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Dcam
11-17-2011, 05:00 PM
Just rambling like Andy Rooney; may he RIP.
Every once in a while I am seduced by a magazine or "art society" contest and I enter. I also, once in a while, not very often, go to Atlantic City or the Poconos to gamble. I was thinking: at $25 a pop for each entry and some contests pulling in thousands of entries, can you imagine the profit these guys are making? Granted, they have to view thousands of images and judge the results, but it is not manual labor. After a while the winners are announced. If you don't win....well.....you don't hear a thing from them: no "thanks", or "hey not bad even though you were rejected". Well the contests are fun and make art-life interesting. I'm glad we have the opportunity. Is it kind of like gambling? A lot of the work sent in just has to be drop-dead fabulous. So some of the winning may be.....chance as well as quality...no? As I said; just rambling. Thoughts?
Derek:rolleyes:

Potoma
11-17-2011, 05:36 PM
I participate when I get the itch and a spare buck. I mostly make myself not, especially in the last year, except for one or two photography ones as I try to establish myself in that medium.

The same philosophy goes with local shows. I deem most of them rips offs. Around here, galleries/societies host them in order to pay the rent, then the show goes in places which are hard to find or are ill arranged. It makes me unhappy, so I largely stopped.

Given $25 in Atlantic City, I can generally play all evening and have some fun. I don't find the same level of fun throwing money at contests. Granted, there are some local ones I would not miss, but it is a hit or miss process learning which ones. I also have had some luck with online contests, but I cut back on them, too. I have found, though, that being listed as participating in an online contest gets me art traffic, which can be good and bad.

bluefish
11-17-2011, 05:59 PM
I'm judging this weeks show good buddy, so I recommend you enter......after the reception, we can go to the bar with some of the Prize money I awarded you, good buddy!

and next month @ Sarabottom Art Show, where you are judging, I'll make sure I enter, good buddy, and I'll buy a few rounds for you, good buddy,with my prize money......:D

by the way Derek, I was in AC for the day on Tues....the holiday show @ the Tropicana is outstanding.....a troupe from Canada do a never ending holiday song and dance routine that is on par with Radio City Music Hall.....it's a show not to be missed if you are coming down to throw a few quarters in the slots.....at least you will get something for your money........:thumbsup:

Dcam
11-17-2011, 06:12 PM
Blue: Manhatten straight up, cherry and a twist, Jim Beam.

Colorix
11-17-2011, 06:15 PM
I never do proper gambling, or lottery (unless it is charity), but I do 'gamble' a little bit in art contests, provided they are online or within 30 minutes driving distance. I regard the fee as my being a patron of the arts, supporting the society/club/institution.

I suspect there's a bell-curve of quality of works entered. And those that are of the outstanding type, well, I think there is a considerable factor of lottery there. Sort of like in sports, when the top 10 athletes may all win, but the form of the day is decisive. Only, in art it is the form of the judge...

And, as humans respond emotionally to art, and as I assume judges are human, I can imagine a thought-process like this: "So well rendered, really good technique, everything is there -- but I'm so sick from the 500 other paintings of sunflowers inna vase, I'm going to pick that unusual portrait instead".

Dcam
11-17-2011, 07:04 PM
Charlie: How does it feel being one of those top ten?:) :)

bluefish
11-17-2011, 07:45 PM
Charlie......the portrait may be a winner if his 'good buddy' didn't paint one of those sunflowers........:lol: .....if he did, it's out to the bar for a 'Manhatten, straight up, cherry, twist, Jim Beam'........:lol:

'blue......:wave:

Davkin
11-17-2011, 08:12 PM
I expect I'll never enter a non-local contest and most likely I'll only enter the local artist's society shows, and maybe the city/county/state art fairs, still on the fence about those. I don't trust contests that allow you to email digital copys or even mail slides and I'm not willing to go to the expense to ship original framed artwork, especially considering the chance of damage or loss. Also, mail-in national type contests are just too cold for my taste. You don't get to meet the other artists or the jurors, attend a reception, participate in your local artist's society, etc. I'm not known for being a people person and I do struggle with social situations but to me the contest thing just isn't worth it without that social component. I recognize that limits opportunities, (or maybe not.) but I just don't see me going the traditional gallery route to financial success in art anyway. As a side note, I just don't put much faith in the results of art contests, they are just way too subjective, especially where there is only one juror, (downside of the local contests, they always seem to be that way). Another reason the social component is more important to me.

