There are many artists out there who have, at some point, submitted their work for approval to an Open Exhibition. Most large towns and cities have an annual open event, and they can be a great way to get your work noticed. Like many things, there is also a downside. You complete the entry form, listing up three works for submission, and pay your £20 entry fee.
A couple of weeks later the long awaited letter drops on the doormat. Full of anticipation you quickly tear open the envelope hoping to see which of your paintings will grace the walls of your local art gallery. Then the reality dawns ‘Thank you for submitting your work for this years Open Exhibition, however the volume and quality of work made it a difficult choice to decide on our final selection. We have limited space and unfortunately your work didn’t make it into this years Open Exhibition. We look forward to you submitting your work next year.’
At £20 a time I bet they look forward to you re-submitting again. These things can be very subjective and it’s best not to let it get you down. Afterall, you will not be in an exclusive club. Rejections tend to outnumber selections by two thirds. You could take a leaf out of the Great Impressionists book and organise your very own ‘Salon Des Refuses’. But if that sounds too much hassle there are other ways to get your work noticed.
The exhibition used to be the be all and end all of getting your work seen by the public. With the economic climate getting tougher many businesses have diversified. You get the record cafes offering beer, coffee and charcuterie with a selection of vinyl records for you to browse. Others will offer wall space for local artists who want to get their work seen. Some just want to help the local creative community, while some may take a small commission on any sale. The ‘Alternative Artspace’ is something that is growing in popularity and well worth exploring.
It’s not only two dimensional work that can be displayed, crafters and makers are also finding that many cafes are willing to display their work for sale in display cabinets. This often proves successful, especially if you have a tourism season when visitors take a shine to locally produced arts and crafts.
GalaxyXtra has recently explored this option with good results. Their Yorkshire themed mugs have become a popular item in Bradford’s The Rooftop Cafe. See more https://www.galaxyxtra.com/eye-up-its-tea-o-clock.html