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.
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.
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 the country or internationally can be very expensive, and it seems to be getting more expensive all the time.
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.
This post was updated on January 19, 2022.
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