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Sunday, September 4, 2011

Top 5 Reasons You Won't Get into Juried Shows

"Early Evening - the Bow River"
oil on linen - 6 x 8"

Daily Paintworks is currently hosting a "Help the Children of Africa" Challenge where several artists have posted paintings for sale by auction and agreed to donate all proceeds to this very worthy cause. The painting above is included in the auction, and whatever $ it raises will be matched dollar for dollar by the Canadian government. Yay! Head on over and check out the auctions!

On with the post:

The 5 reasons listed below are not the only ones, but they're among the most common. None of them are a reason to stop entering, and only one has to do with quality. Let's start there:

1) Your work isn't good enough (yet)
Painting is easy. Painting well is not. It requires years of dedicated practice to execute work that is strong on every level. Keep working.

2) The jurors don't like it (not the same as #1)
When I jury for a show, I find there are times when I am inclined to overlook technical shortcomings if the piece has strong emotional impact. I have worked with jurors who feel the exact opposite. And there are as many different ideas about what each of these things are as there are humans on the planet. Add to that maybe the juror was stalked by a psycho ballerina and is no way ever going to let a ballet inspired piece into a show. (Could happen.) Jurying is subjective. No way it can't be. Keep working.

3) Your style isn't the right fit for the show
Abstract work doesn't fit in a traditional show and vice versa. Good to view past years of the show you want to enter and ensure your work is a fit.

4) The field of submissions is large and good
Take the Oil Painters of America National Show. They regularly receive over 2500 entries from some of the top painters in North America, and usually accept about 250 pieces. In the 90% of declined entries, there simply have to be some outstanding paintings. What does that mean if your work gets declined? You're in some very good company. Keep working.

5) They've already filled the quota for your genre
Ok this one is speculation - but If your piece is so drop dead gorgeous that it stops everyone in their tracks, it's irrelevant anyway. Go do that!

Now that we've jumped in - stay tuned for my next post - "The #1 Reason to Enter Juried Shows".


  1. Not sure if you know it, but Carol and David Marine of Daily Paintworks lost their home and her studio to the wild fires in Texas.

  2. Hi Jackie, yes I have heard and have sent some love their way. They could use lots more for those of you who are just hearing it now. You can leave a comment on Carol's blog here:

  3. Very wise and valuable information. Tahks for sharing.