How do you know when a juried exhibition opportunity is too good to pass up or is something that you should let pass you by?
You have to ask a lot of questions without allowing yourself to be intimidated by the person presenting the opportunity. Empower yourself by finding answers.
- What do I expect to gain from being accepted into this exhibition? Note that your answer isn’t necessarily monetary. It might be as simple as “experience.” Or it could be that you want to be noticed by a particular juror.
- What is the best possible outcome? What is acceptable? And what is the worst possible outcome? Which one is easiest to live with and will it get me closer to my goals?
- Is there a “hole” in my résumé that might be filled by this exhibituib? A “hole” might be a venue, an organization, or a geographical area—such as showing in another city, state or region?
- Do I have the work needed to enter this exhibition or will it be tied up with other commitments? If you need to create work especially for this exhibit, is that what you should be doing right now? Or should your efforts be focused elsewhere?
- Does my work fit in with the curator’s or juror’s aesthetic or guidelines for the show? Most curators and jurors have far-reaching aesthetics when it comes to juried shows. They are more inclusive than they would be if they selected an exhibit from scratch. You can't always tell what they'll choose for a juried exhibit, but you can ask yourself if this is someone you'd like to put your art in front of. In other words: Do you respect their opinions?
- How much of my time will it take to enter? How much of my time will it take if my work is accepted?
- What are the fees? Can I afford the entry fee as well as the framing, crating, shipping, and travel? Is it within my budget?
- Have I outgrown this exhibition? Am I better established than most of the others who will enter?
- Would my time and money be better spent if devoted to another opportunity, even if I have to make up such an opportunity?
In Part 2 I give you some questions to ask others when contemplating your participation in a juried exhibition.