A Juried Exhibit
What is a juried art exhibit? Basically, it's an art exhibit, that's pretty self explanatory....but what does the "juried" part mean? It means someone, or several people, determine if you'll be in the exhibit or not. The hard part for the artist is you don't know if you weren't chosen because there were so many people of great caliber that they couldn't include your great work, or if your entry was absolute crap. I prefer to think it's the former when I don't get accepted.
What's the purpose? A juried art exhibit can serve several purposes. For the artist, it's the opportunity to get your work out to the public, and maybe even make a sale. For those of us who are running artistic businesses, sales are important. :) For the sponsoring art organization, it's a way for them to gain some income, as typically juried competitions have a non-refundable entry fee. And there is usually a commission paid to the organization by the artist if a piece is sold, typically ranging from 15 to 35% of the price. I'm going to throw out an assumption based on my limited experience that most local art organizations aren't rolling in dough. So it is a win-win for the artist and the art organization.
The Dreaded Artist Statement
I typically procrastinate on applying to juried exhibits. Mostly because they always need an artist statement, and it often needs to be tailored to what you're submitting. So while there is plenty of recycling of words going on with past artist statements I've written, it's often like piecing together a puzzle, merging new words with old. Then it needs to make some sense. Hopefully to at least one person.
Artist statements, to me, often sound like absolute bull shit. I've got one like that. But I also have versions that vary in their degree of bull shittiness. :) (You can read on my About page the short and longer versions.) Personally I'm not all into the b.s. kind of artist statement. But, it has to be done. (What is an artist statement? It's generally where you express your creative inspiration, what materials you used and your artistic vision. These can be about a specific piece of work, or more generally your work overall.)
For a recent application I wrote this artist statement, it's a bit of a hybrid between being specific to what was entered, and about my general body of work.
The first thing I need to get over when writing these things is that it will never be perfect. You just have to write it so you can enter the exhibit by the deadline. I wonder how many artists fail to enter because they can't get through the insecurity of writing? Often you have to just submit it, even if it isn't up to your standards.
Then, you wait....
As with any application, there are deadlines to submit. And then you wait to hear from the art organization, anywhere from weeks to a couple months (they tell you when you'll hear from them), as to whether you were accepted or not. Just like a job application, it's always the "form letter" email you get, either telling you "accepted" or "rejected" (you're typically informed in gentler words). Most letters don't say why you were rejected. That would be nice to know, but can you imagine writing dozens to hundreds of reasons why? That would be incredibly time consuming. So I get it. On the flip side, you often don't know why they chose your work, either.
Did I get in to this exhibit?
Yes. :) Of the two, The Wish was chosen.