Reasons Why You Are Not in More Art Exhibitions

by John R. Math on August 4, 2010

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With more and more art galleries and art organizations using the Internet and email as a way to receive and administer their art show entries, an artist needs to follow the rules more closely than ever. We see at least 35% of the artists every month who ignore the rules and prospectus requirements for a particular art competition. The artists will send in their entries in the wrong manner, incompletely or in the wrong form. Failure to follow the rules of an art call is the number one reason why artists fail to get into their share of art exhibitions and art shows. 

The rules and prospectus for a particular art show are there to afford the administrators and the judges with a way in which to sort through, categorize and evaluate the entries that have been submitted. Artists who send their entries into a show who have not labeled properly their files or who have not followed the file description requirements may not even have their art looked at by the judges.  In many cases, it just is not even considered, as no one has the time to hunt for the entries and then try to match it with the artist’s paperwork, form etc.  If an artist is sending in their entry in a file size that is larger than required the administrators may then have a difficult time administering, viewing and or storing the entries.  Also, if the file is smaller than what was required, the judges may have trouble viewing the entries and the judge may be unable to evaluate the quality as well.                                                                                          

If the files that an artist is entering are not sized and cropped according to the competition’s requirements, there can also be a problem in viewing and evaluating those entries as certain viewing equipment that the judges may be using may dictate these file sizes as well. In addition, the organizers may have file size requirements for promotional materials and they expect the artists to present and enter their art according to the show’s specifications. They do not have the time to resize what is being provided to them by the artist.

Specific resolution requirements should also be followed by the artist.  The resolution may be required for judging, printing and promotional reasons. It unreasonable for an artist to expect a shows judges to make adjustments to their evaluation process, when an artist did not follow the prospectus requirements for that art call.

File type is extremely important for the artist to follow.  If rules say to send an email, do not send a CD.  If the prospectus says to send a jpg file, do not send a png file, a PowerPoint file or pdf file.  Let me put it this way, there is a lot of great artistic talent out there and the competition to get into art exhibitions is very strong, just do not expect the judges to conform to your presentation.  It does not work that way.  The judges have a limited amount of time to evaluate the entries and if your entries do not meet or conform to the competition’s rules, it will probably not be viewed and judged.  It is then a total waste of your time, effort and money.

The next time you are about to enter an art competition, read the prospectus and highlight the rules and make sure that your entries are filed, named, sized properly and that the show’s paperwork is also filled out fully. If you have not been getting into your share of shows and exhibitions, it may be because you are not following the rules and prospectus requirements. 

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