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  • Writer's pictureVishakha

Things to Remember in an Open Art Competition

Participating in an open art competition can be mind-bogglingly difficult, especially if it is your first time. These competitions give you the liberty to send any artwork with no bars to the theme, style, technique, or medium.  While it gives you the freedom to send in your best artwork with no restrictions, it can be quite overwhelming trying to choose one that can help you win. What if you send your best landscape painting, but the winner is a figurative sculpture? Questions like this can haunt every artist before the competition. 

With TERAVARNA’s 9th OPEN International Juried Art Competition approaching fast, we have taken it upon ourselves to help all our participating artists get some relief. Here are some pointers that you must keep in mind whenever you participate in an open art competition. 



Important Pointers For an Open Art Competition

Here are some tips for you to thrive in your next competition.

Show Them You Are Serious About Your Work

The first thing to keep in mind is that the jury always wishes to promote an artist who is earnest to take their art career forward. It doesn’t matter if you graduated summa cum laude in art school if you don’t take your work seriously anymore. Start by putting more thought and effort into your submission. If there is an option to submit more than one artwork and your financial condition allows you to, always go for it. It shows the jury that you have been working on your art and have created a coherent body of relevant pieces. 

Juried contests often allow multiple submissions so that the members of the jury can study your style in depth. Submitting only artwork in such cases can look like you don’t have enough good pieces to enter. 

Stick to One Medium

There is nothing wrong with a little exploration. Artists often use different types of paints and experiment with techniques, themes, or even genres to satisfy their creative urges. However, it doesn’t work well for competitions. If you are also someone who uses multiple mediums, pick one and send all the artworks of the same medium. For example, if you send three watercolor paintings and two oil paintings, it won’t speak positively for you. The same goes for an artist who is both into sculpture-making and photography.  

Submitting multiple artworks that are unrelated gives the judges an impression that you are not confident about either of your mediums and this can adversely affect your results. Additionally, similar or related pieces of art, make your submission stand out. It shows the jury what makes your work unique.

Submit What They Want To See

Being able to figure out what the organizers or the jurors might want to see can be a boon for any participant in an open art competition. You can gain this superpower by simply digging into their history. In the case of organizers, if they are a gallery, research the artwork of their past winners. Find out the kind of work they prefer to display. If they have it narrowed down to specific criteria, chances are they might pick winners from the same niche. 

When looking up the members of the jury, remember they try their best to be unbiased. However, at the end of the day, all of them are still human beings with their own set of likes and dislikes. You can get such information from their social media handles, their website, the past competitions they have judged, or even from their videos, interviews, or blogs if there are any. 

Add Proper Description

There are reasons why the organizers encourage artists to add a description of their work. First of all, it allows them to get into the artist’s mind and understand the artwork better. The second reason is that it gives them clarity on how much you understand your own work. A vague or incomplete description only tells them that even you don’t know what you have created. So always take some time to create a detailed and relevant description. 

Participate Only in Relevant Open Art Competitions

Participating in any competition is too much effort on any artist’s end. It not only takes monetary effort from their end but also a lot of thought in choosing the right artwork, and going through the entire application process. Hence, it becomes crucial that you participate only in competitions that are relevant to your niche. Make sure the competitions you are participating in give you relevant exposure to your target audience and critics so that your efforts don’t go down the drain. So instead of letting your efforts go in vain, channel them in the right direction to gain optimum benefits and you will be good to go.


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