David

robertsloan2
11-17-2011, 11:18 PM
I may take a chance with them eventually. The works I've been doing aren't really complex enough in relation to what I've seen among winners. I figure there is a luck factor involving subject and style vs. who the jurors are, but that it's as likely to be in my favor as against me.

Skill counts too. It's got to be much better odds than lotteries and slot machines.

Of course it'd be just my luck that the time I dashed off something weird for the contest and didn't think it came out well, or tried a style that wasn't my thing but sent it anyway, that's what'd win one.

For years I've been tempted to create a large, complex, beautiful painting of a theropod dinosaur or some other prehistoric animal. Something worthy to hang in a museum, both good paleo-art and good fine art, and submit that to the contests in order to break the expected mold of subjects.

Though looking at my strengths, I would stand my best chance of doing that and winning by painting a prehistoric cat than any dinosaur. Cats are a strong point, so a stabbing cat like a Smilodon isn't much of a stretch over biting cats like Ari.

One of the things these contests are good for is giving me ideas for good paintings.

Colorix
11-18-2011, 06:12 AM
One of the things these contests are good for is giving me ideas for good paintings.

:thumbsup: They are! Great triggers of the spark. Hm, I think a cat would give a more visceral reaction than a 'saur.

Derek, I promise to tell you when I get there. If I do, as I have a vocation for teaching, and am enjoying it!

Blue, I'll have that drink to drown my sorrows... but they can swim!

Dave, I'd not ship a painting either, unless it was accepted into the show first, and that would have to be from a digital image.

bluefish
11-18-2011, 07:02 AM
winning one of 'those' contest........yeh, and I've got a 'bridge in Brooklyn' I'd like to sell you too......cheap!

Kathryn Wilson
11-18-2011, 10:08 AM
I've entered both pastel society juried shows, local juried shows and a magazine contest.

The local shows are a crap shoot - local judges, who knows who, bizarre out of mind art, judges who know nothing about pastels, but think they do - I don't enjoy these and have pared back seriously on those.

Pastel society shows - I feel more comfortable that they've chosen a judge who understands pastel painting and I get more satisfaction in being juried in for this type of show. Will continue on with these.

Now, for the magazine show that I've entered - as someone said, no recognition, no critique, no encouragement, no acknowledgement - nada, nothing do I get out of entering this "contest". So why do I bother? I probably won't waste my money again.

Davkin
11-18-2011, 11:03 AM
Kathryn. you mention the problem with jurors not understanding the pastel medium, why is that a problem? Why is it necessary for a juror to "understand" a particular medium in order to judge the worth of the art created with it? Shouldn't the image produced by the artist stand on it's own? Most of the local artist's society shows here are divided by medium and that really bothers me. I think it makes much more sense to divide by subject, (or have no divisions at all) because in my opinion the medium used is irrelevant. The quality of a piece of artwork is what's important regardless of the medium used.

David

Kathryn Wilson
11-18-2011, 11:10 AM
I agree David - in a perfect world that's how it should be - but it's not. How many times have I heard it said "oh, it looks like an oil painting" - oi vey!

I feel that a juror who works in pastel is best to judge pastels - they know the techniques involved, can see how a work was developed, and they know how precious a pastel painting is and they don't compare it to oils.

Davkin
11-18-2011, 11:28 AM
Well, I still don't understand your position, but that's okay. Again, I feel it's the result that counts, not how the artist got there.

David

Kathryn Wilson
11-18-2011, 11:45 AM
Well, David, I'm not the juror - I'm just the artist hearing feedback from these different venues.

Davkin
11-18-2011, 12:06 PM
Ya, and the reality is that in most contests it hardly matters anyway, the judging is usually rather arbitrary. The possiblity of winning awards is not the reason I participate in judged contests, (well, in the interest of full disclosure I've only participated myself in one show so far, though I have attended many). It's definately nice to recieve recognition, but if I don't win an award I don't let it bother me, there's just no telling the reasoning behind the jurors selections. To me the ultimate compliment for a painting is when someone likes it so much they open up their wallet to own it. That has yet to happen for me. :lol:

