Monday, January 4, 2016

Let's Do Some (Art Show) Things Better This Year

Heyyy, just kicked off 2016 with a rejection on New Year's Eve and an invitation to pay $40 to apply for a (small, local) show that last year didn't bother to ever let me know my work wasn't selected. I'm not really terribly bummed about either of these, but it seemed like a good excuse to suggest some best practices (or at least better practices) for people organizing art shows this year.

1. Let everyone know the status of their application. AT THE SAME TIME. Really, all this requires is two mass emails (or three if you have a wait list). If you don't know how to BCC, please ask a friend, or do not run an art show.

2. Let people know if the work in the show is for sale and if so, how they can buy it. I can't count how many shows I've been to where there was virtually no information on how to purchase the art. Make a brief announcement at the reception. Explain it across the top of the art info sheet. Make it as easy as possible. Think prices on the wall (small, not on red stickers) and a person at a desk with a Square terminal.

3. Please don't invite people individually to apply for a show and then reject them. I know that an invitation to apply is not a guarantee of acceptance, but why do this? It makes everybody feel bad.

I'm sure there are others. Comment away!


  1. I agree totally. There is an art gallery I am a member of locally and enter every month. They only email acceptances, not rejects, and I wait and wait...and finally call them on the phone only to hear. You have not been accepted. I understand they want to only notify the winners BUT as you say, it is a courtesy since we ALL paid entry fees for these shows

  2. Right On Michele. And don't forget the calls for entry that want you to resize and label your images to their specifications. Why are they all different?

  3. Yes, Yes, Yes. It should be easy to do these things. Its called consideration.