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Last year I was accepted into most of the shows I applied for. For 2012, I have re-applied at the shows that were most successful for me and have been re-invited to almost all. I have also applied to new shows and I been rejected by every one except for 1 wait list. This includes: Gasparillo, Winter Park, Ft. Meyers, Naples National (the one wait list), Ft. Worth, Austin, Fiesta (TX). I realize these are good shows and I can't expect to get into all of them, but I expected to get into at least one. The only thing I am doing differently from last year is sending newer images. I will attach my images I apply with. These are soft pastels and I usually apply in the drawing category. Perhaps someone could give me some suggestions.

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I have some suggestions and critiques and I guess you want to hear them because you posted your jury images to a public forum.

Where are the black borders to square the individual images? If you don't include them, ZAPP adds the borders and in saving your JPEG under 2 megabytes, degrades the images.

The trees has weird edge effects and if it's part of your style, all the images should have them. The blue vertical panoramic comes across too narrow compared to the other images. The two images in the diptych are too far apart and the space between them should be black. White is a distraction. I haven't checked the contrast and color.

The booth needs to be shot from higher up so you aren't looking up into the blinding white canopy top in the jury room. Also remove the plants and square up the edges of the walls in front on the left and right.

Larry Berman

Thanks Larry, I appreciate your comments and I did want a critique or suggestions. After all, if I were doing everything right, I wouldn't have had 7 rejections.

Yes, I add black borders to my images.

In 9 years I have gotten into Gasparilla twice and I have yet to get into Ft. Myers and Winter Park.  Larry has some good suggestions but don't let the rejections get you down.

Oh ! I haven't applied to anything yet this year- glad I read this as a reminder!

This may not be good advice, I am not good at following the rules, yet I do get into a reasonable amount

of shows- and I get rejections, too.

My booth shot is quite close in- no floor, very little roof, not even the edges of the sides of the booth.

Don't know if you would want to take a chance of doing something like that. I have pottery, so my work is smaller, and I want to have the jurors able to actually see my work. 



The way you have your booth shot now, the front of the bin is the largest amount of surface area, and it's blank. Aside from the broad expanse of wood chips, that is. The work seems to get lost in the booth. We are seeing too much floor and roof.

Keep plugging away. It takes a while to get into some of the good shows. I still can't get into some of them. And when I do, sometimes they're not all that.

I notice that some of your work is signed -- this can turn the jury off, too, even though it's part of the art. For the jury slides, there is not supposed to be ANY identifying marks in the work or the booth. I know, I know, you're not supposed to photoshop. You might want to anyway, for your jury images.

I think, in many instances, the booth shot becomes a tie breaker. If it isn't dramatic enough, or if it doesn't meet some secret requirement, voila! bounce-o!

Very nice work, Dan. Congrats on your acceptance in year one. Sometimes it seems that if you have pretty decent work you get into lots of good shows in the first year and then it gets tougher. Sometimes. No rules to these acceptances. Are you entering in drawing? Pastels are drawings, right? I'd want to know who did get into the shows you were rejected from and I'd go looking around for some lists of who your competition is, look at some show lists. Have you seen a list of the accepted artists for the shows that rejected you? I really would spend time looking at others work, it can tell you a lot -- or nothing. Still, it is worth the time in my mind. 

Your booth image isn't perfect, but I don't think that kept you out of anything. 

Everyone, thanks for the comments. I wish the shows gave comments, or at least a score. Connie, I do sometimes look at the work of the accepted artists. Sometimes it does tell me how good the competition was, but not always. Sometimes only a few artists are invited from my category (drawing). In the short-term, I need to do better on the application end. I need to pick a more consistent group of paintings and work on my booth photo. My work itself will only improve with more years of practice.

As upset as I am at the amount of rejections, I still have a strong schedule for 2012, so I am trying to stay positive.

Thanks again,


I suggest attending an open jury to see how your images look projected as a body of work. You'll also see how your competitors images look and how they compare to yours. Here's a list of shows that project the images or have open juries:

Larry Berman

I agree about the photo - too much white and I find the pipes across the top area to be distracting.  I know you have art in your bin , it does not show in the photo and the bin takes up precious premium space in the photo. Try taking a photo from different angles. Good Luck


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