Getting into juried art shows is a turnkey to an artist’s career and professional development. If you get into these shows, there’s a great chance that you will then be taken more seriously by art galleries, art buyers and art reps. Pay attention to the details that will make a jury say yay to your application rather than nay.
Apply only to juried shows that truly fit to your art.
Always take into consideration the theme of the juried show and make sure that it is in line with your expertise.
‘It’s a big mistake to force yourself to try to make work that you’re not excited about, just to fit within the theme of a show,’ says Jessica McCoy, an assistant professor of painting at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
For example, if you submit Black and White photography into a competition with a theme about “Bold or Bright Colors” is never a good idea. You might say that black and white are colors too! Yes they are, but black and white are not in keeping with the spirit of the theme and scope of the show.
Submit the best representation of your art entries.
Make a good first impression. What does this mean? Some entries appear that the camera is not perpendicular to the art, the image is under/over exposed, messy background, etc. You might be interested to hire a professional photographer but you can also take great pictures by learning the basics of photography and Photoshop.
You need to send in exactly what the application asks for.
You need to read the application thoroughly and follow their instructions in order to have your application and submission accepted. It also means that the application should be filled out entirely, with the correct amount of images and the image files labeled properly, according to the organizations specifications.
Only submit work that is relevant.
Artists usually work within several different styles and media. Stay with one media for your entries as showing a mishmash of different works will make you look like a hobbyist, not an expert. Your show’s entries should always appear relevant to the specified theme of the juried show.
Carefully craft the order of your images.
Art judges and juries view images from left to right and top to bottom. Take advantage of this and carefully craft the order of your images controlling where to put your best art works. To do so, label your image files properly.
For instance, for most competitions they want the files labeled in the following manner: Artist Last Name, Entry Number, Competition Name, and Title of the art. It would look like this: Lennon_1_Abstract_Title.jpg. This can be done by simply right clicking on the image file and a “rename” like any other document. Take the time to do this correctly.
Once you’re accepted, congrats! If not, evaluate your application process and think of the part where you’re lacking… do something about it and try again.