Thursday, October 14, 2021

Showing your work


As I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes struggle with the question: how do I want to share my work?

This year I have shown my work in two solo exhibits and two group exhibits...all local venues within the province. Earlier this summer I decided to try something different and I answered an international call for a photography exhibit with the theme "Water". A Smith Gallery is located in Texas, and the exhibit was curated by Doug Beasley, co-editor of Shots Magazine.

I received notice in August that one of my images was accepted (Groundless - pictured above). There were 930 submissions and 55 of them were selected for exhibit, so I felt quite honoured. The exhibit opened on September 10th and runs until October 31st. A virtual walk through was held on September 25th, and Groundless is shown in the photos below, images that I received from the gallery owners:

As far as I know, there are no galleries in Canada that charge for submitting your work for a juried exhibit. Usually there are restrictions regarding the number of images you can submit for consideration. However, galleries in the United States seem to run differently. This particular exhibit cost $38 (US funds) for 5 entries.

So why pay to enter when there is no guarantee of being selected? Good question. 

In addition to the entry fee, if you are successful and you don't live in the area, you need to send in your framed image or pay for the gallery to print your image and rent a frame. Due to the cost of mailing a framed image, as well as the unreliability of mailing across the border, I decided to have the gallery print and frame my image. (a cost of $35 US)  

So by this time I have invested $73 US ($92.36 at today's exchange rate).  Although it's great to be able to put an international exhibit on my resumé, I really can't think of a reason to continue with this method of showing my work.

I would have loved the opportunity to meet with the other photographers by zoom and listen to everyone talk briefly about their work...that would have been a great experience. Otherwise, I can't think of a benefit to pay $100 to participate in an exhibit. Now....if my image sells I might change my mind about that. But I won't hold my breath for that to


  1. Here in Calgary the Exposure ( is one place for photographers to show their work. It's a juried exhibit and I've attended several times to try to get a grip on what 'a good photograph' is. Or what experienced art people think is a good photograph. I went with a buddy, and we were both particularly interested in looking at the photos we didn't care for at first, trying to understand why someone thought they were good.
    This appears to be free to enter, though you have to pay to print your work, which I suppose is fair. While I like the idea of showing my work, which is one of the reasons I blog, I'm of several minds about submitting to contests or shows, especially if I have to pay to do so. I haven't done it yet, and I'm not sure I will. One aspect of exposure festival is getting your work professionally evaluated. My buddy did that and thought it was a useful exercise. I suppose if you have a goal in mind with your photography (to be a portrait, or landscape photographer for example) then having your work evaluated against professional standards makes sense.
    It's the thematically connected part that baffles me. Or groups that are more than the sum of their parts. There's days I think the lack of an art history education is hobbling my progress. Or maybe I'm feeling bound by fences that aren't really there.
    Oh, and what a lovely image!

  2. A lovely image, Sara, and it seems as if it was maybe worth trying once at least. Did it sell in the end?


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