Revisiting A Goal

Over the past two years I have made a conscious effort to show my work publicly. While I have focused on national shows, I’ve also entered local shows. Ironically, I’ve had greater success with the latter. Right now the three pieces shown below are in a local juried art show.

“Disco Woks”
“Dark and Deep”
“Let The Mystery Be”

By my calculations my work has had roughly 50 percent success in being selected. I’ve entered quilt, fiber, and all art media shows. For some shows I realized after the fact my work was totally outclassed. I’m looking at you, Excellence in Fibers. For others, once I saw the work selected I decided my work simply didn’t fit what the juror was looking for.

To enter juried (and most other) shows, you need to fill out an application and pay an entry fee. Since selection is based on digital photos, you need to submit photos that do justice to your work. Shows that produce catalogs use the images you submit, so they have to be high quality ones.

As you probably have figured out, the costs begin to add up. Professional photography fees can run $30 to $50 per piece. Entry fees can range from $15 to $50, though often you can submit up to three entries for the higher fee. If your work is selected, you need to pay shipping costs to and from the venue, unless it’s close enough to drive to. Many shows specify you can’t use USPS, a cheaper alternative to UPS and FedEx. Total shipping to and from the last show my work was in came to $55. Recently I saw a call for entry with a $20 handling fee for unpacking and repacking your work.

The cost is worth it if your piece sells or if the show helps increase name recognition for your teaching or work. Since I don’t teach and have made no organized effort to sell my work, the calculus is different for me.

In 2020 I plan to enter fewer shows. That’s partly because some of my work is aging out. Many shows specify work has to have been made in the past three years. Right now that’s 2018, 2019, or 2020. Another reason is that much of what I’m creating right now doesn’t have show potential. I’m trying different materials and creating small pieces. Shows like big work, and often have a minimum size requirement.

I’ll see if my mind gets changed by the SAQA seminar I’ve signed up for called “Your Professional Toolkit.” It will cover exhibiting your art as one of six topics. Stay tuned.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.


Filed under Art quilts, Commentary, Quilt Shows

8 responses to “Revisiting A Goal

  1. I enjoyed visiting the Excellence in Fibers website. I would love a trip to Muskegon to see it in person, but I think it will be more practical to subscribe to Fiber Arts Now and peruse their coverage of the exhibit. I didn’t know about that publication, so thank you!

    • I only joined FAN as part of the Excellence in Fibers entry package deal. The 2019/2020 winter issue features all the work in the Michigan exhibit. Some entries really push fiber boundaries. Maybe you can purchase a digital copy if they don’t sell back paper issues.

  2. These are lovely. Congratulations on their inclusion at Summit Art Space. I especially love the color and depth of Let The Mystery Be.

  3. One thing I love about SAQA is your work never ages out. Of course, it must fit the particular size and theme. No handling fee, and if your work gets into one of the global exhibitions, they pay for return shipping. I love the echoed curve lined quilting in Disco Woks. It adds movement, while also securing the slightly precarious stacking of the woks.

    • Thanks for the kind words about Disco Woks. Yes, those woks would go down if you blew on them hard. As to SAQA, they do a lovely job of packaging your work when they return it. My only beef with them is they now require five inch hanging sleeves, which means having to redo that if my work is accepted.

  4. Fortunate the visitors who are able to see these three pieces in person. They are wonderful (Disco Woks is my favorite). And, again thank you for sharing the quilt as art to (at least some) people who may have no idea! I like that juror, primarily a painter/sculptor, was inspired by her artistic mother who did needlework too!

    • My husband also prefers Disco Woks, which surprises me as he’s so not a glitz person. And yes, I continue with my mission to have fabric art recognized as art, not just a minor subset of art that is really craft.

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