Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fine Art

After a year or so of hunkering down and working on art, I'm feeling it is time to get my art work out there. I've not attempted getting into galleries or entering shows in the past year. But now that sales have slowed down on Ebay and elsewhere, I've got to figure out where to go next.

One option is art festivals. Upscale art festivals. I find the information. Read the information. Determine that my work is not acceptable. The information does not directly say that fiber art is not allowed. It is just not mentioned.

The info. will read, ". . . the blankety blank art festival. All fine arts media welcome. Painting, sculpture, photography, mixed media." I wonder where that leaves me. Do I call and ask? I guess that would be the cheapest way to find out. Do I apply anyway? When the rejection letter comes and states that fiber art is not accepted, do I make a big issue about it? Why don't I just go on and be a painter.

I could also enter juried shows. I find one that looks promising and print out the prospectus. I will see a long list of categories. Fiber art is not mentioned. Do I apply? Do I call? Do I raise a big stink when I find out that fiber art is not included.

Another option is to send my portfolio to galleries. I do some research on the internet. I find the info. The info. states what categories the gallery represents. I usually do not see fiber art listed. Do I call? Do I send my portfolio. Do I bitch and complain when I discover they do not carry fiber art and never intend to?

Who sets the definition for fine art? If you google it, the first result to define fine art is Wikipedia. What do they say?

Wikipedia states that:

Fine art describes any art form developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than utility. This type of art is often expressed in the production of art objects using visual and performing art forms, including painting, sculpture,music, dance, theatre, architecture, photography and printmaking.

Wikipedia also lists another category “Other” which includes textiles, including quilt art and "wearables" or "pre-wearables" are frequently considered fine art if part of an art display.

Go ahead and Google “definition of fine art” and see the many definitions. Do these definitions exclude textiles?

In my book, an art quilt is fine art. How do I convince others of this?

5 comments:

self taught artist said...

i got dizzy and nauseous reading this.
suddenly i need a nap. suddenly i am reminded why i dont enter shows anymore.
i'd go for sticking yourself into the mixed media category just to fuck with them.

Jean Baardsen said...

I made art quilts for 12 years. A few years ago the county Arts Council wanted me to enter their show and they made a special category for fiber arts. There was a limit of three pieces for everyone. One woman submitted one art quilt and won Best in Show for the whole show. My three pieces were the only other things in fiber art and I got 1st, 2nd and 3rd. People didn't like that, so the next year, fiber arts was stuck in with pottery, sculpture, jewelry, baskets, etc. - everything that wasn't painting or photography. I didn't like that, and stopped entering. I went back this year. This time there was one category for photography, and everything else was in a second category. I felt that was more equitable. Now I'm doing mixed media instead of quilts, but I still need to stick up for my fiber art friends! I have no good suggestions for selling your work. I know I would totally hate to sit somewhere and have everyone walk past me. My Etsy sales have slowed to a total crawl. That's for my notecards and ACEOs. I actually never expected to sell one of my art quilts on Etsy, but one did sell a couple months ago. I don't really expect it to happen again.

Fibra Artysta said...

You convince them by entering. If you never apply to anything, you will never get accepted. Your work could fall into the mixed media category easily.

Kim Hambric said...

Well, lets see -- I'm going to enter the 2009 National Small Art Quilt Works in Groton, NY. I forgot that I did enter last year. My one attempt. Please wish me luck?

I do expect to sell some work on Etsy, by golly. I'm just going to keep working on that and remain positive (not many other options anyway).

If someone doesn't accept fiber art, I will be mixed media. Perhaps I shall be mixed media regardless. I just feel that category is too broad sometimes, though.

Robyn said...

I started with Art festivals and markets and the galleries found me there which dealt with the discomfort of having to approach them first. If a gallery approaches you, you won't have to convince them because they already know that art quilts are fine art. (The moment I have to try and convince people to buy or show my work I lose interest)
For myself...I would hate juried shows...a lot! I can feel myself bristling at the thought.

Kim, I hope the right doors open for you soon. With all the research you're doing it shouldn't be long before you find something that feels right. Go with your gut.