Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Opps Q & A, Part 2

Should artists focus on opportunities that are local to them? When does it make sense to expand outside the local region, state, country?

In the beginning, stick to local shows. Consider this as practice, learning. Whether to expand outside this region depends on your goals, the sort of work you do and whether these further-away opps fit you time and budget constraints.

 How beneficial are juried shows? Should all artists do them?

 It all depends on what sort of work you do and what your goals are.

Entering a juried show on a whim is about as useful as buying a lottery ticket. It might work, but the odds are against it. In a way, it's more harmful, because you don't have an ego investment in the lottery ticket. If you loose you're out a buck. If you get rejected from the juried show, however -- and if you haven't done your research you probably will be-- you'll probably be al least a little depresed doubt you worth as an artist for a little while.

Entering juried shows should be done as part of a thougtful plan. Of course you have to experiment in the beginning and that means spinning your wheels some. What you do after the show is of the utmnost importance. Go to the show if you are physically able. Note what sort of work was accepted. Think about whether this was the right kind of show to enter. Note the names and occupations of the jurors. After entering a few shows, you may see some patterns emerge. I have a good friend (and charter subscriber to AOM) who started out entering the shows put on by her local photography club. After the first two, in which her submissions were rated as being last or next to last, she decide that photo clubs were not her venue, although they might be for others. She entered other shows, making the notes and observations mentioned above, always looking for the types of jurors and types of shows and competitions that seemed to fit her work best. She continued this process for several years and as of today, has had more than a dozen important solo shows around the world, including museum shows, has had her work reproduced in *The New Yorker*, *Harper'*. *O, The Oprah Magazine* and many others. Her work is now in about 20 museum collections in the US, the UK, Europe and Asia.

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