Barney Rubble asks: I’m thinking of entering an art competition, should I enter? The competition asks that I send a CV and/or an artist’s statement with my entry – is it wise to do so?
Dear Barney: If the art competition is themed – say, it is a competition for religious art, or small scale sculpture – you should only consider entering if your work engages with a religious or spiritual theme, or is a small scale sculpture. But you’re thinking – hey, my work is sculpture but it’s quite big, or, my work has nothing to do with religion or spirituality per se, but could be interpreted that way, can’t I just go ahead and enter anyway? Yes, you can still enter but don’t be surprised if the work fails to win or isn’t selected as a finalist. If your work is small in scale, is a sculpture, and is a statue of Jesus, go right ahead – in fact why not enter both competitions? It can’t hurt. If the competition is an open theme or organised around some vague category [genre art, for example] enter as often as you can. But a word of warning: if the competition says that you can send multiple images, only send images that support your entry. Very often judges will look at support images or additional entries for some clarification of an artist’s practice. If you send one work that is great and two additional works that aren’t as good [i.e. they are crappy] this will almost certainly disqualify you. As for sending a CV, art can often appear mysterious and an explanation of the artist’s intentions can be quite helpful to judges who are baffled by the use of obscure symbolism, or conversely, are baffled by the use of rainbows, dolphins and/or sulphur crested cockatoos. On the other hand, an explanation can lead to more confusion. Choose your words wisely. Consulting a curriculum vitae can help determine an artist’s experience and help work out if you really are an “emerging artist”. Most CVs list educational qualifications, prizes, awards and an exhibition history, but there’s no requirement that you are limited to these achievements. Artists might like to include press clippings on their work from local newspapers, art magazines or personality profiles from naturist magazines. If this information helps the judges make a decision on your work, intention and personality, include it! Hope this is helpful – and good luck!
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