How To Find Shows To Enter
How do you find these shows to enter? Look around. Most areas have some kind of arts group and different organizations sponsor art shows and contests all the time. These are usually published in local newspapers and on community bulletin boards. Many papers now have on-line versions and ways for you to subscribe to news feeds. You can subscribe to those feature things you are interested in. You might want to become familiar with your local Life style/community editor for this.
The Renaissance Art Gallery advertises its open entry shows in The Artist Magazine, as well as other art-related magazines and on many on-line art lists. And list these on our website. Most art groups will do this, so even if you are not a member of a local art group, you might want to subscribe to their newsletter or bookmark their website. http://www.orgsites.com/wv/renaissance/index.html
Many art magazines have places to list art shows and workshops in the "white pages" at the end of their magazine. This is especially nice for people who specialize in a single medium. A magazine for that medium will often list many shows for that medium.
Most art societies also have magazines, such as "To the Point" the magazine for the CPSA [Colored Pencil Society of America] lists all their regional groups and these each have shows specializing in Colored Pencil art. http://www.cpsa.org/
We also have an active mailing list for artists, to whom we send new prospectus when they are ready. Many groups do.
Also keep in touch with groups who run fundraisers for causes you believe in. While most of these are designed to raise funds, some of them can be a good way for you to begin showing your artwork.
Don't forget your home territory. Most states have cultural departments, etc that have departments whose business it is to help develop artists. Do not assume you are not good enough. Work with them. It is their jobs to help you become good enough. And you do not need a fine art degree to get help from them etc. But check closer to home to, with your town/city and county. Check the local colleges and see what they have. Check your state website and see what arts groups are listed. Check the surrounding states. etc. That goes for other countries beside the US also. Both Canada and the UK have such agencies. And Europe is lousy with art promoters. But do your homework, so you understand just what is going on.
There are many on-line listings. Look for knowledge bases and such that list art shows and opportunities
A word of warning, not all of these sites are free, many require a subscription for both those submitting events and those looking for events to enter.
Also, be weary of these events. Not all are legitimate. Remember that all shows have agendas. Mine do. I do not apology for this. We, as a gallery expect to get something from all the hard work. This is OK. So do the artists who enter. They expect to get something from the experience. When we all get something but no one takes advantage of the other, it is a win-win situtation. But if the artist or the sponsoring group feel taken advantage of, well. It is not a happy scene.
There are a number of shows that seek to take avantage of artists, so read the fine print before you even send for the prospectus. Many groups see having and "art contest" is a way of getting free artwork. This is especially true for "design" contests and many, many photography shows. When you enter these shows you all up give up all rights to your work. This is not ok. While all shows will need to use your submissions to a certain extent, I would be cautious about entering any show that says that all submissions grant copyright, extented royalty free rights or simply have a lot of jargon you do not understand.
Fair use is pretty straight forward and there is no reason for a lot of complicated legalise in either the entry forms or prospectus. I steer clear of any group or organization that have a lot of fine print! At my age I can't read it anyway and no way am I signing anything I don't understand!
So start small, with groups you understand and can trust, then branch out into larger groups.