"Open" deadline listings are carried for no more than three consecutive issues with few exceptions. They are then removed and added a pool to be checked for currency and accuracy for the next bonus list. Most are also re-listed 6-12 months after they are removed from a monthly issue if still relevant.
Slide and Web registries (neither of which are the same as Web galleries) are not just for site-specific public art, they are sometimes used for purchasing already made work for city offices, etc.
If you are a member of an organization that wants to submit a call for artists, use this link. To place a paid ad or find out more about advertising, use this link.
A subscriber called to complain some deadlines were too close to when she got AOM. Unfortunately, if an organization gets its information to us less than a month in advance, there won't be much lead time for you,especially if their deadline is early in the month. Sometimes organizations only allow a few weeks lead time, because of delays or problems on their end. We can either omit the listing or publish it. We choose to publish it because you can then contact the organization to see if they will accept late entries or you can get on their notification list to get their next prospectus directly.
By the way, it's always important to be thoroughly prepared -- stamps, CDs of images, slides, easy-to-edit computer files of slide labels and lists, etc. -- so you can get your application materials out the door within an hour after learning about something.
Although the PDF version of AOM allows for a sophisticated system of searching, readers who prefer a plain text version can make one simply by going to the File menu in Adobe Reader and choosing Save as Text.The results are good with a couple of exceptions: the material in the box containing the classified ads gets mixed in with the main text of the first 2 or 3 pages and the 1-line footer for each page is reformatted as 3 or 4 short lines.
We try to keep the file as "light" as possible. That
means whatever fonts and symbols we use have to be on your computer as
well. We are now using only basic characters that every computer can
handle. Thus the symbol for a new entry will be |N|;
for changed entry it will be |C|."Editors choice"
will be |+|; the contact information will be
preceded by =>. (That's two spaces in front.)
A new designation is ~, to
show an entry that
provides a bit less than the norm in terms of rewards compared to entry
fees. All these new symbols will be in bold face. Don’t over look
the instructions for help in making fullest use of the AOM PDF
Finding specific types or media in AOM: To find all the listings open to photography, type "PH" (without the quotes) into Adobe Reader's search box. Then choose Open Full Reader Search and check the box for Case Sensitive and the box for Whole words only. (All media abbreviations are two letters, in caps; see the key at the top of each issue for complete list.) This will produce a list of all the first lines of those calls for art specifically open to PHotography. You can then click on any one to go directly to that entry. The list remains in place for your use until you close the file or do a new search. After you have exhausted that list, you can make a new one by searching for "All". Of course, you can do a similar sort of search for SCulpture, PAinting and so on. In addition, you can search for grants, particular cities or states, or just about anything you can think of. Give it a try.
There is a lot you can do with the Adobe Reader/Art opportunities monthly. Please see the instructions and get in touch if you have further questions. Another example: To find opps for PUblic art, use Adobe Reader's Full Reader Search. Go to Edit | Search , then choose Whole words only and Case-Sensitive. Type in the letters "PU" (in upper case, without the quotes). That will give you a list of all the entries that are for Public Art, along with the first line of the entry. You can then click on any one of them, which will take you directly to the listing. The list stays intact as long as the search panel is open so you can do this over and over.To go directly the section“PUBLIC ART,” do as above, but type in those letters, all in caps. It will take you right there. Same with any other section.
There are dozens of wonderful things about the PDF version of AOM. One of the snazziest is that you can use the Full Reader Search feature of Adobe Reader to create a list of all the entries that match you search term and then go to each to see if you want to deal with it further. If you do, you can click on one of the entry’s links go to the website or send an email. Or you can drag and drop it into Word or a better word processing program or editor to deal with later. If you don’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of Adobe Reader, you can convert the whole AOM file into a Word doc by using the free program Free PDF to Word Doc For more help with Adobe Reader and how to use it with AOM, see the instructions.
