You may have noticed that we’re starting to be more active in posting artist opportunities on this website and on Facebook and Twitter.
But we want to be discriminating about which opportunities to promote. Our philosophy over the last several years has been to encourage the artists we work with to aim high — to focus their energy on the few opportunities that have the potential for high reward, and to not chase validation from less rewarding grants, residencies and presentation opportunities — ones that don’t actually hold that much value for the artist’s career.
Many of the organizations we feature seek well-established artists who consistently show a commitment to the production and exhibition of new work. For this reason, we believe it is important to feature opportunities for the emerging artist looking to supplement their C.V. by working with smaller (but no less legitimate) organizations. Participation in a smaller show or residency has the potential to create the type of lasting relationship that will make all the difference when pursuing a more prestigious grant or presentation opportunity. We certainly believe in a career ladder.
However, we do think artists should generally think twice about paying significant fees to apply for a residency or contest, so we’re looking carefully for opportunities that don’t ask for an application fee or have a modest fee in relation to the potential pay-off. It’s definitely not a science: sometimes it comes down to instinct.
We’d love to hear from you what you think are the sorts of opportunities we should be promoting. Although we serve artists in all disciplines and few opportunities would be open to everyone, we still want to use your internet time wisely.
Please comment if you’re willing to share the criteria you use to separate the worthwhile opportunities from the ones not worth chasing. Be specific: Would you submit work to an online exhibition? What about a printed publication? Would you pursue opportunities focused on a local/regional audience outside your home area? Are you interested in training opportunities?
Thanks for any input that can help us select the best possible opportunities to keep sending your way.