Sunday, June 10, 2007

An opportunity to empty your wallet

Wow ... I was just combing through one of my favorite web sites that lists opportunities for artists (, and I came upon one "opportunity" that blew my mind.

I have spent the past six months or so working on a cohesive new body of work. While this new series has been coming together, I have been entering juried shows, submitting images of new pieces that don't quite fit the general new direction, or older works. Most of these juried shows have entry fees, typically of $15 to $25 for three images. It's expensive, but I figure these shows keep my work in the public eye while I'm gearing up for a full-scale PR campaign of the new stuff, and they look good on the resume and keep it current.

But at, I just saw a listing for a juried show that costs $45 to enter three images, and $5 for each additional image. That crosses a line for me, as far as what is reasonable and what is not. This show does not involve a prestigious juror, as many of them do; it's a commercial gallery in NYC. (I'm sure they would cite their Chelsea location as a plus, but there are plenty of remote, tiny rooms in Chelsea that few art viewers ever go to see. And when you're making $45 a pop, you don't need to worry about sales to collectors.)

For this particular show, if you fork over your $45 and are invited to participate, you are asked to create a piece ESPECIALLY FOR THIS SHOW (an additional expense), one that is ten inches or smaller. (In other words, even if you sell it, which is unlikely, you won't be getting a big price for it, and doubtless the gallery takes 50% of your asking price.)

GET REAL! This seems like extortion to me. Artists have to take a stand somewhere, and $45 seems as good a place to take one as any. If artists refuse to enter at this outrageous cost, these rip-off-priced juried shows will dry up and disappear. Besides, you can buy a lot of art supplies (not to mention groceries) for $45.

This said, however, I do recommend as a resource; they have wonderful leads for shows, residencies, etc. This listing is an exception -- at least, for the time being.

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