“It’s worth being very selective”; “Demoralising, demeaning, utter waste of time…”; “Just because something is normal doesn’t mean there isn’t better way”.
These were just some of the responses a-n Director @SusanJonesArts got when she asked her Twitter following what their take was on open exhibitions.
Jack Hutchinson’s recent interview with Jo King, curator of the Ludlow Open, also generated lively online discussion: “Why are the poorest members in the hierarchy of the arts being asked to pay (yet again) on top of paying for materials and spending time producing the work?” asked artist Julie Freeman.
Jo King responded: “I know it is hard spending money and not being accepted, but ultimately it is not a waste if you are choosing wisely.”
Open exhibitions can provide important opportunities for artists to exhibit and sell their work, to raise their professional profile, and to meet like-minded practitioners, curators and collectors. But the question of how these opportunities are administered – especially those hosted by large or publicly funded organisations – is definitely a debating point.
With this in mind, East Midlands Visual Arts Network is presenting ‘Open Season’, a series of events that will consider the open from the perspectives of the artist, project manager, curator and critic.
Angela Samata, project manager of John Moores Painting Prize, is speaking at ‘How to Survive the Open’, 8 November at The Collection, Lincoln. Further events are at Derby Museum and Art Gallery and New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester and will feature Anders Pleass, academic, writer and curator (formerly Mostyn Open), journalist Jessica Lack and artist, writer and curator Gordon Dalton.
To book a place contact Derby QUAD 01332 290 606 or uk.patronbase.com
More on a-n.co.uk
Coming soon: a-n’s new Practical guide from artist Masa Kepic and curator Kate Phillimore, with top tips for artists assessing opens and for organisers setting up an open.
Use Twitter #openexhibitions hashtag to add your comments and tips.
Jobs and opps: Competitions – comprehensive listings of juried open exhibitions and prizes.
Prizes and Awards – overview and profiles of annual open competitions and the artists that win them.
The Code of Practice for the Visual Arts – principles for good practice, for artists and organisations.
Practical guide: How to negotiate an exhibition – for artists and arts organisers to create a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Reinventing the open – Rosalind Davis and Annabel Tilley on open submission competitions and Zeitgeist Open.