How do you go about choosing where to show your work?
By Kate Madeloso, April 2015
I have a number of criteria for exhibiting my work.
1.Deadline. Can I meet the dates required to send in the entry form and photos? Entries fees are sometimes refunded (depending on the show) if you are not chosen to show by the juror. Most often you lose your entry fee if not chosen. NB: For most shows now, photos are acceptable with entry instead of actually sending in your piece.
2.Venue. I check out the venue(s) to see if I would want to exhibit there, and if so, would it be a good fit for my work? i.e. a gallery vs. a church?
3.Theme or not. Can I meet their theme, if there is one, and their criteria, i.e size restriction, 2 or 3 dimensional pieces accepted? If they are accepting 3D pieces I assume the show will be more interesting and gain a wider viewing audience.
4.The Juror. Who is selecting the work? Who is the curator and who is the juror? Sometimes I look at the juror’s work and read about their esthetic to determine if my work might resonate with them. That might even influence the direction I take with my piece. Or not. But I do investigate it.
5.Shipping. I intended to send a piece off to the States about 8 years ago but the red tape, insurance, cost of shipping etc was so overwhelming that I just let it go. So I chose to show in Canada only. Our SAQA regional rep is working really hard to find a smoother process for us to easily ship our work down to shows in the States so stayed tuned! If you decide to enter any show do your shipping homework.
6.How often – I look for 3 to 4 shows to enter a year. In Canada that is hard. The main shows are:
A. CQA National Juried Show (NJS). You have to be a member of the Canadian Quilters Association to enter. The main show is every two years with a smaller one the other year. I work well to deadlines and entering shows keeps me motivated. Previously: CQA NJS – held in even numbered years and called Quilt Canada. The odd numbered years the name of the province in the title, i.e. Quilt Alberta. That has changed this year, Quilt Canada 2015, Lethbridge. – Lots of categories and prize money. 100 – 200 entries. First show was in 1983. http://njs.canadianquilter.com/
B. The Grand National, started in 2003, every year except no show in 2012. Usually at the Joseph Schneider Haus Historic Site in Kitchener ON. 2015 May 10 to Sept 27th . Smaller show with 40 to 60 entries. No categories but do have cash prize awards. http://www.grandnationalquiltshow.ca/
C. NS Fiber Arts Festival 8th Annual, October 13th -17th 2015 – claiming to be Canada’s Largest Fibre Arts Festival - creative workshops, exhibits, hands-on demonstrations, regions most beautiful fibre work.
· Proposals for Independent Projects: The Nova Scotia Fibre Arts Festival invites artists to organize and curate their own exhibitions. Could be a SAQA Atlantic show.
· Artwork and Interior Gallery Installations: call to all fibre artists for submissions of their work—rug hooking, quilting, felting, knitting, crochet, needle and handwork (to name only a few) to be displayed at various location during the week of the Festival. Individual entries.
Deadline for all submissions was March 15th 2015.
D. Threadworks 2016 is a special project of the Ontario Network of Needleworkers'(ONN) 1,000+ members. It showcases exceptional and creative needlework by artists from across Canada. Threadworks is a juried exhibition that is mounted every three years and travels across Ontario to many museums and galleries. http://www.onnguilds.ca/threadworks/threadworks.html
E. World of Threads Festival 20th anniversary, Oakville, ON Nov 2014– no categories, no prize awards. Over 200 entries from around the world.
- An international showcase of contemporary fiber and textile art.
- Not-for-profit initiative with charitable status.
- They exhibit innovative fibre based art from around the world and highlights the strength of local talent.
- The Festival is run by dedicated volunteers Dawne Rudman (Chair & Festival Curator) and ((Festival Curator). Exhibitions are carefully planned by various curators.
Beginning in 1994 as a single Oakville exhibition, the festival continues to grow in size and ambition. The exhibitions feature work submitted by hundreds of artists from around the world. Huge range of textile work, lots of very large pieces. A must see at least once in your life. http://www.worldofthreadsfestival.com/exhibitions_menu.html