Specific Types or Media. To find all the listings open to All media, type "Medium: All" (without the quotes but with the capitalization and spacing exactly as shown)into Reader's search box. Then choose Open Full Reader Search and check the box for Case Sensitive. This will produce a list of all the first lines of those calls for art open to All media. You can then click on any one to go directly to that entry. The list remains in place for your use until you close the file. Of course, you can do a similar sort of search for SCulpture, PAinting and so on. (See the key for all abbreviations.) In addition, you can search for grants, particular cities or states, or just about anything you can think of. Give it a try.There is a lot you can do with the Adobe Reader/Art Opportunities Monthly combination. Please see instructions and get in touch with us if you have any questions.
To find any particular section heading, simply use Adobe Reader's extended search function. For instance, to find Public Art, type "PUBLIC ART" (without the quotes) into Reader's search box. Then choose Open Full Reader Search and check the box for Case Sensitive. (All sections in AOM are in all caps.) Other sections are: GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS, MEMBERSHIP, POLITICAL AND PEACE, PUBLIC ART (Geographic Restrictions), RESIDENCIES, SLIDE & WEB REGISTRIES, and WEB, DIGITAL, NEW MEDIA.
To find grants in the AOM PDF file, go to Open Full Reader Search (Shift+Control+F on PCs or Edit|Search in the menu). Type in the word grant. Choose Whole Words Only and hit Enter. This will produce a list of entries that include the word grant (including people or streets or towns with that name.) The list stays intact until you close it, so you can go back and look at each one. Try it. Use this same method to search for any other word or phrase you'd like to find. For instance, to find listings that are open to All media, type All. in the search box (it's important to include the period after All) and select whole words only as well as Case-sensitive.
A disgruntled subscriber recently emailed us that he missed the last several issues of AOM and we never answered his emails. Therefore, he said, he was going to "expose" us for the frauds he believed us to be.We automatically keep all incoming email from subscribers and did a computer search, but found only two from him, both of which we had answered. His problem may have been that he was using Comcast, which has had some serious delivery problems. Shaw.ca has also had delivery problems, as have some smaller and college servers. Moral: If you don't get an issue, contact us by email. If you don't get an answer within 48 hours, call me directly at 707-746-5516. There's an answering machine with a generic message, so don't be surprised if you get that, but I will return the call. It does us no good to do all this work putting together each issue of AOM and not have you get it.
Want to announce the latest show you are in or commission or award you’ve received? Have a question or comment about opps in general or particular call for artists? Join the AOM announcement and discussion list. It's another free benefit for AOM subscribers and easy to do: Just send a BLANK email to AOM_announceemail@example.com. The list is private and you will not be spammed.
AOM does not rent, sell or otherwise make available any subscriber information to third parties. All data is processed in-house and kept here always. on one computer, accessed only by the publisher himself.If you subscribe to other lists be sure to read their privacy statements carefully because at least one claims to guard your privacy but the fine print shows they farm out subscription processing to off-site (possibly off-shore) entities that are not bound by any such agreement or law and over which they have no control.
Subscribers who wish to join a discussion group about art may do so by sending a blank email to studionotes-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org. Now its12th year, the list was originally started as part of the old studioNOTES. There is no fee and traffic is relatively light.
Subscribers who have published books, periodicals, CD’s
or other material can be listed in on Books by Subscribers.
Long-time subscriber and public artist Lynn Basa has a new book out:The Artist's Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions.I haven't had time to read every word yet, but I can already recommend it highly. It is clearly a very thorough job,well researched and sorely needed. If you are considering becoming involved in public art or are just starting out, I am absolutely sure this book will save you time and money and make your life easier. I'm also betting it would be useful for experienced artists already in the field. For more information, see the book's site.
Letters of interest, used when responding to RFQs and in some applications for grants and residencies, are meant to explain why you should be picked for the particular opportunity at hand. They should briefly explain your qualifications, including your experience with similar projects and your general view and approach to the project.
If you are interested in or already involved in public art,you should join the email group Public Artist Forum through its Yahoo Groups site.
Some artists send CDs in a slim jewel case to protect them --a good idea if you are submitting a package for a commission, grant or other big project. You can also buy CD/DVD sleeves to hold a disk.
