Artists Switch From Labeling Their Paintings Acrylic To *Synthetic Polymer*

English: THAHLES, 2006. Corday. Synthetic Poly...

English: THAHLES, 2006. Corday. Synthetic Polymer and Pigment on raw linen. 72 x 216in. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote and published this article in June of 2012, yet artists are still commenting on it.

Featured it again in 2015, and for a 3rd time October 2016.  Here’s the original article–

I don’t know all the reasons for acrylic shame, but I do know that many galleries and artists have long labeled acrylic paintings as *mixed media* to help increase sales. I’ve also heard stories of art collectors losing interest and walking away from a painting once they learned it was painted with acrylic paints.

Lately, I have noticed a new trend–contemporary artists are labeling their paintings *synthetic polymer* paintings rather than use the dreaded word *acrylic* to describe their work.

I’m thinking of doing the same. Synthetic polymer does sound more advanced, up-to-the-minute, complex. Perhaps *synthetic polymer* as a medium is actually more accurate a description, since *acrylic* does come in many forms other than paint. There are acrylic nails, acrylic fish tanks, acrylic comes in sheets, there are acrylic fibers, and acrylic acids. Just using the word *acrylic* alone in a line description assumes that the reader/viewer of your work will know that refers to artist acrylic paints. As contemporary artists continue to expand the materials they work with it may just be necessary to use *synthetic polymer* to describe the paint used, for accuracy and clarity. What do you think? Are you willing to drop the use of the term *acrylic painting* and start describing your paintings at *synthetic polymer paintings*? If so, why? For more accurate descriptions? Hope to increase sales? Please leave a comment below.

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Life Imitates Art Fundraiser Art Auction March 12th

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On Saturday, 12 March 2016 at 2 p.m. (14h00), DignitySA hosts a Prestigious Art Auction at the magnificent 5 star Hollywood Mansion in Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa.  Anyone around the world may bid on the art at the auction via telephone.

Notable South African artists will be represented including Benon Lutaaya, Barry Lungu, Dr Jack & Curtis, Restone Maambo, Lioda Conrad, Casper de Vries, John Adams, Carrol Boyes, JP Meyer, Shani Krebs, Alex Hamilton, Andre du Toit, Shui-Lynn White, Jade Holing, Jill Coleman, Dlamini Tendai, Mkhululi Dukuza, TC Malia, Edward Selematsela, David Barkham, Keith Zenda, Sylvia de Villiers and Arlette Franks- to mention a few. A special addition to the auction is a “for children” lot which includes works by Robin Stransham-Ford’s daughter, Epiphany (13); Mario Oriani-Ambrosini’s son, Luke (8); Diago Moss (4), nephew of the late Avron Moss, and Kayla Molenaar (12).

One of South Africa’s foremost female artists, Lioda Conrad, was commissioned by DignitySA to do a portrait series of the honorees. She chose her “Fluidity of Identity” series, and not only donated the portraits, but agreed to act as Curator for the event. Details of her Fluidity Series can be found here: http://www.xposy.com/…/life-imitates-art-lioda-conrad-flui…/

DignitySA chose art to raise funds as artists see beauty where others sometimes cannot. Death and dying needn’t be hideous – it can be a gentle, dignified experience, for the patient and their loved ones.

Remote bidding and on the day sales of additional artworks will be available.

Guests and art collectors can look forward to entertainment by Marc Lottering and Keri Stroebel; unique artwork; experiencing Carlo Harris – a Master Auctioneer – at work; mingling with esteemed guests, board members and legal team, bidding paddle lucky draws; and enjoy delectable gourmet snacks and Montpellier wines.

For more information and a look at some of the works available, or to book a ticket, visit www.dignitysa.org. Tickets are limited, with just 90 tickets still available at R800 per person. Tax deductible donations in lieu of attendance will be welcomed. Contact: Lee on 0769424477 or at lee@dignitysa.org.

Honorees include our first democratic president, President Nelson Mandela – for his Draft Bill “The End of Life Decisions Act of 1999”, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who got the world talking when he publicly supported the right to choose a dignified death and Professor Sean Davison – who founded DignitySA.

The purpose of the fundraiser is two-fold: To raise funds for the Appeal and to honour those who have dedicated themselves to changing an unjust law.

In a recent groundbreaking judgment in the North Gauteng High Court, Judge Hans Fabricius granted DignitySA’s applicant, Adv. Robin Stransham-Ford, the right to an assisted death. This ruling has, however, been set aside due to the State and others appealing the judgment. The date of the Appeal has yet to be announced, but DignitySA’s legal team is fully prepared to vigorously defend our human right to dignity and autonomy over our bodies, for those who demand choice at end-of-life.

 

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#Artists Add Your Art to Facebook Art Page + Retail Price, Link

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Artists are invited to add their art image to our Facebook page–be sure to include a link to where buyers may purchase your work, a price and details about the artwork to increase visibility and drive traffic to your site.

