Book or Magazine for more comprehensive information.  

Additional Professional Guidelines documents titled, Juried Exhibitions and the Exhibitions:Artist Checklist, may also be helpful in reviewing a show’s prospectus before you decide to enter. Success is within your grasp with careful planning and preparation.

Stay tuned next week for more issues involved with entering juried opportunities.

Harriete

Liquidwrench72
 

Liquid Wrench Flower Brooch  by Harriete Estel Berman
Recycled post consumer tin cans
Diameter 4.25”    This pin is SOLD.
Find more on Etsy. View the entire series on Flickr or Facebook.


MAKERS: A History of American Studio Craft - HOT OFF THE PRESS!

IMG_5245 Arriving home from my family vacation at the beach, I found a mountain of mail waiting for me.  But thrill upon thrill, there was my copy of Makers: A History of American Studio Craft, HOT OFF THE PRESS!  Ordered weeks ago, it has finally arrived!!!!!.

This book took five years of research and intensive effort from Bruce Metcalf and Janet Koplos. As mentioned in a previous post, this book was designed and written as a college level text book on the history of craft in the 20th century published by The University of North Carolina Press. It looks like a text book with only about one picture per page. This is definitely not a picture book. IF you aren't familiar with craft history you might want to read this book next to an internet resource for quick reference.

Makers: A History of Studio Craft

Essentially, it is the one and only book of this kind published to date. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to read the entire book word for word, cover to cover.

Joking aside, I am not kidding. This book is bound to be a milestone in the studio craft movement of the 21st century.  

SLIMfast
Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture
Recycled tin cans, battery motor, alum.
rivets, dial, screws.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
© 1994
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen

The first chapter starts with "The Roots of Studio Craft" in the 19th century, but thereafter, each and every chapter covers one decade after another in the 20th century. My joy and excitement is that an image of my work, Hourglass Figure: The Scale of Torture, is included in the final chapter titled, "1990-1999 Mastery As Meaning" along with a column of commentary text.



So far the best price I've found for Makers: A History of American Studio Craft is on Amazon.com In the interest of full disclosure, clicking on the link and purchasing a book will provide this blog with a few cents as an affiliate link.

IF you don't want to buy your own book, then I suggest you ask your local library system immediately , and put your yourself at the top of the waiting list.

Harriete