3 Benefits Of Entering Art Competitions

Art competitions are an excellent opportunity to grow as an artist and develop your art career. They can benefit you in a number of different ways – exposure, exhibitions, and even self-confidence. Madiha Abdo, an artist represented by Agora Gallery now, who was also one of the winners of the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, says, “I consider art competitions and other related opportunities very important for my artistic journey, as they help me get much needed exposure and become more self-confident.”

entering art competitions

A guest of Agora Gallery admiring the works of the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition participants.

The jurors in an art competition will often be well-known in the art world, with considerable experience and a good sense of the current market. This makes art competitions a great networking platform and the task of being “discovered” much easier. Prizes are generally chosen to benefit artists in ways that matter, whether it’s the chance to participate in an exhibition, cash, or promotional material or opportunities.

Winning an art competition is a great achievement! It is something you can add to your CV, mention to collectors, and discuss in interviews. However, even just entering art competitions, whether you are selected or not, tells the story about you as an artist.

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Exhibition: The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition; Portals of Perception

The annual competition exhibition is coming to Agora Gallery this August, and as always we’re looking forward to admiring the art of the juror-selected artists from the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition. As if that wasn’t enough, at the same time Portals of Perception will also be on at Agora, bringing extra sparkle and energy to your summer days. The exhibitions open on August 16, 2013 and will run until September 5, 2013. The opening reception will take place on the evening of Thursday, August 22, 2013. Entrance is free and all art lovers are warmly encouraged to attend and meet some of the artists responsible for these inspiring creations.

Hélène Mogensen de Monléon, Last Day at Work 3 large

It is always fascinating to visit the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition and examine the enormous variety and compelling power of the works on display. This year’s juror was critic, writer and reporter Mr. Anthony Haden-Guest, and he selected for exhibition artwork that spans a range of mediums, styles and themes. There’s something for everyone, and abundant sources of interest, introspection and intellectual curiosity. In addition, viewers will appreciate the innovative and enormously creative edge that these artists give to their work, which makes the viewing experience an absorbing and thrilling one.

In Portals of Perception you will find all the impetus you need to carry you through the hot summer days. Full of a dynamic, lively character that conveys itself robustly to the audience, these works examine, analyze and ultimately celebrate, in their different ways, the diversity and beauty of life. The artists balance an honest appraisal of reality with an optimistic conception of the possible, with results that leave the viewer charmed, re-energized and animated.

Susannah Virginia Griffin, Inner Beauty

So if you’re looking for art to revive you during the warm weather, seeking out the best of contemporary fine art, or looking to explore what Chelsea has to offer, come to Agora Gallery and enjoy!

Exhibition dates: August 16, 2013 – September 5, 2013
Reception: Thursday, August 22, 2013, 6-8 p.m.
Gallery Location: 530 West 25th St, New York City
Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Featured artists:
Portals of Perception: Jennifer Ferdinandsen, Susannah Virginia Griffin, Natali Karppinen, Fred Mou
The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition: Sean Arce, Céline Bardou, Liza Brenner, Rebecca Calhoun, Airco Caravan, Tracey Derrick, Kat Elagina, Brigitte Garcia, Hank Gray, Michelle Hartney, Gudrun Heamägi, Dongwhan Kang, Bea Lagauche, Jordi Marin-Gest, Russell Mehlman, Mia.Am.Fenster, Alain Millerand, Hélène Mogensen de Monléon, Edward J. Morét, Yasuaki Okamoto, Alix Pierre, Jonathan Popovich, Jeffrey Randolph Richter, Anne Sedel, Debbee Sheppard, Kristina Siegel, Chuck Siler, Mark K. St. Mary, Neale Stratford, John Szabo, Maria Torrendell, Swarte Vulpescu Olaru

Agora Gallery Highlights 2012

As 2012 draws to a close, we are looking back on another eventful and successful year at Agora Gallery. From the lively reception nights when the gallery filled with enthusiastic art admirers to the quiet moments spent with artists visiting the city, there are plenty of fond memories to take with us into the new year.

The solo exhibitions that have featured artists as diverse as they are talented have been a particular highlight of the year. Fred Friedrich dazzled and delighted with his aesthetically pleasing but intellectually rigorous creations, while art prodigy Aelita Andre charmed once again with her imaginative, playful works. Sudnya Shroff’s art brought color and energy to the walls of the gallery and the hearts and minds of those who saw it, and Kozo Takano’s thought-provoking and well-balanced artworks left an indelible impression.

Viewers were also very taken with George Oommen’s works, with their Indian inspiration and heart-warming aura of optimism, and Robert Oelman’s marvelous photographs were a huge hit, bringing landscapes, flora and fauna that would have otherwise remained hidden into the world’s spotlight.

