Just a Coin Toss From Victory

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

It turns out that all art competitions are not created equal. Well of course I knew that. Entering a Henry Lawson festival art prize or a competition run by a primary school might be a bit of fun but seriously aren't likely to be smart career moves, for me at least.

Even among the appropriate competitions there are layers of career smartness. It turns out there is juried and non juried. Why I didn't clue into this earlier I don't know, but at least I do know after entering just two comps, not twenty.

Juried? Yes, as in preselected. As in quality control. As in anyone can enter but all entries are peer selected as worthy, a bit like scientific papers but a heck of a lot more subjective.

Not juried? As in anyone can enter and have the work hung. Not a bad thing to give everyone a go but not desirable to enhance a professional career.

Remember the Competition Flagbearer poll? It's where I asked your opinion on the painting that I should enter in the Barossa competition.  "Wine, food and painting go together rather well, even if I am a little biased. The Barossa Fine Art Exhibition is part of The Barossa Vintage Festival 2011. It is a painting competition/prize based in the famous Barossa valley wine region in South Australia. The competition powers-that-be have a stated interest in the 'diversity of contemporary abstracts'. As you know, I have a tendency toward creating abstract paintings and I'm hoping one of my foodie inspired abstracts might be a better-than-crapshoot chance in this competition and catch the eye of the judges from this food and wine region. But which painting?"

With your help, I chose Okonomiyaki as the painting to put forward. A big thankyou for everyone who weighed in with their opinion!

After paying the entry fee, obtaining quotes from my framer for the strikingly modern framing, getting shipping quotes and estimating the travel and accommodation costs of attending the festival, it seemed like an awful lot of money to gamble. Which is when I had a closer look at the professional worth of the festival, realised it is NOT juried, and decided to pass.

Then this happened.

One of Australia's top art prizes was decided by the toss of a coin. Truly.

I'm flabbergasted.

All publicity is good eh? Sure.... there's one competition I won't be likely to enter! So insultingly cavalier with the artists expertise and time and money. They do not deserve entrants.

Let's just say I am now rather choosey about the competitions I enter, if I enter any at all.

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