David

water girl
11-18-2011, 01:22 PM
Great thread!
I feel very fortunate to have a few shows here in town that appreciate pastels. We have our pastel society show for starters, then the San Diego County Fair is a huge venue with categories for oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel etc. and the juror for pastels is always a pastel artist. A recent wildlife art show was very well represented by members of our pastel society and many of the awards went to pastellists. If I venture out of these 3 shows, it becomes more difficult to win an award, not necessarily to get juried into the show.
So why do I do it? I was a competitive surfer in the 60's (such a wonderful period of time), and I loved the comraderie, the environment and the thrill of competing against the best of the best.I have 24 trophies on a shelf in my studio. Now, I enjoy entering the local shows to meet and spend time with a network of really, really generous and talented people. But this time, I don't have to don a wetsuit, get wet and swallow salt water....:lol:

bluefish
11-18-2011, 06:03 PM
Wow.....congratulations on the 24 trophies......that's quite an accomplishment.....so happy for you......and now your work deserves to have a trophy case of it's own.......you are one talented lady......:thumbsup:

water girl
11-18-2011, 06:26 PM
Thanks Blue....wish I were 16 again.:lol:

chuas2
11-19-2011, 11:24 AM
Is it kind of like gambling? Derek:rolleyes:

It's way like gambling. Unless you win, then it's not. Teetotaler here, but Vegas and Shirley Temples, bring it on.

bnoonan
11-19-2011, 12:27 PM
Has anyone else been a juror? I have and you would be surprised at the competition and volume of entries out there. Quality is everywhere!

Also...I also know my tastes in art varies from day to day, month to month. Human nature is extremely flexible.

As for lack of feedback.... how can you change that?

Maybe we need to ask more jurors to tell us what they picked and why they picked them. But will that tell you how they will jury work next week?

All that said, would I rather put my $ in this than the slot machines? I believe I would.


Barb

water girl
11-19-2011, 02:46 PM
There is a large show in town that my friends and I entered several times. But over the years, we noticed the jurors tended to choose those paintings that were sooo different from the norm. Most years we looked at the award winners and asked...what is it???? Few representational paintings were in the mix of those chosen for acceptance and fewer accepted for awards. We've stopped entering.
There is a well known small image show here as well. It has been running for years. Most of the accepted pieces are far from representational, a high number are mixed media, 3-D. So nix that one.
What I'm saying is if you can check out the local shows over several years, you can sometimes avoid disappointment. But as Derek began, magazine shows are very different from local shows.

allydoodle
11-19-2011, 03:22 PM
Over the years I've entered (and been accepted into) three Pastel Socitey of Amercia annual shows. I guess when you get in it's worth all the angst. If it can happen to me it can happen to anybody.

I've only entered into one magazine show, and surprisingly I did get an Honorable Mention. It was a few years back, and I don't know if anybody remembers, but there was a Pastel International Magazine that lasted maybe a year? It was a really good magazine, but somehow it never got off the ground. Anyway, the painting I entered got an Honorable Mention and was published in the magazine. So, again, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.

So, how do I feel about all this? Well, at the end of the day, I agree with Barb. I'd rather spend my money on a chance to be juried in, or even win a prize, in a show that has merit and recognition. I do enter into some local shows, but as has been mentioned, the judges aren't always on the same page as I am....... not even close sometimes. On the other hand, I have won ribbons and prizes in these shows, but it's one person's opinion, so I don't take it too seriously. I haven't entered into any national shows other than the PSA, and the last PSA show I entered was back in 2004, which I did get into. Since then, I haven't even tried anything, nothing, nada, zero. I've recently been thinking maybe I should try a few, I guess spending my money on the arts is way better than some other nonsense. I do like the online shows and magazines, because there is no shipping to consider, that can get expensive. I live near NYC, so the PSA show is not a considerable expense, I'm pretty fortunate that if I do get in, delivering the painting is not an obstacle. I do understand though, that these national shows can get a bit expensive when one starts factoring in the shipping costs. It sometimes is hard to justify. I'm thinking magazine and online shows aren't so bad really...

For me the bottom line is this. If I enter into a show, I never expect to win anything, I just do it for the enjoyment, and if I do win, well that's a bonus. At the end of the day, it's just one person's opinion, on that specific day, at that specific time, in that specific situation. Things change according to the wind, like Barb said "human nature is extremely flexible".

klord
11-19-2011, 09:32 PM
Hey Guys,

I would like to add a couple cents to this discussion. I have been most fortunate with entering shows, locally, then regionally, and then nationally. Been rejected and accepted at all levels. For one who is naturally competitive, this process came and comes naturally for me.

