Participating in Art Exhibitions: Why You Need To & How To Find Them!

Participating in Art Exhibitions: Why You Need To & How To Find Them!

Participating in Art Exhibitions: Why You Need To & How To Find Them!

I just dropped off my painting entry last weekend to an art gallery in Newport RI called The Spring Bull Gallery! This is one of my favorite galleries I have come across. I stumbled upon it about four years ago while exploring Newport for the day with my family. Now this will be my third year participating in their annual "Fakes and Forgeries" exhibition. In case you're local and would like to check it out you can find all of the information on the gallery website here.
The show runs from January 22nd - February 27th 2022!

If you're a fine artist, particularly a painter or sculptor, you NEED to be participating in open call gallery exhibitions!

Here are the reasons why:

Building ConfidenceĀ 
Nothing boosted my art kid confidence quite like entering into my first few gallery exhibitions. Seeing something I painted hanging pretty in an official art gallery rather than on my mom's living room wall made me really start to view myself as a professional. Not to mention the first time I was awarded a show ribbon!

Learning how to get rejected
This is such a powerful life skill. If you start applying to gallery shows, odds are more than a few will reject you. Most exhibitions are juried by an art curator, and not every curator will choose your work. It's important to learn to differentiate yourself and your personal value from that of your work and not take rejection personally. Also, getting rejected is just another way to test your confidence! If you're confident in your work (which you should be if you're creating it with intention, love, and skill!) then being rejected is just a redirection not a roadblock.

Selling Artwork
This is probably the obvious answer but worth noting. The best galleries have a loyal client base already built up from years of experience and quality exhibitions. By entering into a show you are expanding your artwork's exposure to be seen by their art loving clients, and you never know who might fall in love with your piece! The first time I exhibited at The Spring Bull Gallery four years ago, my painting was one of a handful that sold. I was so shocked at the time! I had entered a few other galleries before then with no luck of selling anything. It just takes finding the right gallery, the right location, and a little bit of luck and good energy. Safe to say I've been exhibiting at The Spring Bull Gallery ever since with equal success.

There is an artist-centered website for searching for art shows called CaFE,, that lists open exhibitions all over the world along with their applications, details, and deadlines. I use this for finding shows along with googling my local art galleries or stumbling upon them when I'm out and about and checking in to learn more about their past and upcoming exhibitions.

Good luck! You got this! I believe in you!

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