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  1. #1
    gbenaim's Avatar
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    Exhibit/Review Fees and the New Depression

    Hi all,

    I'm just wondering how many of you out there are sending out work to portfolio reviews, juried exhibits, contests, etc. and are flinching at the fees these places charge to look at and show work, especially considering the state of the world economy. To what extent are you deciding where to send work relative to how much you have to pay? All the best,

    GB

  2. #2
    PhotoBob's Avatar
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    I have work out at four different European venues and hope the economy hasn't dampened investor/collectors too much.
    It definitely is of a concern, but having my work out there is still one of the advantages.
    Follow the Light John 8:12
    ~~~PhotoBob

  3. #3
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    As only a small player, so far I am just stumbling along as usual. As someone involved in mounting an upcoming local art show, I've encountered the bad economy from the other side. We had received sponsorship from a local bank, upwards of $900, in previous years; we recently learned this year we will get $250. From one viewpoint, I'm grateful we're getting anything. To pick up for the shortfall, we are dropping some frills like a color rendition of last year's best of show winner from flyers and the show program and adjusting the entry fee and the amounts and quantity of awards. Maybe by next year we can find some additional sponsors, although so far it appears the economy is still sliding downhill. More than a little bit alarming.

    DaveT

  4. #4

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    I'm a small player too, but right now I'm looking at the $$$ pinch. I was asked to exhibit at a local gallery, scheduled for Aug/Sept. of this year. They wanted 30 to 40 large prints, framed larger. There was a grant I was applying for, a "folklife documentation grant", but the funding for such is just not there so there will be no bucks coming to help with this.

    I've had to settle for using frames they have left over from a project they did with school children here a couple years ago. They have that many 16x16 black frames I'm "welcome to". That means I'll be printing small and matting them. All the matting, printing work and costs paper, films & chems for it will be on me. I would back out, but I hate to do that. I hate to not keep my word, but I'm definitely feeling the pinch and also feeling a bit uninspired.

    I lost momentum because when they suggested I apply for this grant, it required a different artistic emphasis that what they'd originally asked for. That was fine, and I mentally switched tracks. I stopped what I was doing, expecting to go in a different direction to meet the criteria for the grant. Now that we've found this money isn't available, I'm back to square one with not much time left. It's a challenge I need to rise to. I do need some inspiration at this point.

  5. #5
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    The money for putting shows together, and submitting to juried competitions and grants can be difficult. I've spent several thousand dollars getting 25 framed prints together. Initially, I had a show scheduled at a local public gallery in my town's library. I had a year, and it gave me impetus to figure out just how I wanted to print and frame the body of work I was doing. So, I paid for prints frames a few at a time every two or so months until I had it all ready. The upside, now it's ready to go, and I've managed four solo shows this year.

    I think it's important NOT to change your style or interests to meet a grant's requirements. It can prove to be a distraction, as you say, Janet. Find grant opportunities that allow you to pursue your work... not their agenda.

    Pick juried shows that are regional... you don't want to add a boatload of shipping. Portfolio reviews may be more bang for the buck.

    I think just careful, focused submissions for grants, juried shows, and portfolio reviews are the best bets. Read the submission requirements carefully, and be sure it's a good fit for your work and budget.

  6. #6
    gbenaim's Avatar
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    I've noticed several of the places I've been sending work to had extensions on their deadlines, I wonder if it's due to lower than expected participation caused by money crunch.
    Suzanne, could you tell us more about the portfolio reviews you've attended, and why you think they're better bang for buck? I'm still not sure what the phoographers get out of it, other than the critiques, if they're useful.

    GB

  7. #7
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    This year was our art guild's 10th annual juried exhibition. We had the highest turnout ever of artists who submitted work, so our take from entry fees was pretty good. However, we did not get a single donation. Nada. Zip. We ended up in the red on the show by about $300; not a bank-breaker, but a few donations would have put us over the top, and it's the first year we have not had any at all.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  8. #8
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    Suzanne,
    I am interested what you get from the portfolio reviews. For entries I look at the venue and the judge to decide about the competition value. I think that writing for grants is something that one should try to do based on your work and not vice versa. Changing ideas just for perhaps money is very demoralizing.
    michel

  9. #9
    Valerie's Avatar
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    I went to Houston's Fotofest portfolio review in '92. My work was accepted into a very prestigious gallery. I was young, stupid, (and pregnant with #3!!) and never followed up after the initial show. Who knows what could have come from that review if I had just known what I was doing...

    I know of many others who go to Fotofest and get gallery representation, images added to major collections, and even a book.

    Can't speak for any other reviews, but I will willingly put down the sizeable fee to attend next time around (I am older, hopefully wiser, and the kids are almost grown!).

    Quote Originally Posted by msdemanche View Post
    Suzanne,
    I am interested what you get from the portfolio reviews. For entries I look at the venue and the judge to decide about the competition value. I think that writing for grants is something that one should try to do based on your work and not vice versa. Changing ideas just for perhaps money is very demoralizing.
    michel
    "So I am turning over a new leaf but the page is stuck". Diane Arbus

  10. #10
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msdemanche View Post
    Suzanne,
    I am interested what you get from the portfolio reviews. For entries I look at the venue and the judge to decide about the competition value. I think that writing for grants is something that one should try to do based on your work and not vice versa. Changing ideas just for perhaps money is very demoralizing.
    michel
    So far, solo museum show, and I'm on the schedule this summer with a commercial gallery in Boston. Not bad.

    I have made a conscious effort to get my work out there this past year, and so far have done three review events. Two here in the Boston area, one in New Orleans, and plan to go to PhotoLucida in April. I have also done an online review called Critical Mass through PhotoLucida.

    Sometimes, a reviewer needs to see the photographs a couple of times. The gallery saw them in Boston, and again, online when she contacted me.

    All that said... you should have a cohesive body of work ready to show before making the investment in time and money for the reviews.

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