The exhibition of Flagstaff Gallery, Made in New Zealand: An Exhibition of Fine Art from New Zealand, was another favorite. The exhibit showcased everything that is so exciting and appealing about New Zealand’s flourishing art scene, from the unusual materials used to the inspiration that the country gives to its artists, enriching and enlivening their works.

As always, the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition was both impressive and rewarding. The high quality of the entries showed how much talent and skill there is in the art world, and the juror, Ira Goldberg, the Executive Director of the Art Students League of New York, was faced with a very difficult decision when making his choices. The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition presented works of those artists who had been selected to appear in it, and was the subject of much interest from visitors.

Agora Gallery’s biannual contemporary fine art magazine, ARTisSpectrum, was also a highlight of the year. Both the Spring and Fall issues were full of excellent articles discussing the latest trends and issues of the art world, as well as providing insights and advice for artists and featuring profiles of talented artists for the interest of collectors.

One other memorable event of the year, though not one we’re hoping to repeat, was Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York this fall. Fortunately, all of Agora Gallery’s staff came through the storm safe and well, and the gallery itself was unharmed. We were all very touched by the many messages of concern and support that came from all the corners of the globe, and the experience of setting up an exhibition by the light of hand held torches, since the power was out, was certainly new for all of us!

We are looking forward to another fulfilling and art-filled year in 2013. In the meantime, Happy New Year!

7 tips to get it right for competitions

The annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition is just around the corner, due to start accepting entries on February 7, 2012. That’s less than a week! That being so, now seems like a good time to review some of the important things to bear in mind when entering a competition. A lot of these points may appear obvious, but often the nerves or excitement of entering can put these things out of an artist’s mind. Remember to stay calm and do your best.

1) Fill in all the details. Yes, this sounds absurd – but you’d be amazed how many artists leave out crucial information such as contact details or the medium of the work they have submitted. Fill in the forms provided carefully, and go back over them afterwards to make sure you’ve given everything that is required. If you know from past experience that you’re prone to leaving things out, get someone you trust to check it for you.

2) Write in the language of the competition. Sometimes this is irrelevant, and sometimes it’s clear that two or more languages are acceptable in context. You have to use your judgment about what’s appropriate, but in general a French competition, for example, will be more amenable to entries in French, while an American one, such as the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, will prefer English. The easier you make it for the administrators and the juror to understand and appreciate you and your work, the better.

3) Take your time with the entry. Very few competitions have an incredibly small window of opportunity for entering – in general, you’ll have days or weeks to compile all the information you need. Even if the time available is shorter, you can gather much of it beforehand, and give some thought to the images and information you’d like to present. Don’t rush – give it due consideration, and maybe even return to it after a short time to review.

4) Choose your images carefully. The particular pieces you decide to submit should vary depending on the nature of the competition. Some competitions are exclusively for a particular medium; don’t enter a watercolor competition with a work in acrylic! More often, though, you’ll need to consider the style and subject matter that is appropriate. You may consider different pieces for a competition run by a children’s hospital, for example, than you would for something like a corporate contest. Whichever images you pick, make sure that they are high quality; remember that often this is the only representation of your work that the juror will see. Make them clear and non-pixelated.

5) Make sure the work you submit is available. If the juror loves the art you entered with, you may well need to produce it or similar pieces later, either directly for the competition process or because collectors who came across it are interested in that style or work. Don’t submit artworks from fifteen years ago, when your style has moved on since then.

6) Before entering, check out the prizes. It’s always a great feeling to win, of course, but entering a competition takes time and energy. Before you expend that, you should check that the prize is something that will benefit you. If it’s to go to a conference you’ve attended in the past and which this year is on a date you know you can’t make, for instance, then it’s probably not something you want to be concentrating your efforts on achieving.

7) Don’t care about it too much. When all is said and done, it’s only one competition. You’ll enter plenty more in your time as an artist, apply to many galleries and set up at lots of art fairs. You’ll sell work and talk to collectors and touch people with your art. Don’t let a single contest become too important to you – remember to keep it all in context. If you aren’t chosen in this one, it’s no reflection on you or your work; in a different year, the results would be different.

Do you have tips that you find helpful when entering competitions? Share them in the comments!

The 2010 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition

Agora Gallery is the proud sponsor of the annual Chelsea International Fine Art Competition. Every year, a new juror is chosen to review the entries which are sent in by emerging, mid-level and established artists from all around the world. Among the prizes which the juror awards in this distinguished competition is the chance to participate in an exhibition, hosted at Agora Gallery. The 2010 exhibition will take place from August 17 to September 7, with the opening reception being held on August 19. Entrance, as always, is free, and art-lovers are invited to attend.

The juror of this year’s competition was Megan Fontanella, who is an Assistant Curator at the famous Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. She is involved with conducting collections research for the Guggenheim, in addition to having curated exhibitions. She has chosen a stunning selection of work from this year’s competition entrants, resulting in what will be a truly memorable exhibition.

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