We often share the links to our Facebook page and Pinterest group boards on Twitter which increases the number of visitors viewing your artwork there and clicking through to visit your site.

As we reported last week, our group Pinterest boards have gotten artists higher click-throughs according to Google analytics.

Artist Leon Sarantos wrote: “Marie’s Pinterest boards are one of many important aids to artists that I’ve discovered through her Artist Marketing Resources blog. Kudos! .. and thanks for all you do.”

Two of our five Twitter pages have over ten thousand followers each: @TransArtGuide and @Artozon

Tweet your art images, links to your site, exhibition news and art sales news with the hashtag #ArtistMarket or #ArtistNews and we will retweet your tweet!

Send your work to mariekazalia@gmail.com and I will post it on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr!

 

 

 

 

Video: Start to Finish oil painting by Davide Ricchetti

We leave Sundays open to share videos we receive from artists. Italian artist Davide Ricchetti sent us this video showing the stages of development of his oil on canvas painting titled Estate – Summer.  View more at davidericchetti.com

 

IF you have a video you’d like us to share here and on Twitter and other social media sites, contact —

Marie Kazalia email: MarieKazalia@gmail.com

Barcelona Artist Kyle Bryant’s print subscription project

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Artist Kyle Bryant offers print subscriptions of his handmade linocut prints. His black and white prints, in signed and numbered editions of 100, explore the architecture and street culture of his home city of Barcelona, Spain.

Throughout this year Kyle has created one of his handmade linocut prints for each month using the city of Barcelona as his muse.  Print motifs combine human forms with elements of the city and titled with an acronym for BCN, Barcelona’s city nickname. blogKyleBryantprint3

September – Birds Circling Nearby

Small prints start at just $35.00 and a single full-size limited edition print goes for $100. A full set of Bryant’s Cultural Narrative prints go for $500. Find the full details in the rewards section of the artist’s Kickstarter project here. Or visit the artist’s website here.

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October: Broken, Construction Necessary

 

 

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July – Being Childish Naive

 

 

 

 

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January – Before Coffee Nothing

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June – Boards Create Noise

blogKyleBryantprint7February – Breathing Clearly Now

 

 

 

ArtistsInfo Video| Insider Secrets to Selling Art Online

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Artists Info online gallery has an international reputation for discovering and representing talented artists from across five continents. Artists Info has more than 100,000 art lovers visiting their site weekly.  The Artists Info site allows each costumer to directly contact artists for commission-FREE art purchases.

Artists Info staff is always keen to promote the artists on their site and have a team dedicated to sharing their artists news across all their social networks.

Artists Info is currently developing pioneering new view-art-in-situ technology and 3D virtual art galleries. They have an online app with an art store, online magazine and social art network in development as well as many other exciting projects which will offer even more opportunities for artists in the near future.

Yesterday, they featured our blog on their blog, in an article Do You Know Artist Marketing Resources?  

Artists Info created this video, Insider secrets to selling art online, that answers many questions artists ask on how to best promote their art using their own website, social media, and online galleries–

Award Winning Online Art Gallery Seeks Talented Artists: http://www.artistsinfo.co.uk/online-art-gallery.html

Global Art Directory – artistsinfo.co.uk

Learn Figurative Encaustic In A Daily Correspondence Course

In the Fullness of Time, Encaustic painting, Richard Young

In the Fullness of Time, Encaustic painting, Richard Young

Artist Richard Young’s Encaustic Master Class

If you’re currently an abstract artist (or any other style) and want to learn figurative encaustic, Richard Young will get you started by creating a preliminary sketch on the encaustic substrate and shipping it to you. This will be a daily correspondence course at your convenience. You don’t have to be at your computer at any particular time. Over the 4 weeks, Richard says that he will, ” leave no stone unturned in the figurative encaustic process.”
There are 3 parts to the course:
  • Setting up a foundation and being able to maintain accuracy throughout the process.
  • Building on the foundation and meditation on creativity and technique.
  • Finishing touches and knowing “when” the final brush stroke is made.
Richard offers his expertise in detailed pics,videos and detailed in-depth instruction for $500 for a 4 week class. $1000 for a 4 month master class. For more details please email me, Richard Young, at Tsarevich63@charter.net            www.richardyoungfineart.com
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Encaustic portrait painting by Richard Young

Pale Horse, Encaustic painting by

Pale Horse, Encaustic painting by

Lauren Curtis Artworks

Six Mile House, Lauren Curtis

Six Mile House, Lauren Curtis

North Brunswick, Lauren Curtis

North Brunswick, Lauren Curtis

Window View, Lauren Curtis

Window View, Lauren Curtis

Schoolhouse, Lauren Curtis

Schoolhouse, Lauren Curtis

Winter, Lauren Curtis

Winter, Lauren Curtis

Wagon, Lauren Curtis

Wagon, Lauren Curtis 

Blue Flowers Print, Lauren Curtis

Blue Flowers Print, Lauren Curtis 

Open Call for International Artists: MiniPrint Finland 2014

Miniprint Finland 2014 –juried exhibition open to all artists

Open call for artists 
Deadline for stage 1: September 15th 2013
Submission fee: for stage 1: none

International exhibition and competition of small sized graphics

Graphic Artist Association of Lahti and Hyvinkää Art Museum  are calling artists all over the world to participate into the 8th Miniprint Finland 2014 exhibition at the Hyvinkää Art Museum
28.3.2014 – 18.5.2014.

