Choose the “right venue” to exhibit your art

Io Moth Lifecycle. Painting by Mindy Lighthipe ©2012Eclosion- Art Exhibit to open in Austin Texas

For the month of November and into early December there is a wonderful exhibit going on at the Art.Science.Gallery in Austin, Texas. I am honored that my painting of the Io Moth Lifecycle was selected by the jury out of 290 submitted works of art by 125 artists. This exhibit is exactly the type of venue that I look for when choosing shows to enter. The call to entry was listed in the GNSI newsletter and when I saw it I knew I had to enter. They were looking for insect paintings especially ones that show their lifecycles. How perfect could that be? I submitted 3 pieces and got one in. One of the reasons I submitted 3 is that I knew that I had 3 paintings that fit the criteria, but I also knew that the competition could be high and if someone else had a similar insect I might decrease my chances by only submitting one piece. Entering shows can be a tricky business. One of the things an artist must remember is to NOT TAKE it PERSONALLY if you don’t get in to a show. It happens all the time and happens to very accomplished and successful artists. I always recommend that you go to the show and see what was chosen. Evaluate your work honestly. Here are some things to think about:

  • Does it fit into the show? Check out sizes, price ranges and number of paintings being exhibited.
  • Is your work up to the same standard as the others?
  • Are the other paintings similar in style to yours? Is your style in keeping with the others?
  • Is there a huge range of mediums and techniques? Maybe there is a variety of techniques in the show or the technique you work in is not represented.
  • Who are the jurors? What are their backgrounds? Artists, Scientists etc. Check this out before hand. Do a Google search and see what you can find out about each juror.
  • Make sure that you follow the application procedure. Check that your images are in the format specified on the application. Make sure they clearly represent your painting and are the highest quality. You can not make a second impression in this situation.
  • Join organizations that represent the kind of work that you do. I belong to art organizations but also have joined Native Plant Societies, Entomological Societies etc.  Other organizations often have calls for entry for specialized exhibits.

I hope that this helps you into the very scary world of exhibiting your art and how to handle applying and dealing with the possibility of getting rejected. I still get plenty of rejections and I am able to brush them off. I try to gather insight as to why my work didn’t get in. The insight has given me a tougher skin and I am making wiser choices and now have a higher success rate in getting into shows.

What is your experience in applying for shows? Do you have any other thoughts on the subject? I would love for you to share it here with me and my other readers.

If you are in the Austin, Texas Area click here for the specifics on the show.

Please share my painting with your friends on Pinterest! 14″ x 18″Archival Prints available from the artist $200 with free shipping! Contact Mindy at Mlighthipe@mac.com