Thursday, April 9, 2015

Exhibiting Thoughts

I could look back in my blog to see posts I've made when I've been very disappointed to have learned about having my work rejected for juried exhibits.  I could also find posts where I've noted being accepted into exhibits and even a few times being fortunate to have won an award.  I've had encouraging comments from folks when I've been whining about having my tapestries rejected, and I've also had congratulations when I've mentioned acceptances into shows.  I so much appreciate all of the times people have reached out to give a virtual pat on the back or a hug, whether in commiseration or congratulations.

Exhibiting one's work is a daunting process, to say the least.  What's involved?  Here's a short list:

  1. Making the work in the best way possible at the particular point in one's conceptual and skill development. 
  2. Once the piece is off the loom, next comes the finishing steps for presentation.
  3. Documenting the work, including photographing it and recording size, materials, etc.
  4. Managing the images so they'll be accessible when a exhibit possibility arises.
  5. Finding an exhibit venue.  This might mean reading listings of upcoming exhibits either in magazines or online, being part of an organization that mounts exhibits, and/or through word of mouth.
  6. Assemble exhibit information, note deadlines as well as specific requirements for each submission.  Image size, information to include, artist bio and/or statement most likely are different for each show.
  7. Once determined that an exhibit is one to strive for, submit the entry, with images, and other info, including payment in whatever form is required.  These days, most exhibits may be entered online... quite a bit easier in many ways than having slide duplication and mailing to deal with.
  8. Next one waits to hear about the status of the submission.  
  • Accepted?  Hooray!  Then go to the next steps required for the particular exhibit--including any further information required, packing and shipping the work or delivering it in person, attending the opening (if possible), then receiving the work back sometimes months or even a year later and hoping it is in good shape upon return (and not lost in the meantime).
  • Rejected?  Groan, whine, gripe and get over it and start the process all over again.
In the meantime, new works are being conceived and made and becoming ready for the next show on the horizon.  Why try to have work shown in exhibitions at all?  That's a thought for another post sometime down the road, maybe.

I've been very happy to have had tapestries accepted in several exhibits over the past two years.  Several of the exhibits have printed catalogs, as well.  It's always nice to have one's work in a show that has an actual catalog.  Three of the exhibits that have published catalogs are below.  There's a link to more information with each show name--

Here's my tapestry in the ATB10 catalog.

 The Art is the Cloth, curated by Micala Sidore

And the page showing my work, along with Jan Austin's.  We both had tapestry diary pieces accepted for this.  More about the exhibit is at Micala's website.

Intertwined, sponsored by Southeast Fiber Art Alliance

I have a couple of pieces in this exhibit--here's the catalog pages showing one of them.

Print catalogs are expensive, I know, but I hope they aren't to be replaced by only online catalog options anytime soon.  Nothing replaces the hard copy and the chance to sit for awhile with a cup of coffee, turning page after page and immersing one's self in tapestry imagery of all kinds, from all over the world.  Thank you, show organizers, for keeping the tradition in place for awhile longer!

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