Check and double check your work before sending it out to a competition. Failure to do so can cause failure to be accepted and cost you time and money. Organizations are reporting that as many as 40% of entries received have fatal flaws.If you catch a mistake, do something nice for someone, even yourself.After all, had you sent the material with the mistake instead of without it, you could have been just throwing money away.
Always be sure to check whether the listed deadline is the postmark deadline or the arrive-by deadline. If the former, you must have it marked by the post office; a private postage meter doesn’t count.Remember, if you miss the deadline, the chances are that you will not only be rejected but will lose your entry fee. Also, if you really need more time, it’s OK to contact the sponsoring organization to see how firm the deadline is. In most cases, it will not be flexible but sometimes the deadline will have been extended but not re-announced.
Most calls for artists now specify digital images instead of slides.This makes things cheaper and potentially easier for artists. But there's a catch: because each call has different specifications, you can kill your chances and waste your entry fee by getting things wrong.Best way to avoid a mistake is to double-check the prospectus. Make a checklist if you have to: maximum and minimum size (pixels and number of bytes), resolution, format (jpeg, tiff, etc.), title format, method of submission (CD, DVD, email, website), etc. Well-organized artists might make up a checklist form and print out several copies of it to use as the occasions arise.
Since the maximum ppi asked for is
usually 300, it is a good idea have a computer folder of images
this resolution, saved as .TIFFs or other non-degrading formats. You
can then use these to make lower-res jpgs as required (although dpi and
ppi are irrelevant to computer images except for printing.) You'll
probably need to rename the files differently for each submission. An
easy way to do several files at once if you have a PC is to use the
freeware Oscar's Renamer
For virtually every image preparation task (and many, many more) the absolutely free Irfanview will do an excellent job for Windows users. If you need to do sophisticated image editing, however, the equally free GIMP is available for all platforms; it rivals or exceeds Photoshop in most aspects and you don't have to pay hundreds of dollars or steal it.
Include a numbered, annotated (title, date, medium, etc.) list of all images in every submission package if there is no entry form for this, either on a separate piece of paper or on the CD or both. Submissions for RFQs, grants and the like should have an image list unless there is an official submission form, in which case, list on that. For public art list: Title, date and location of artwork, very brief project description, media, dimensions, budget, commissioning agency or client, and project manager, if applicable. But Read The Prospectus and follow its requirements.
Although some calls for art ask for digital images that are 300 dpi or more, such a high number makes no difference on a monitor, only if the image is printed out. (See Scan tips for more info.) Nevertheless, it's important to follow the exact specifications in a prospectus. Failure to do so will normally result in rejection although the organization gets to keep your fee.
Before sending your digital images off, check to see that they actually open(double check everything else, too--make a checklist). An easy way is to drag each file into a blank page of your Web browser. If it doesn’t display, something is wrong. Thanks to Daniel Sroka, who posted this tip to the Public Atist Forum and gave permission to print it here.
We've written about this before, but it bears repeating: 72dpi or ppi is a MYTH as far as determining what an image will look like on a computer screen. Monitors do not understand inches. Your monitor is set to 1024 pixels across or 1152 or some other specific number. You can change that number by changing your screen settings, but a JPEG (or any other kind of image) cannot. A pixel (picture cell) is a tiny rectangle of a specific size determined by your screen settings. Your image file tells the screen which pixels to fill with which colors. It does not matter whether you make your image 72 dpi or 7 or 7200. As long as you do not change the number of pixels across or up and down, the image will be the same size and sharpness on a monitor. And when you save it, it will be the same number of bytes, whether you designate it as 10 dpi or 1000. (The "quality" or compression at which you save a JPEG, though, will affect the amount of detail the JPEG shows. You cannot increase the detail by changing the compression, but you can decrease it. The higher the compression, the lower the quality.)
Scanners understand dpi and printers do, but you simply cannot change the quality of a screen image by changing the dpi. For more about this, see Scantips. To triple check, we contacted Dr. Raph Levien, a computer scientist who holds more than a dozen patents dealing with the computer presentation of images. He confirmed it. For notes on how to prepare an image for a website, see image preparation for the Web.
