Friday, December 07, 2012

Part V: Finalizing the Entry

Once I had my four quilts all set to enter in Deux, I sat down to pull together all the details.

The two new quilts needed to be photographed. Since I'm sharing my experience about entering a show, I figured it would be most honest to just confess my photography process. I take my own pictures. I have a portable design wall covered in black felt. I take it outside and place it in shady spot on a sunny day. I pin the quilt to the felt, nice and flat and straight. I remove all the lint, dog hairs and stray threads. I pull a chair from the kitchen table outside. I stand on the chair and hold the camera over the quilt. I look carefully at the image to make sure it's straight. I take several shots. Then I get off the chair and lean over the quilt and take details of several areas. I have used this same basic process, but leaned the design wall against the house and used a tripod to take the pictures. Standing over the quilt seems to work just as well. (That's not to say it works great, but I think my pictures are adequate.) Ok, that's the end of the confession.

Then I download the images, look them over, pick the best full shot and the best detail shot. Then I open them in Photoshop, crop them and resize them so they are 1800 pixels on the longest side -- as required by the entry form. Then I save them with a name as required for the entry. I save them all into one folder with the title of the exhibition. (That folder is saved in a "show entries" folder with collections from other entries.) When I upload the files on the digital entry form, the files will all be in one easy-to-access spot.

I'm going to drop images of my four entry quilts into this post so it's not just full of words. These are the actual images I entered.

Fence and Flourish

Fence and Flourish, detail

Next, I look at the sample digital entry and I copy the exact requirements. I paste that into a document where I can prepare all the details before I actually log on to enter.

For Deux, the following info was required:

Artist name:
Size: height x width, in inches
Materials (25 words or less)
Techniques (25 words or less)
Basic Colors:
Photo credit:
An artist statement: (50 words or less) on how your works speak to one another. Please use the same statement for each piece.
Insurance Value:
Sales Price:

I drag an image of each quilt into the document so I have a quick visual reference. Then I make a block of text for each quilt where I can enter the info. Inevitably, I come across something that requires remeasuring or re-writing.

In this exhibit each artist will show two quilts that "speak to one another." On the entry form, the artist statement addresses this. I had some self-doubt as I was writing my statement. I wasn't sure if my work fit the idea of the exhibit. Were they looking for something more conceptual like a quilt about salt and a quilt about pepper? Or are they looking for a pair of quilts with similar elements? Who knows. I also worried about whether the artist statement should tell the viewer/juror what the quilt is *about* or how the quilt was created?

Haze and Hope

Haze and Hope, detail

This is the statement I included for my entry.

"I’ve moved several times in my life. These moves generate a variety of wonderful experiences, but also challenge and loss. My quilts layer symbols of these experiences including houses, plants, trees and stones. Dominate shapes and tiny details are equally important in the compositions -- and in life."

For the lines about materials and techniques, I pulled out a catalog from an older SAQA exhibit and looked at how other artists listed these items. I think simple and straight forward is the way to go here.
Shelter and Stream

Shelter and Stream, detail

Lastly, I needed to list price and insurance value. I base my sales prices on a per square inch basis. Some of these quilts have been for sale before and I have records of these prices, so I list the same price. I was a bit unsure about how to list insurance value, so I emailed Leni Wiener to ask her opinion. Leni is on the SAQA exhibition committee and has written several excellent blog posts about entering shows.

She suggested that the insurance value should be the sales price less any commission the gallery or organization will take. I went back to the prospectus and found that SAQA will take 25% commission on sales. I did the math and had a figure for insurance value.

Spontaneity and Stability

Spontaneity and Stability, detail

Then I just log onto the SAQA website, link to the entry form and enter the info. The software that Lisa Ellis developed is awesome. It's so easy. I keep my reference document open on my computer desktop and just copy and paste the info I have already prepared. When I need to upload the files, they are easy to find all in one folder. The last step is to pay the entry fee on the SAQA website. I'm glad to pay it as I know it supports the organization which I really value... and I know it takes a lot of funds to actually get an exhibit up and running.

Thanks so much for reading along this week. I've really enjoyed the conversations, interactions and comments that have resulted. Of course, check back later in the month to find out if I was juried in. Fingers crossed.

So, if you were the juror which two quilts would you choose to exhibit? Which two "speak to each other" most? Also, did YOU enter Deux?


Anonymous said...

All four of these quilts are so beautiful. I don't know how they will choose. I love the way they "speak to each other". Too bad they can't take all four!
Linda F.

Kristin L said...

I think I'd choose "Haze and Hope" and "Spontaneity and Stability." They have a lot of similar elements but are different. They tell different aspects of the same story. My fingers are crossed for you. I think you have given the jurors a good collection to consider.

Thank you for sharing your experience. I think that the process of entering shows can seem daunting, but when you break it down into it's parts, you've made it look doable. I'm also impressed with your ability to utilize not just your own creative process but also the resources around you such as the experience of your crit group and the wisdom of our SAQA peers like Leni Weiner.

Sarah Ann Smith said...

"Haze and Hope" (which I LOVE!) and "Shelter and Stream." Thanks so much for sharing...wish I could see them in the real!

jeanne Marklin said...

Good information about an organized way to enter shows. I'm going to implement the file folder in future entries. The fact that all of the pieces are about your place in the world, both literally and metaphorically is very clear. You've done your part very well- now, as they say, it's up to the juror.
Best of luck!

Natalya Khorover Aikens said...

I will second Kristin's choices, they work well together in my minds eye.
And wow! Thank you for this super thorough analysis, fascinating to read! Good luck!