When discussing art competitions, we all know that they have taken many forms throughout history. From the Olympic games to the contemporary Venice Biennale, artists always sought to find new ways to showcase their works, win viewers’ attention, and be remarked for their talent. Today, with the larger-than-ever global “community” of artists, there are countless opportunities for artists, and they all hold great benefits. From small, local shows, to international competitions, these opportunities provide artists of all backgrounds great exposure to a larger audience. A few of you have asked for more details on the selection process at New York Arts Competitions so we sat down for an interview with our expert – Carolina Carilo, the Competition’s Coordinator. Colombia-born and an artist herself, she has spent over 10 years making sure that the entry process goes smoothly for all artists and that the exhibitions at Agora Gallery showcase the selected works at their best.
What was your first professional contact with art?
My first professional contact with art was at the age of 14 when I was invited to share a studio space with professional artists. I was on a long vacation at the time. I was painting every day at the studio. During that period, I received valuable feedback from professional artists and I could see how they worked. It was exciting to live the studio experience for the first time.
According to you, what is the main benefit of entering a call for artists?
Calls for artists are very beneficial as they are an incentive to keep your portfolio updated, as you are producing constant work, having specific goals and deadlines. Also, it gives artists the opportunity to see what other artists are producing. The most exciting part is seeing what is done internationally, as through the opportunities we offer.
How long does it take to plan a competition?
It takes about a year to plan a competition. As soon as you finish organizing one competition you need to start planning the next one immediately. It is a big project that needs work and a dedicated team.
How do you promote the competitions in order to reach the appropriate audience?
We promote on regular channels such as opportunity sites, mailing lists, and social media. But the best promotion is when we showcase the exhibition of the selected artists, this way we can show to other artists what we are really doing. It’s also an exciting time for me, as I get to know the artists better and learn about their goals.
When organizing and managing an art competition, do you have a favorite part? What is that?
My favorite part is when we are working as a team. Seeing that no matter the challenges, we can achieve the results through constant and hard teamwork; it gives me great satisfaction.
What is the main reason for artists to enter a competition? According to you.
The main reasons to enter competitions are to develop a good portfolio and to learn how to present your work professionally because our competitions are evaluated by art experts. Both reasons are crucial for an artist’s path to becoming a professional.
You work with a lot of artists. What is the most common question you get asked about competitions?
One of the most common questions is how to present an entry. If the best option is to submit several artworks or just views of the same artwork. This question is crucial as artists are learning how to show their artwork at a professional level. The best part is that we allow both options, but artists have to decide what is the best option for them.
Has the style/medium of the works selected by the jurors changed? If so, in which way?
As we have different jurors for each competition, the styles and mediums always change throughout the years. But what is consistent, is the quality. The better the selection, the better the exhibition we have.
What is the most rewarding part of all this?
To me, the most rewarding part is receiving feedback from grateful artists as we give them opportunities to showcase their art. Also, it is a delight to see the actual works as soon as we receive the completed entries. I enjoy the experience.
What is the most difficult part of coordinating an art competition/of your job?
Organizing competitions is like working on a project. You need to generate the perfect balance, so everything works in a timely matter. Synchronicity and good teamwork are required. If this is not achieved, organizing the competitions becomes challenging.
Is there a specifically selected artwork that caught your attention throughout the competitions? What was it?
Several artworks throughout the years have captured my attention. The ones that capture my attention are those developed with high professional quality. I love good art. The only way to achieve that is by building a professional portfolio throughout the years. Hard work and experience are both required for that.
What advice would you give to those who wish to participate in the competitions?
Be curious. Be bold. Create art. Check out what opportunities are out there and just participate!
Looking to enhance your career and build a presence in New York? Submit your portfolio to us and get the opportunity to present your work to a broad range of national and international art collectors and buyers. Visit our Gallery Representation And Artist Promotion page for more information.
The New York Art Competitions accepts submissions! Visit the website and enter the competition for a chance to win one of our valuable awards, including cash prizes, PR exposure and much more.