Unfortunately, many webmasters, graphic artists and even Photoshop instructors continue to perpetrate the myth of dpi, to the detriment of understanding how things really work. And so do many calls for artists which ask for 300 dpi images (meaningful only if they are going to print them!). But you have to provide whatever those calls ask for, lest you be disqualified.
Whether you get accepted to or rejected from a show (or any other type of call for artists), go see it in person or on line. Note the kinds of work that dominate as well as which kinds won prizes. And note the names and especially the professions and affiliations of the jurors. While such information from just one show may not mean much, over a period of time you will begin to see some patterns and connections that should help you decide which kinds of things to pursue and which jurors or types of jurors might favor your work.
A number of juried shows are sponsored by membership groups. In some cases, especially if you are entering several pieces, it may be cheaper to join the group and get a discount on entries.
Always have all the materials and supplies you need ready to go at the drop of a hat—images, CDs, resumes, stamps, envelopes, etc.
Before entering anything, always get and carefully read the prospectus or get full information from the organization if there is no prospectus. The listings in AOM are simply capsulized descriptions to help you determine if something is worth pursuing further. When requesting the prospectus or further information, do not simply send the AOM listing to the organization; since it is in highly abbreviated form, it will probably just confuse them.
As it says in The Art Opportunities Book: "RTP." That stands for "Read The Prospectus." Read it carefully and underline or highlight the relevant parts. Make sure you understand every word before you send off your hard-earned money and valuable CDs. Artists waste hundreds of thousands -- maybe millions -- of dollars every year because they fail to meet the deadline or don’t notice that their subject matter, medium,style, location, age or some other factor didn't meet the requirements.No point in being one of them.
Accuracy counts. After our tip a couple of months ago about RTP (Read The Prospectus) and double checking your submission, we got a note from one of the organizers of a show. She reported that out of the 1600submissions, 400 were disqualified immediately and not seen by the jurors -- because the artists had not followed directions. Help: find a friend who is good at reading and comprehension. Hire someone if you have to, perhaps through barter. Have that person double check everything before you send it out, after you have already checked. Make sure you follow instructions to the letter. If you don't understand something, contact the organization and ask about it. Anything less than this is throwing your time and money away.
Sometimes there is not much lead time before a deadline. This is normally because we did not get the prospectus or notice from the organization in time. How to deal with this: always be prepared. Always have images, slides, labels, resume, envelopes, stamps, etc, ready to go. You should be able to put together a package for any call within a half hour. The exception would be for specific proposals, but even here, you can have several stock images and paragraphs ready to go which you can plug into a proposal.
Always be sure to check whether the listed deadline is the postmark deadline or the arrive-by deadline. If the former, you must have it marked by the post office; a private postage meter doesn't count. Remember, if you miss the deadline, the chances are overwhelming that you will not only be rejected but will lose your entry fee. Also, if you really need more time, it's OK to contact the sponsoring organization to see how firm the deadline is. In most cases, it will not be flexible but in sometimes it will have been extended but not re-announced.
There is a very simple way to throw away your money and your chances. All you have to do is fail to follow the directions exactly when submitting to a juried show, a fellowship or anything else. Your entry will be rejected before it even gets to the jurors. Not only do the organizations not have the time to correct your mistakes, if they change material an artist sends in, they might change it incorrectly, leaving them liable for all sorts of problems. Safer for them to just reject your submission. And keep your fee.
Ways of separating artist from their money continue to proliferate. One of the most recent: ArtistGrants.org placed notices in Craig's List (rarely a good source of useful or legit calls for artists) and sent them to the various calls-for-art listing services, including AOM, offering $10,000 in grants now and $100k for the year, all for a $10 entry fee (now changed to $15 and $19). They promise to supply instructions on submitting your work after you pay your money. Their stated purpose keeps changing on their site, but none of it makes this look a good deal for an artist. A bit of research by AOM showed their domain had been registered just days before the notices began to appear on Craig's List. The address given in their submission to us was a private home which had been bought for well over the asking price just a short time ago (arousing a newspaper's suspicions that a kickback and finagling with mortgage money was involved). And now, the house just appeared on the market as a HUD foreclosure, meaning that the extra money the buyers had borrowed will not be paid back. AOM's simple questions to them about whether they were a registered non-profit, the source of their funds, how long they had been in existence and what their judging criteria are remain unanswered. There may be an innocent explanation for all of this but it hasn't surfaced yet.
