I'm a member of the Colored Pencil Society of America and this week received the written call for entries for its 16th annual international exhibition at the Convention and Trade Centre in Seattle, July-September 2008. All entries will be juried.
Details about the 16th Annual Exhibition can be found on the CPSA website and in a Prospectus (pdf).
I've highlighted extracts from the entry requirements below (with MY COMMENTS in italics) plus some tips about entering competitions and links to blog posts about this exhibition in 2006 and 2007. I've paraphrased some of the requirements so please note that if you're thinking of entering you MUST read the prospectus for all detailed requirements.
CPSA - extract from requirements (plus my comments)
- Midnight 31st March 2008 - Deadline for entries (Note this is no longer the postmarked date as all entries have to be digital - see below)
- Entry fee:
- CPSA members $25
- non-CPSA members $35 (This means that you don't have to be a member of CPSA to enter)
- Open to living artists 18 years or older, regardless of geographic location. (This means you don't have to live in the USA to enter)
If anyone can recognize the source from which your work is derived, it can be deemed as plagiarism even if it is executed in a different medium from the original work. It is critical for artists to be original and to nurture their own special vision and style.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding the International Exhibition
- Artwork MUST be:
- the work of the artist working on their own - note exclusions below (and particularly note that THIS HAS CHANGED SINCE LAST YEAR. For me I'd interpret 'not copied' as meaning means it can't be a realistic copy of an existing copyrighted work - even if you do have a licence - but check with CPSA. My understanding is 'no collaborations' essentially means not done under instruction or in a workshop or working from an instructor's material.)
Concept, design and execution of the artwork shall be solely that of the artist. No work copied from copyrighted or published materials. No images produced by drawing over a digital reproduction allowed. No prints. No collaborations.
CPSA specification for 16th Annual International Exhibition
- colored pencil ONLY! Use of any other media, (watercolor, acrylic, oil, ink etc) or artist prepared surface disqualifies entry
- acceptable additions: solvents and graphite pencil used under/over/between layers
- executed in the last 3 years
- two dimensional on a single surface. No collage or montage. (Note there are no stipulations or exclusions as to what the surface is - other than it must be a single surface)
- restricted as to size, mats and framing - see prospectus
- model release must be obtained for all artwork involving an image of a person
- available for the duration of the exhibition
- Artwork MUST be submitted as a digital image to the CaFÉTM website. Note that size and resolution quality is specified - square format with black background - 1920 pixels x 1920 pixels saved as a baseline JPG file no bigger than 1.8MB . There is a very long page of requirements and tips on the website. (Not a 'real' slide as in previous years. CaFE means 'call for entries'. and registration with the website is highly recommended in advance of the deadline for submission - why not do it now! Get a hot drink and read the requirements slowly NOW - or in the next few days! Don't leave it until just before the deadline.)
CaFÉTM is a Web-based service that allows organizations and administrators to easily and cost-effectively manage artist-application and jury processes related to calls for entry. The service is especially designed for use with public art projects, artist fellowships, and juried visual-arts competitions.
What is CaFÉ
- Artists may submit a digital image of one or two original artworks not previously hung at a CPSA exhibition. Only one piece per artist is allowed in the exhibition. (My understanding is that the initial jury process reduces candidates entry to one - people debate whether it is better whether to submit one or two!)
- Artwork may be priced for sale or not for sale. No commission charged.
- The juror is Jeffrey Moose. The juror selects artwork based on artistic merit. (Judges of the annual international exhibitions are usually gallery owners in the locality where the annual convention is located. 'Artistic merit' is not defined in the specification. Opinions vary as to whether the content of their own galleries provide any indications as to a juror's views as to what artistic merit means. For what it's worth, the Jeffrey Moose Gallery is not aligned with any art movement or particular region. Some art exhibited is representational, an equal amount is abstract or heavily abstracted.)
- 7th May 2008: Notification of selection of accepted entries starts - by e-mail plus posted on CPSA website.
- 23-28 June 2008: shipping of artwork. You are responsible for all shipping cartons, costs and insurance. Artwork is checked on receipt to ensure it meets the specifications and is the same quality as the submitted image.
- 8th July 2008: telephone notification of awards (selection takes place on 7th July)
- 1st August 2007: Awards Banquet!
If anybody else would like to comment on the process as you understand it or have experienced it feel free - but please note that unless the comment is from an authorised CPSA person all such comments should be treated in the same way as mine - as comments and opinions.
If you have any queries and note them here I'll make sure they are passed on to the Exhibitions Director. However please do note you can contact CPSA direct (see below) and that would be the better way to pose queries (after you've read the Frequently Asked Questions about Exhibitions page of course!).
Questions about CPSA Exhibitions can be directed to
Paula Parks • 206-546-0964
(9:00 am - 6 pm Pacific Standard Time; no collect calls)
- Making A Mark - CPSA award winners announced - does size matter? (6th August 2007)
- Making A Mark - CPSA: 15th Annual Exhibition
- Making A Mark - International exhibitions of coloured pencil artwork: CPSA and UKCPS
- Travels with a Sketchbook - plein air sketching and a banquet
- Making A Mark - CPSA entries to the 2006 annual exhibition - including my commentary of what 'worked' as an image during the convention slideshow of all entries to the 2006 exhibition
- make sure you read the competition details in the prospectus
- make sure you read the competition details AGAIN slowly. People who produce good work can be rejected because they don't take the time to read the details of how to submit. With the numbers that tend to get entered in national/international competitions anybody not complying always gets put aside straight away.
- make sure you submit a good image. Prepare according to the specification. Crop to exclude all framing and anything else in the background but don't exclude any of the image. Make sure it is well lit and has no glare. I have to say you can always tell an image which has been lit by an expert! (See the tips on the website)
- works which project well (in my opinion) tend to be ones with strong simple compositions, saturated colours and good contrast which produces a clear focal point. Competitions which attract a lot of entries have to restrict time for viewing - based on previous years that means they may well get c.800 entries (and 800 minutes = 13.5 hours with no bathroom or meal breaks!) . I'm guessing but initially you maybe have 15 seconds max to get your image across. Could be more like 10. If you want to check what is a strong simple composition reduce your digital image down to a thumbnail and see if it still makes sense.
Tomorrow I'll be saying a little more about the rest of events in Seattle next summer - including what John P. Smolko CPSA (website), recent Grand Prize Winner of the 70th Anniversary Competition run by American Artist, will be doing.