Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where we are in the last stages of preparation for the Iowa Bicycle Festival. Pray for a beautiful sunny May 25th in our corner of the world.
But the main push of this post is about art. (isn't it always?) Tied to the Iowa Bicycle Festival is an exhibit we fondly call Celebrate The Bicycle. Bicycle art. Yup, a juried art show of and about the bicycle. And I am ever so pleased to tell you we have some amazing art work coming in this year. Way cool.
But here's the interesting thing, I am seeing an art exhibit come together from the backside this time, the working/organizing side of the exhibit. NOT the jury/send in your art side. Whew! What a different perspective.
I'm learning that it's quite possibly true that artists don't read anything. Or at least not to the end of the page. And artists seem to have an abundance of email addresses, and like to pick and choose which one to respond to. And communication styles are all over the place. Shew! And the really annoying part is, I've made all these mistakes from the artist side of the equation myself. Henceforth, let's agree on a few rules of conduct for entering/participating in an art exhibit. No, this won't be an all inclusive list, just the pertinent tidbits I've run into the last 48-72 hours!
1. Read the rules of entry page, clear to the bottom. Boring yes, but they do hold helpful tidbits, like where to send the painting to, when you do get accepted. Just a thought, possibly art calls should be pictorial, artists seem to do better with images, than text :)
2. Keep a calendar! Entry deadline, jury date & notification, art arrival dates, opening reception, and exhibit dates. That's a lot of dates. Do you really think you can commit them to memory? Seriously? What about if you've entered two events? That'd be double the dates. Nah, you'd better use a calendar. And regarding the jury date & notification date, yes, do keep tabs on that one. If you don't hear results in an appropriate amount of time, it's perfectly okay to email or call. Hey, they got your jury fee check, didn't they?
3. Use one (1) (ONE!!!) email address. How do you expect to read about your acceptance into the show, when the notification email was sent to the inbox that you only open twice a year?? (your truly performed this crime last year, caught it just in time)
4. Communication is your friend. Use it. When you receive that blessing of an acceptance letter, respond with a thank you AND when/how your art will get there. Crisis is so much easier to fix early in the game, instead of last minute.
There you have it. Rules to make sending a painting off to the public, just a little easier. I thought you'd like to know.