Be very wary of offers that use hype, that promise you the moon.Virtually any commercial gallery charging an entrance fee to look at or show your work is a bad deal. Online contests that simply offer to put your work on line as a prize and/or which offer "cash prizes" but do not state the size of the prizes are normally bad deals. Books that charge you a substantial sum to show images of your work and text about it are bad deals, no matter what they claim their audience is. All these may be legitimate, legally speaking (unless they don't even deliver what they promise), but that doesn't mean they are worthwhile.
Watch out for competition mills. These are organizations, often just an individual or two, that have no other purpose than to hold competitions or contests, one after the other. There are also "galleries" that do this, having monthly competitions in order to raise money. The most offensive of these are probably the "bienniales" which spam tens of thousands of artists with the message that their work has been "selected." Artists who bite are charged hundreds (and with shipping, it gets into the thousands) to be included in what is essentially a vanity venue set up solely for the benefit of the organizers. If in doubt, search Google groups or get in touch with AOM.
Not legally a scam, but not worthwhile: the Florence Biennales still out there pretending it is a legitimate international show rather than a vanity show started by two commercial artists. They spend a lot of effort trying to fool people into thinking they are the real thing and are good at that. If you are someone that spent thousands of dollars on this, you may have found the visit to Florence exciting and educational and may have met other interesting artists, but don't list the show on your resume as that marks you as an amateur in the eyes of dealers, curators and others in the professional art world.
The simple rule is that if a self-proclaimed buyer offers to send you a cashier’s check for an amount more than the cost of the work,instructing you to refund the excess via Western Union or some other method, you are dealing with a crook. There are more of these scams than ever out there, apparently because they are lucrative and many artists are easy prey. Normally, the artist is first approached by email by someone who names three or four works shown on the artist's site and says she/he is moving to another location and would like to buy the work. Hint: Most real buyers will say something personal about the work, not simply offer money. If you are new to selling, check with more experienced artists before committing yourself.
In the last issue we wrote about LACDA and we sent out
a special notice about A Corner Gallery (Portland OR), which has hit
more of our addresses and many of you. For more on why to avoid
commercial galleries that charge, see
For a very small investment, anyone can set up a website and claim to be an online gallery or an art guild or just about anything. We recently received -- and rejected -- submissions from ● individuals claiming to offer $500 grants to artists if they would submit work and a $25 fee, ● for-profit galleries running fee-based competitions, and ● online contest mills. In one case we investigated we discovered the individual behind it found he was operating several other schemes,including one in which he awarded first prize to -- himself! So beware.Never enter competitions run by for-profit galleries if they charge a fee. Be very careful with online contests not connected to a real non-profit. If in doubt, check Bogusartfair.info and/or with us.
Last month we published a call from ICO gallery. We apologize. It turns out that while they charge no entry fee, they charge a substantial fee to show your work in a group show, according to a reliable subscriber who was "accepted" by them and then told of the fee. Nowhere on their site is this fee mentioned and they have not responded to our inquiry about it. Masters of Today, the publishers of Creative Genius, which they call,"a new collectible global art book for collectors, museums, galleries, bookstores and eCommerce," wants $1320 for a two-page spread. MOT publishes a number of vanity books, although it claims their fees are not for the right to be in the books but for the cost of design,publication, etc. What's the difference? One of the many problems created by succumbing to an offer from a vanity venue is that serious collectors and dealers look askance at artists who show in them.
