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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Jury Process Experience For WV Highlands Art Gallery

I am a contributing writer for Create Tucker here in West Virginia.  I recently began a series of articles on getting juried into galleries, based on my personal experience.  Since these topics relate to this blog, I'm going to reprint them here.  I hope they will be of value to someone.  Here you go...

As promised in a previous post (on Create Tucker) this is one of several articles on having your art work juried into a gallery. I have had the pleasure of being accepted into some of Tucker Counties, WV finest art galleries. Each location has its own process. I encourage you to take your art and get it out there into the galleries. The experience is exhilarating.

WV Highlands Art Gallery
Today I’ll discuss my experience with WW Artisan Gallery in Davis, WV. The first step for me was to confront my fear of rejection. Every negative thought that my imagination could muster up reared its ugly head and did its best to discourage me. But, being the stubborn, errr determined person that I am, I confronted my fears head on.

Okay, so step one was checked off my list – squash the fear monster – done

The next step was to download and complete the forms that WV Highlands Artisans Gallery provided – done
Write the small processing check – done
Take excellent pictures of the pieces that were being submitted for the jury process. Yikes! I’m not a photographer. Well there are a few ways to get this accomplished. The smart way would be to find a professional to take the photographs. In my house that means finding the money to pay the photographer. Okay, that’s an option, but I don’t like sharing my money. It’s better spent on art supplies. So what was my other option? Take them myself. I refer you to the earlier sentence “I’m not a photographer.” So this is how I managed to get my pictures. I took dozens of pictures. Yes, dozens, because, I have more time than money. I then uploaded the pictures onto my computer, went into the photo editing software and proceeded to learn the software. Then I looked at the dozens of edited photos and began the process of deleting, deleting, and deleting. Finally, I was left with pictures that I was happy with. I should warn you that during this step there was a lot of frustration and cartoon language symbols forming around my head for the “expressive thoughts” I was experiencing. So whatever path you take, get good pictures of your work. (Hiring someone might be easier than my chosen path.) – done

Bracelet:  Bronze wire
Put everything in an envelope and mail it. – done

To my delight I received a notice that I had been accepted for the second phase of the jury process. Yes, there is another step. Now I was invited to meet the jurors in person and bring my physical work to show them.
I collected all the pieces I wanted to submit in person. These did not need to be the same as those in the earlier photographs. Then I drove up Wild Maggie (very steep and winding mountain road) on Rt. #19. Of course I managed to time my drive so I would behind a series of tractor trailers. The 30 minute drive at 55 MPH became 50 minutes at 30 MPH. Some people would call this karma, others might say I somehow created it out of that fear of rejection issue I have. Never the less, I made it.

Once inside the gallery I met with three lovely ladies. There was an informal question and answer session where I was asked to describe my process and materials. I was asked how I anneal my wire and I blanked out. What’s annealing? DAH! It’s the process for changing the wire temper. How could I blank that out? How inexperienced did I sound?
I was asked to step outside for about five minutes while they discussed me and my work. When I returned I was delighted to find out that I had been accepted. They provided me with the details of the gallery and the rules and regulations that they required and asked if I agreed. I then signed the document of agreement to their terms. Happy dance!

Source:  http://www.pinterst.com/
I drove home, down Wild Maggie (very steep and winding mountain road) with a smile on my face and magically not a truck in sight! Go figure!

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Thank you for your kind words. I'll answer any of your questions very soon. Linda