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How to apply to a curated Art-show/Prize

This is for the artists that are new to exhibiting in exhibitions, applying to art prizes and the ones that just wonder how to have a better chance of getting accepted into these events.

Here is what I've noticed over the last couple of years.


Especially big shows take a LOT of time to curate so even minor mistakes, like spelling mistakes, going over the word count, having poor quality photos and generally small things like that could decide if your work is getting looked at properly or not. To have the best chances make sure that you don’t rush through the process and:


PAY ATTENTION

Make sure to follow every single requirement that is listed, such as image size for the photos, word count, make sure everything is spelled correctly, maximum measurements for the artwork if it has to be framed or not, etc. Make sure you don’t leave out Materials/mediums used for the artwork, don’t leave anything out, jurors don’t like guessing and also make sure the artwork and the description make sense with the theme of the exhibition or art prize (if there is a general theme)

 

DON'T RUSH IT

Do not finish it last minute just before the Deadline. It probably doesn’t make much difference but starting early and maybe working on it for longer than just one day gives you the chance to make sure everything is correct, to change the wording of some things and maybe have some other people read through the application to make sure that every requirement is met.

 

MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION


Do not be too picky when it comes to choosing galleries and make sure that If you apply for an exhibition/art prize, you’re actually ready to take part in it. This is just more about your overall reputation I would say and If you apply for a gallery, the curators will take time out of their day to look at your work and if you get accepted and then decline for whatever reason, it’s never a good impression, especially at the start of your art career.

 

NO OLDIES

Submit your BEST works. Of course, this goes without saying but don’t apply to galleries with works you’ve done years ago which do not represent your current skill level or style anymore. Make sure the work is relatively recent and make sure it represents what you do at this current moment.



 

THINK ABOUT THE TITLE

Give your work an interesting, fitting title and description that they (or some of them) can connect with. Anything that will make them look at your work for a bit longer will work in your favour. Well thought of titles and good descriptions can add to the experience of the work


 

PHOTOS

Take good quality photos. Make sure that there is no reflection, that it is straight, preferably taken in natural light and just make sure that it looks as close to the original as possible. I edit a lot of photos after I’ve taken them because the light distorted the colours and it doesn’t look like the original. These 5 mins of extra editing make a huge huge difference. If you’re allowed to send more than 1 photo of the same artwork make sure to get close-ups to show the detail and maybe other angles if it is important to understand the work.



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That was it for part 1. I have more coming up soon where I will also talk about how to get your paintings ready for a show as in professional framing, etc.

I hope this helped some of you, took a bit of the anxiety away or was at least an interesting read.


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