Art Addictions, 100 Contemporary Masters, World of Art Books,World of Art Magazine and Art Addiction Medial Museum (which run contests requiring "winners" to pay and offers "prizes" of being published in their magazine or on line) are all the same company. They routinely approach artists hoping that the naive ones will bite. Apparently enough do. You probably shouldn't.
Vanity Books. Artoteque, also doing business under the names Masters of Today, ART NOW and others, promises to put your work in a book. You pay the editorial, printing and publishing fees. While this is not a scam,as long as they provide what they say they will, it is a very poor use of your money. See above. You've got to hand it to them for their latest slogan, though: "If You're Not In ART NOW Probably You're Not An Artist." As my Uncle Roscoe used to say: "If flattery and appeals to greed don't work on suckers, intimidation do."
More are cropping up. These are businesses that call themselves galleries but simply rent you space in which to show your work.Although this is a not-uncommon model for nail salons and craft-boutiques, it is virtually never a good deal for fine artists.Anytime a businessperson asks you for money to have your work shown, he or she is saying: "I doubt I can sell your work, so I want to get my profit directly from you." These vanity galleries are not necessarily outright scams -- as long as you get what you pay for -- but you'd do better spending your money on more effective ways of promoting your work. If you do fall for one of these offers, do not list it on your resume, as having shown in one tells legitimate dealers (and collectors) your work doesn't sell well and that you are probably an amateur.
Art consultants, or art advisers, place work in public,corporate and other non-museum collections. They normally work on a commission from sales and some are looking for new artists. Lynn Basa has short article on Chicago Artists Resource on the subject. The URL of the international Association for Professional Art Advisers, however, has changed to www.iapaa.org.
Access to health care insurance for those in the arts: AHIRC (Artists'Health Insurance Resource Center).
Keep your emails professional. You may think of email as a casual means of communication, and in many ways it is. But if someone knows nothing else about you, that person's first -- and often lasting -- impression will be based on your email. If you are applying for a grant, residency or public art commission, or even simply asking that a juried show prospectus be sent you, you'll want to be seen as competent and knowledgeable.
Artist Edith Hillinger has done extensive research on this subject. In Sep 2008, she gave an invited talk at the Slamagundi club in NYC on:"What happens to the legacy of artists who are neither rich nor famous?Can their work be saved after they die? Should it be saved? Who decides? . . ." An audio CD of the talk is available for $20 postpaid.Send to: Edith Hillinger 1711 9th St, Berkeley CA 94710. Please include your name and mailing address.
Some nonprofit galleries have let their insurance policies lapse and are asking artists to sign agreements that they, the galleries, will not be held liable in case of loss, theft or damage. Many have never had insurance. But you can't sign away your rights. Simply put, a party (gallery or whatever) normally is responsible for your work while it is in their custody, no matter what you sign. If you lend someone your car, a book, whatever, you are supposed to get it back at the agreed time and in the condition it was in when you lent it to them. Their having insurance is simply an alternative to paying out of their own pocket in case of loss or damage (and normally you don't have to go to court or small claims court to collect), but not having insurance does not relieve them of responsibility.
Rescue Public Murals has information about materials and techniques to consider when planning or conserving a mural, with links to other resources in the field.
We have a short tutorial now on this subject. It is not necessary to use Photoshop or any other expensive program to do a top-notch job. A number of excellent freeware programs exist, mainly for Windows. One of these, RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool), can be used as a stand-alone tool or as a plug in for Irfanview (Save for Web Plug-in). With it, you can select the size you want, the amount of compression and a number of various other things. Best of all, you can see how it looks at each setting and compare it (even at magnification) with the original.
Irfanview Graphic Viewer itself is an excellent freeware program for basic editing functions and much more.It is virus- and spyware-free, as is RIOT. You can use it to easily perform all of your image preparation tasks other than fine hand retouching (rarely needed) -- cropping, resizing, fine rotation, gamma,contrast, color and saturation adjustments, etc. It can also make slide shows and thumbnails, perform screen captures, play movies and audio files and do a host of other things. There are several tutorials for it, linked from the homepage, as well as a series of videos from Butterscotch.
For files up to 100mb, you can use YouSendIt