Art competitions have long held an important place in the art world. Through art contests, artists are able to display their work among their peers, have it reviewed by esteemed judges, secure important exposure, and sometime even gain access to future exhibition opportunities. Even better, art competitions are renowned for discovering and showcasing noteworthy emerging artists and launching their careers. Whether you enter a local competition or a national contest, and whether it’s held online or at a brick-and-mortar art gallery, entering your work into an art competition is a great way to take your art to the next level.
The History of Art Competitions
Art competitions are far from a modern convention. In fact, Pliny the Elder recounts in his Natural History that in the 5th century BC the famous Greek painter Zeuxis and a contemporary painter Parrhasius entered into an art contest to see who was the greater of the two. Another great example of a historical art competition comes from 17th century France, during the reign of Louis XIV. The Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture instituted the famous art competition Prix de Rome, where the winning artist was awarded a stay of several years at the Palazzo Mancini in Rome (an exceptional opportunity at the time).
Benefits of Art Competitions
Art competitions allow artists to display their work among their peers. Experts in the art world agree that showing work is one of the best ways to push yourself as an artist, as any feedback you receive gives you new insight into your art. When entering an art competition, you are forced to evaluate your work in an objective manner to determine how it fits into the art world’s genres and themes. In order to be successful, you will need to categorize your art accurately so you can submit it to competitions where it is relevant in terms of media, color, style, and theme. In addition, you will need to choose the order of the images submitted carefully, in order to ensure that the judges are exposed to your strongest pieces.
Most importantly, by submitting your work to an art competition, you can get your art in front of gallerists, curators, and editors who can positively impact your career. Putting your work in a public venue can give it a great deal of visibility, with proven results. Winners of these competitions are almost always promoted extensively by the hosting gallery or organization, and increasingly they also gain exposure online via social media and direct email campaigns.
Finally, by entering art competitions, artists are able to gain valuable experience in marketing their artwork while building their resumes in a very cost-effective way. In the end, publicity makes all the difference in building a successful art career, and art competitions provide an excellent place to start for the emerging artist.
Art competitions provide a highly effective forum that enables “undiscovered” and developing artists to expose their artwork and artistic talents to the greater art community. By participating in an art competition, you can find and reach an audience for your work and begin to market and sell your art on a professional level.