How to series…Conditions of Entry (COE)
Exhibiting your textile/fabric art – Part 2
These tips for understanding Conditions of Entry are geared towards those who want to give exhibiting a go or those who have just started and want to gain more confidence.
Exhibiting your work can be a wonderful experience. You get to see your work hanging along with that of your peers and others get to view a plethora of interesting and wide-ranging work.
Thing is, COE really matter and can make a huge difference to being accepted – or not!
They are there for a reason – the reason really isn’t the question.
Organiser’s can include anything they want – it’s their show, so it’s their way. They know their venue and their capabilities.
Of course, if they want to attract entrants, the COE will have to be reasonable.
COE should never be underestimated. They need careful attention.
If you haven’t exhibited before, give it a go. It’s a great way to improve your work and gain confidence. Just remember to enjoy the experience!
The more artists who exhibit, the more we all get to enjoy seeing innovative and creative work.
Condition of Entry tips:
- Read the COE carefully until you have absorbed everything. Read them over and over.
- Follow the COE or your work may not be selected. That would be a shame after all the time and effort you’ve put in. Tick them off one-by-one.
- Entries must arrive by the due date. Last minute entry puts more pressure on you.
- Write your Artist Statement when you begin the work. This gives you plenty of time to tweak it and make it perfect. A good Artist Statement is a thing of joy, but make sure it’s easy to read, not too long and in your voice. More on that in a later post.
- The design process should include delivery of work. It will make it easier for you.
- Have a box made if your work is large, dimensional or delicate. The extra cost is worth it. I have boxes made at Pack and Send.
- Have good images of your work following the COE guidelines. Organisers will use these in print or on the web. You need good images. No background, no washing line, no shadows etc.
- Ensure your work is clean. No dog or cat hairs or hanging threads.
- Check your name and contact details are on your work.
- Measure your work carefully and include dimension (depth).
- If it’s a member only exhibition, ensure your subs are up-to-date.
- You’ve been selected. Congratulations – that’s fantastic. Always a good email or letter to receive.
- Return of work to be organised at the same time it’s sent.
- If your work has to be posted/couriered,organise its return at the same time you send it.
- If you can go to the opening, go – and be proud. You’ve earned it. It’s been a long journey, but I bet you feel just fine. Enjoy the moment.
- If you’re rejected – and I’m sure it happens to most of us – don’t give up and don’t question. Use it to make you and your work stronger.
- Now, start your next piece….and just go for it! Good luck.
Enjoy the process…
As you can see from the points above, exhibiting your work successfully is basically all about following the Conditions of Entry. It makes sense for everyone to be working from the same guidelines.
Over the years I have learnt to obtain better images, to ensure I measure correctly and to label everything!
Finally, I truly wish you great success, but it’s not about winning as wonderful as that can be. It’s about your personal satisfaction in what you do and do well – and enjoying the process. I love the process!
Just go for it!
Quote of the week:
‘Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing – and keeping the unknown always beyond you’. Georgia O’Keeffe