Submission Blues
by
Brian Nolan

For me to enter a piece of my art work into a juried show it’s going to cost me $35.00 just to submit my work to be considered. Additionally, for this one prestigious exhibition, I would have to buy at least a year subscription to their quarterly magazine. That’s another $40.00. We’re up to $70.00 now just to enter the competition. If by chance I should be talented and lucky enough to be chosen to exhibit in the show I then have to frame my work. Minimum $80.00 to frame an image. We’re up to $150.00. I have no idea what it would cost to ship a framed piece to a show – I’m going to estimate with insurance $ 75.00 (just to keep the math easy). $225.00 now. I’ve been told it’s considered very rude and in poor taste to not show up for the opening – airfare, meals, transport to and from the opening – another $400.00. We’re up to $625.00 and that’s with staying at an old friend’s house sleeping on a couch. I’m at the opening now with a sore back and there’s dog hair all over my clothing but I’m happy because despite the $625.00 I’ve been deemed “talented and lucky”. If my work sells I won’t see money in hand till 30 days after the show is taken down minus the commission the gallery takes for selling the work. Unsold works I have to pay for shipping back to my home – $ 700.00. Why again do I want to be an artist? Clearly I’m selling my work for way too little now ($250.00 people- buy me now while I’m relatively cheap!!) Right before the moment I submit to the prestigious exhibition I have to raise the prices for my work to cover the possibility of being talented and lucky enough to be chosen. Does this make sense to anyone or this just the way things are done?

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