With that said, the last couple years I have found myself in the jurists shoes. This has been tremendously eye opening. I have been on a panel with two other artists to jury in a show; this was from projected images. I have had CD's sent to my home for jurying, never getting the opportunity to view the work from life. And have juried from a CD then gone to the exhibit to be awards juror. Again, local, regional and national exhibits.

I take the job of jurying very seriously, knowing how it feels to be on the other side. When jurying with a panel, the atmosphere has always been so very respectful, quiet, and not pushy with one jurist overriding another jurists point of view.

I just completed jurying by CD a local exhibition, and then went to the show to place the awards. I knew almost half of the artists, as I recognized their work. I had some definite twinges of "oh I hope he/she doesn't get mad at me because I awarded someone else's painting" however, this cannot be a part of the process. I seriously do not believe that the politics some of you are joking about are prevalent in our medium. I'm sure it does exist... I'm not naive, but really feel our particular medium is especially honorable for the most part.

Also, when in the position of presenting awards, have written a statement for each award that was given explaining my reasons. I am also always willing to talk with artists that may have questions of why their piece didn't get in or awarded. I also state in the opening letter my criteria that yes it is a subjective process.

Some of the opportunities the exhibition coordinators can consider is to have the explanation of awards from the judges to be a part of the process. Yes, it takes longer, but makes for a better exhibit in my opinion. Some of these online shows like BOLD BRUSH and RAYMAR'S competitions provide statements by the jurists next to the award winning paintings.

And now there is an opportunity for you gambler/painters to get your Jim Beam, paint in Las Vegas for the largest plein air convention in the world and play your cards or slot machines! Plus! enter the Plein Air Competition online! ;-))

Now, I am ready for my Vodka Cranberry!!

bluefish
11-20-2011, 08:25 AM
Kim........your literary skills are as fabulous as your artistic skills.....and I truely believe every word you are quoting......if only all judges had your integrity, there would have been no 'clowning around' of realistic supposition......

if I ever enter a show again, I certainly hope you are one of the judges....your comments are well taken by this 'life's realist'!

care to step out to the bar for a 'Vodka Cranberry'?.....:D......now this is pure good natured 'kidding'!

Kathryn Wilson
11-20-2011, 09:08 AM
Hi Kim - thanks for taking the time to comment from the juror's point of view. Very enlightening as we rarely see it from that side of the coin.

Now, as to my comment on the magazine contests - yes, it would be difficult to get feedback as I am sure there are too many entries to do that - but it would take someone maybe two hours time to edit an email list to send out to folks who did not make the show - "Thank you for entering, but at this time your entry did not make it into the show. Please try again next time." How simple to be polite, considerate and caring and good marketing for your next show.

More and more of the pastel shows I enter into are providing a written critique of paintings entered - even a DVD to purchase! How great is that! We now can view and LEARN how we can do better. Don't you get a lot out of a critique session? Not only of your own painting, but of others' paintings.

I will continue to put my money where I get the most value and drop the others as a waste of time.

sketchZ1ol
11-20-2011, 10:54 AM
hello
- Kathryn , between Wall St and mean streets what are we to
expect these days but rude/indifferent ?

i attend as many show openings as i can ,
and take in the whole thing ;
paintings , judge(s) , people , refreshments , sales ...
but i'm fortunate being close to NYC metro
and mix of talent , style , and $$$$$ .
a Lot to take in , but I can still be the critic !
( helps to underdress if you tend to open your mouth :lol: )

there are local clubs which will take most anything that
doesn't tick-tock or have a foul smell .
i think that's good ,
and i've suggested that there should be a separate category
for emerging/Sunday artists ,
and That's where a judge can encourage with comment/knowledge .

as a rough parallel , there are local sports teams .
20's , 30's , 40's+ who love the game ,
and don't get publishing , and keep going on .
> whatta concept !
>> maybe there Is a difference between competition and contest .
- the call does have to go to the home plate umpire sometimes ...
> he/she better know what they're talkin' about ! :lol:

Kim - do you know the potato vodkas ?
> way better !!! trust me :)

Ed :}

klord
11-22-2011, 01:17 PM
Kim........your literary skills are as fabulous as your artistic skills.....and I truely believe every word you are quoting......if only all judges had your integrity, there would have been no 'clowning around' of realistic supposition......

if I ever enter a show again, I certainly hope you are one of the judges....your comments are well taken by this 'life's realist'!

care to step out to the bar for a 'Vodka Cranberry'?.....:D......now this is pure good natured 'kidding'!

