How to Begin Your Art Career

How will YOU  Plan Your Art Career?

Part I

Juried Exhibitions and

Your  Resume’


By Lynda J. Lambert
Pennsylvania Artist

What is an art career?
Do I even have an art career?
Do I want to have an art career and exhibit my art in public shows?
Am I happy just playing “artist” or do I want more?
How serious am I anyway?
What does it take for me to move from a hobby artist to an artist who is recognized as a professional?
Would I like to see my art hanging in galleries, museums, or exhibitions?

Lynda Lambert at her opening reception for _Primal Garden…la vida luminiscentes_ 
September 9th, 2011 at Merrick Art Gallery, New Brighton, PA
Lynda is shown with her daughter Heidi Lambert McClure, also an artist
Lynda has been in over 200 juried exhibitions and exhibited nationally and internationally.

This is an important FIRST STEP: 
You may be saying, “What IS a JURIED EXHIBITON?
You will  need to know about this before you can move on to the next step in your exhibition career.
The first step towards a serious commitment to your art requires that you begin to enter juried exhibitions. In this way, you get a feel for how your work stacks up when in competition with your fellow artists. 
Be prepared for some rejections.  Even artists who have been exhibiting their work for many years get rejected by a juror.  This is just part of the world of art exhibitions.  Sooner or later, you WILL get into a juried show and you will be so proud of your achievement. It will be a big step in your career when you begin to get into juried shows and even win some recognition for them.
How does it work?
A JURIED exhibition is a show that has been selected by one judge or a small panel of judges who view your work along with lots of other entries from other artists.  The juror will select the art works that he/she decides will best suit the kind of show that will be exhibited in the end.   You want to begin putting your art work out among the crowd of other art works through the jury process.
Before this, you may have entered your art in shows that are non-juried. This means that all work entered in a show will be hung or displayed.  This could be the first step for the novice, and one that is non-threatening nor intimidating.  This type of show is usually uneven, with work by seasoned artists appearing beside art works that are made by beginners.  After you have done just a few of these, you are now ready to move UP to put your work before a jury.  You will definitely want to do this and you will need to do this to gain professional experience in showing your art works.
As you begin to participate in juried exhibitions you will need to begin listing them on an artist’s resume. It is an important step and it reflects that you are a serious artist. It also reflects that an doing work that is notable in your field because experts have chosen your work for public display in their shows
Hand Beaded Jewelry on display at Merrick Art Gallery
5th Avenue and 11th Street, New Brighton, PA
Sept 9 – October 2, 2011
Bead Weaving by Lynda Lambert
Create a good Resume:

Now is the time to begin working on a good resume, or a one page Vita.
Begin doing this as soon as you begin getting into juried exhibitions.

After listing your name, address, contact information website or blog address, then you will divide you resume’ into some important categories. It will be in those catagories that you will begin to list your exhhibitions and honors and awards. Do it chronologically. Begin with your latest one, and then go backwards.

Create a category titled:  “Juried Exhibitions.”

Later on, you will need to create a category for “Invitational Exhibitions.” That usually comes after you have been doing some juried exhibitions for a while. Eventually  you will be  invited to participate in a gallery, museum, or art center’s show. This is also decided by a gallery owner, a selected juror or a committee, so it is also prestigious  because you have been asked or invited  to participate in the show.
Awards and Honors on your RESUME:

On your resume, create a THIRD category listing for “Awards and Honors.” 
When you need to send your Vita’ or Resume’ to another show or to a gallery, they will be looking to see what shows your work has appeared in and any awards or honors you have won.  List them chronologically by placing the most recent ones at the top of your list.
Review of Step ONE:
1.)     Begin to look for “juried” art exhibition and enter them
2.)     Create your Resume’ or a short one-page Vita’
Here is what you need to put on your resume’ or one-page  vita’:
Your Name
Your Address
Phone Number/ E-mail
Your Blog or Website (IF you have one)
          1.)  Juried Exhibitions:
                        List name of show; the juror’s name;
 the place where it was on exhibit,
                        and the dates of show
            2.) Invitational Exhibitions
                        List name of show, 
the juror or group who invited you, 
place when the exhibition was on display; 
date of show
            3.) Awards and Honors:   
List any awards you received in a show, 
date of Award 

Later on, we’ll be adding a couple more categories. But for a start, this is all you’ll need to put on your artist’s resume’ or one-page vita’. Remember this: An artist’s resume’ is very different than a business person’s resume’.

The steps are small ones, but very important ones. It is the little things that make your art career work. It is the ability to pay attention to the small details and be careful about them.

One of the biggest failures for an artist is to spend tons of time in the studio creating work, and then failing to develop a business PLAN for marketing that work.  We have to be in BALANCE.  Work + Exhibitions are important to us. Exhibitions give us an audience for our work AND  it brings us recognition and collectors who will be buying our work. We want to begin to develop our exhibition opportunities AND our clients.

Step it UP
Find some Juried Shows
Begin your Artist  Resume’

You can begin by doing a search on-line for juried shows in your local area. I strongly suggest that you begin with a show that is very close to where you live.  You’ll probably be surprised at how many juried exhibitons and opportunities you will find within a 30 mile radius of where you live.  Check out  any galleries or museums, art centers, universities, colleges, or local educational programs in the arts to find out when their next juried show will be held.

The Prospectus:
Ask the gallery  for a prospectus. The prospectus is a program flyer that gives you all the information you need to enter the juried show. They will probably email it to you. You can read the prospectus and you will know all the rules and regulations for that particular show. The prospectus will tell you exactly HOW to enter the show. It will give the dates of the show;  the juror’s name and credentials;  the day to deliver your art for the jury process; the day to deliver your accepted art work; the day of the opening reception and awards ceremony; the FEE you need to send with your application, size limitations; and the kinds of art forms that are permitted  for entry in this show. Your Prospectus is your ROAD MAP for that particular exhibition. 

Autumn Reflection Vessel:  Grape Leaves, Snakes, and Sanils
by Lynda Lambert
In the solo exhibition:  Primal Garden…la vida illuminscentes
Merrick Art Gallery,  5th Avenue and 11th Street,
New Brighton, PA
Sept 9 – October 2, 2011
Our next conversation will be to explore the different kinds of JURIED EXHIBITIONS  that you will encounter once you begin your SEARCH for a show to enter.
Autumn is a GREAT TIME to begin looking for some shows to enter.  I would love to hear from you on this topic and hear about your experiences as you begin to enter some juried shows. I willbe celebrating with you when you get IN your FIRST JURIED SHOW. Be sure to let me know about it.          
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