Last Friday I went through a few hundred slides from all over the world for Gallery International's first ever All-Media Competition and Show, which will run from September 2nd through the 24th, 2004, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 2nd, from 6-8pm.
A few years ago I wrote an article for Art Calendar Magazine in which I discussed a variety of tips and advice to artists who enter juried competitions. I will see if I can find that writing and post it here, as it is as topical as ever.
The vast majority of the work that I reviewed was excellent (and as usual), as a juror, one is often forced by space and other constraints to reject work which is good and interesting. But I think that it will be a good show. The Best of Show winner will be selected from the actual work and he/she will get a solo show at the gallery next year.
However, I am always surprised by a couple of recurring things that I see time after time in all the juried competitions (including ours) that I see every year and have seen in the last 25 years.
The first is the fact that nearly 75% of all entries arrive on the last two days of the competition - OK, OK so we all know that artists leave everything to the last minute. But, what gets me is that a lot of these entries come via FEDEX or UPS, which means that the artist is paying $25 or $30 bucks just to have the slides delivered on time. This is a waste of money; with a little planning, the slides can be sent via regular mail for under a buck or via USPS Priority for $3.95.
The second is the poor quality of slides being submitted. I would say that at least 10% of all entries consist of really dark (I've actually have seen completely black or unexposed) slides, which make seeing (and jurying) the artwork nearly impossible. Or slides that are out of focus, or artwork shot under glass with a flash, where all you see is the bright flash reflected on the glass. You get my point: bad slides!