A few months back, a fellow grad convinced me to apply to a juried show in Atlanta. The theme for the show was “Lust”, which was pretty loose as to what it entailed. I applied, as did she, and both of our works were accepted for the exhibit.
The exhibit is being held at the Jennifer Schwartz Gallery. The show was juried by David Bram, who is the founder, editor, and curator of Fraction Magazine. The show opened last Friday evening and will be up until May 12th, 2012.A word about juried shows: They are not always the best thing to apply to, but they have their advantages. For a while now, shows have been coming along for me without having to apply to them. Curators find the work somehow and ask to exhibit it. I haven’t actually applied to a show in quite some time.
Juried shows are fantastic things when you are just starting and you need some shows on your resume. When I was younger, I would apply to a fair amount. There are a number of things that you want to look for though before you apply to a show. The first, and most important, is who the juror is. You want to make sure it is both someone important to the photo field/industry (do your research) and also someone that you think will like your work. That is where the research comes in. If you are making large color photographs and the curator is interested in very formal black and white street photography, that may not be the best show to apply to. That being said, you never quite know what the juror will like.
The second thing to look at is the venue. This is for a number of reasons. First, you want to make sure the venue is somewhere you want associated with your work. If it is at a really good gallery (again, research) or museum, that’s great. But a lot of times the venue is not so great, and the juried show is being used as a revenue stream for them. The other thing about the venue is “where is it?” Most, if not all, juried shows require you to get the work there, whether you have to deliver it or pay to mail it. If it is all the way across the country, it can get expensive, especially if you work large like I do. You also have to have the work framed and ready to hang.
In this case, it ended up costing me quite a bit, and the first piece I sent was destroyed by FedEx (which is a whole other, huge, problem). However, the show is fairly lengthy (6 weeks), the gallery seems good, and my work has never exhibited in that part of the country. Good exposure is sometimes worth it.