Latest posts by Ellen Schinderman
- Stitch Fetish 7 Submissions Due Soon(ish)! - 8 December 2018
- Curationism – Time for Another Curator’s Q&A - 5 November 2017
- Curationism – Can’t Talk, Mouth Full, Bit Off a Lot - 1 October 2017
Let me say up front that this month’s post is a bit haphazard. This is what happens to me at the early stages of curating a show, and it’s the holidays. So, since I’m in the midst of submissions (don’t forget, you have until the 15th of this month to get yours in!) I thought I’d talk about that.
Submissions have begun to come in and so far, so fabulous. It’s funny, I said to my friend the other day, “I’m getting nervous, I haven’t gotten that many submissions yet,” and the next day they began coming. I asked her, “Do I do this every year?” She said I do.
I’ve received some truly stunning work and have heard from many artists I adore (personally and professionally) and am super excited to see what they’ve made. I’ve had lots of inquiries, and that’s exciting, because I love discovering artists who’s work I didn’t know! Some of my favorite pieces have come from total strangers, and each year there’s at least one piece that makes me say, where’s this person been all my life.
Some random advice for artists:
Make the curator’s life easy! Realize how many artists they’re dealing with and keep your questions – if you have any – brief.
If you have a personal relationship with the curator, there’s nothing wrong with checking in with them, if you want to make sure you’re on the right track. That said, don’t send a curator pictures of half finished works asking what direction you should go in. This is your work; make it!
Be open to critique rather than rejection. A few people submitted early-ish, and while I love their work in general, these pieces weren’t right for the show. One artist went back and made a new banging piece, another is making I-don’t-know-what, but can’t wait to see, and the third thanked me for the opportunity, but decided they didn’t want to make anything else. All are valid choices.
Also be open to price discussions. At least once a show I have an artist who’s work I love, but their price point is way beyond that of the show and the gallery. I’m not saying under sell your work, I’m saying understand that galleries and curators want to show work that’s in a price range they can and do sell. Again, your choice to adjust your prices or no.
Have faith in yourself, your abilities, your talents. I’ve gotten so many emails saying “I’m nervous about submitting.” Don’t be! Put it out there! Be proud of your skill and talent!
The first Sunday next month is New Year’s Day (roll on 2017!), so we’re taking a holiday. And then I’ll be back, the day after the opening of the show, and we’ll see what all this has lead to. Super excited to see your work! Happy, fabulous, sparkly holidays!!! See you in 2017!