Blue,

I'll raise a toast with you any day of the week! If you are ever out this way, San Fran area, look me up, and I'll buy you your bev of choice!

klord
11-22-2011, 01:25 PM
Hi Kim - thanks for taking the time to comment from the juror's point of view. Very enlightening as we rarely see it from that side of the coin.

Now, as to my comment on the magazine contests - yes, it would be difficult to get feedback as I am sure there are too many entries to do that - but it would take someone maybe two hours time to edit an email list to send out to folks who did not make the show - "Thank you for entering, but at this time your entry did not make it into the show. Please try again next time." How simple to be polite, considerate and caring and good marketing for your next show.

More and more of the pastel shows I enter into are providing a written critique of paintings entered - even a DVD to purchase! How great is that! We now can view and LEARN how we can do better. Don't you get a lot out of a critique session? Not only of your own painting, but of others' paintings.

I will continue to put my money where I get the most value and drop the others as a waste of time.

Hi Kathryn,

One comment on the magazine contests. The pile of images that come pouring in are culled by a panel before the judges are brought in. So, an artist submits a painting, it is culled by the panel, but the artist thinks the jurist is the one that doesn't "like" their work, and it very well may be that the jurist never saw the painting. I think this is important for those who are interested in submitting to know. This information is stated it in the prospectus.

I definitely agree with you regarding a simple form letter notifying those that did not get into the show. Especially now that we are all electronically connected.

klord
11-22-2011, 01:34 PM
hello


Kim - do you know the potato vodkas ?
> way better !!! trust me :)

Ed :}


Dearest Ed,

I do prefer the grain or wheat mash vodka popular to Russian and Swedish distilleries. However, I may have to revisit the potato variety of Poland for reeducation. The locally produced potato mash blends have not been too popular with my tastes. Always up for another try tho'!!

Cheers!

Colorix
11-22-2011, 04:29 PM
Kim, great of you to share your experience, and you're the dream judge! Serious, tons of integrity.

If anyone ever read the prospectus... :-) yes, they'd find out a lot, things like the mag staff culling. Or, the correct size of the image sent. Sometimes they have disqualify somebody who'd be a clear winner because the size was a quarter of the required one.

My, you know all about vodkas! We do prefer the grain variety here. Potato is more or less a "rotgut".

Kathryn Wilson
11-22-2011, 05:24 PM
Hi Kathryn,

One comment on the magazine contests. The pile of images that come pouring in are culled by a panel before the judges are brought in. So, an artist submits a painting, it is culled by the panel, but the artist thinks the jurist is the one that doesn't "like" their work, and it very well may be that the jurist never saw the painting. I think this is important for those who are interested in submitting to know. This information is stated it in the prospectus.

I thought that was an interesting twist - you enter a competition because you think the JUROR might like your work and they never get the chance to see your work - so why do they bother to have a juror? Why don't the staff members judge the show? Name recognition?

bluefish
11-22-2011, 06:24 PM
Hey Ed......when you down those 'potatoe Vodka' shots, do you say "naz drubya"? :D

klord
11-23-2011, 12:25 AM
Kim, great of you to share your experience, and you're the dream judge! Serious, tons of integrity.

If anyone ever read the prospectus... :-) yes, they'd find out a lot, things like the mag staff culling. Or, the correct size of the image sent. Sometimes they have disqualify somebody who'd be a clear winner because the size was a quarter of the required one.

My, you know all about vodkas! We do prefer the grain variety here. Potato is more or less a "rotgut".
Hi Charlie!

The last show I judged, one of the best paintings had to be disqualified because it was too heavy. There was a weight limit printed in bold on the prospectus, and the painting was at least 8 pounds over that. They tried to hang it anyway and it pulled the hanging system off the wall! Frustrating...

I do enjoy the occasional nip now and then, my girl!:D

klord
11-23-2011, 12:34 AM
I thought that was an interesting twist - you enter a competition because you think the JUROR might like your work and they never get the chance to see your work - so why do they bother to have a juror? Why don't the staff members judge the show? Name recognition?

I have not been a part of this particular process, so the only thing I can think of is when they have 4000 entries and they have to separate them into categories they may weed out the paintings that have mat/frame borders or are blurry, crooked or don't fall within the parameters of the exhibition???

On the BOLDBRUSH online competition they state that if the entries are over 100 a panel will cull the lot. It might be to save time for the juror....not sure why they do this really....

These are just guesses....