Towards Better Democracy

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Open calls to artists

OK, I already have an international reach as an artist. Saatchi Art online have 67000 artists from over 100 countries on their online site. But I am, by and large, only known within the English language community and the world is a bigger place than simply those countries which happen to use English as their native language. So why not apply to galleries in other parts of the world. Nothing to lose, save a few, very few, rejection emails, and lots and lots and lots of no responses.

Sending unsolicited work to galleries in the far corners of the globe is probably a less than fruitful business. Galleries don’t like outsiders. They prefer people they know. But what the heck. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I don’t expect much joy from galleries here in my city of residence. I think that those who live within an arts community are not regarded with any enthusiasm by that community unless you come with some kind of claim to recognition by the outside world and, even then, they may show little interest. I don’t mind, really I don’t. Well, yes, I do. But I would much rather be known on a global scale than on a local one.

Besides, alongside local artists, I am a nobody. I have been around for a matter of months where others have been at their art work for decades. Surely they have gained their spurs and paid their dues. I could plead incarceration in engineering for decades. But I don’t think I would gain kudos for doing that.

I don’t know if there are other artists following or reading the blog. I hope there are because the purpose in these posts of my art experience is to share it with others. It doesn’t matter, though, what your field of endeavour is, there are experiences that I have that are applicable to all walks of life. And the idea is that you draw knowledge and tips from mine. Besides, there may be an intrinsic interest in what I am up to. You never know.

Open calls to artists. Ah, yes. I suppose I knew of these, but it did not strike me to try and find them. Well, I stumbled over them. The calls are from galleries and competions all over the world. There are fees for entry, usually based on the number works you submit. I have heard back from two. One, where I snagged on the submission form. It didn’t work. So I sent them an email giving the information that the web site requested and received a very nice email back confirming they had got everything.

The second response I had was stunning and I think it is going to be a long time before I recover from the shock, yes, that doesn’t seem too strong a term. A company in Europe is handling the submissions for a fair to be held in a Far Eastern country. A big fair, looks highly prestigious. The entries were to be based around a sort of peace and love theme. I took this literally and submitted a bunch of stuff which is by no means my best work. You can figure out from my work on Saatchi Art what I might have sent out.

About half an hour later I got an email from a person with the European company, bearing in mind, that with the time difference, it was late in the evening, Europeans appear to be enthusiastic people, this is not my first experience of emails late in the evening from that continent. The person sending the email tells me that the work I had submitted has been rejected out of hand. But, and here it the incredible thing, within the email were a bunch of links to works of mine on the Saatchi Art site, given as examples of the kind of work I should submit. You can imagine, it didn’t take me long to send those, as invited by the sender to email back. One doesn’t need much promoting once pointed in the right direction.

I have another open call where the theme of the competition, and they all have one, defeats understanding. How on earth do I choose works based on some requirement which is incomprehensible. So I shall simply send work which I think is worth sending. Should they not meet the needs of a theme I don’t understand then what else can I do?

I find that the world of art that I am entering is warm, friendly and encouraging. Those whom I have been, and am, in contact with are eager and are devotees of abstract art. Well, I wouldn’t submit to calls for Mona Lisa lookalikes would I?

Malcolm D B Munro
Saturday 28 October, 2017


Filed under: Arts, Media, Music, poetry, songs, stories

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