Jurying

Jurying will take place in two stages.

Stage 1:  Electronically send images by the deadline of September 15th  2013. Participation for the first stage is free of charge

Stage 2: chosen artists will be informed and asked to send their original artworks for the final selection.  Registration fee for the stage 2  is 40 €. This covers the handling costs of the parcels.
Works and size limits
All the traditional printing techniques including monoprint methods and digitally printed works are accepted.
Send no more than 3 artworks.
Original artwork’s size should not exceed 20 × 17 × 5 cm.

Further information, rules and participation form : www.lahdentaidegraafikot.fi/miniprint2014

Please follow Miniprint Finland on Facebook, to receive reminders: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miniprint-Finland-2014-Graphic-Artist-Association-of-Lahti/87151089773

Flootie.com: Where Marketing Art Is an Art

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Flootie.com: Where Marketing Art Is an Art

By Dean Cameron

Artists don’t have to starve. Galleries can thrive. Art collectors can make money, not lose it. And Flootie.com is here to make it happen.

With far fewer galleries than artists in the world – and most of those in metropolitan areas – placing those finished masterpieces before the public eye can take as much effort as creating them. That’s why more artists, galleries, and collectors, are showing and selling art online– and Flootie.com leads the way.

On the cutting edge of the digital art revolution, Flootie.com uses innovative technology and inspired ideas to bring art to a growing online population of art lovers and buyers. We don’t sell art; we simply give artists, galleries, and art collectors the tools to do so. More than 11,000 page views in the last month alone says we’re doing it right.

At Flootie, we embrace the traditional artist-gallery-collector relationship that has worked well for so many years. At the same time, we reject the notion that online sales necessarily undercut gallery sales. Artists don’t have to bite the hands that feed them in order to succeed.

Artists, galleries, and art collectors need each other; each is as essential as the three legs of a stool. Flootie.com brings them together on one site, allowing visitors to browse by artist, gallery, or private collector. What’s more, when a subscriber clicks the “fan” button on an artist’s profile, we’ll notify her via email every time new works by her favorite artists appear on the site, no matter whether the artist, a gallery, or a private collector uploads them.

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Finding new fans has never been easier, thanks to Flootie’s “concentric marketing” system. Like ripples in a pool, our social media network triggers thousands of shares every time we post, starting with our 10,000-plus contacts comprising arts professionals and enthusiasts. Instead of “fishing with a blindfold,” hoping someone with an interest will take our bait, we target potential buyers in an on-purpose marketing system.

Does it work? Our expanding database and ever-increasing number of visitors tells us that it does. We hear success stories all the time, too, such as the artist who had never even shown her paintings but now, two weeks after joining the Flootie.com artists’ community, she’s getting fans and emails from viewers praising her work. She’s well on her way to her first sale.

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We love success stories almost as much as we love art. We’ll go the extra mile every time to help artists succeed, even offering support on the phone day and night. And we’ve got a lot of new features up our sleeve: a screensaver tool allowing fans to download and keep online photos of artworks; an art events calendar, searchable by city; an art marketing blog featuring guest posts by artist members, and more – all for $14.95 a month.

We keep our price low because we know the “starving artist” syndrome is no myth — not for now, anyway. Flootie.com aims to change that by helping artists to help themselves. We’re giving artists the tools they need to succeed, now and in the future. Why not join us today?

Twitter  @americanfineart

Remix to Earn Commissions on Juicy Canvas Site Sales

Sign up to become a Juicy Canvas innovator –earn commissions. Sign Up for the Private Beta : juicycanvas.com/curators-remixers/

This video shows you how it works–

ArtFinder Alerts Art Buyers of New Available Artist Works

ArtFinder is a marketplace for people to discover and buy affordable original art online from a wide range of international artists and galleries. ArtFinder is a top curated online art gallery. Chief Executive of the ArtFinder site Jonas Almgren was quoted in the widely read BBC article on More Art Sold Online Than in Galleries, along with representatives of other top sites, such as, Saatchi Online and Artsy.

Some artists we know who recently opened up shop on ArtFinder– Gabriella Cleuren    Agent X   Leon Sarantos   Sharon Sieben   Marie Kazalia

ArtFinder has many advanced settings for tracking sales and shipments of your art, as well as for interacting with other ArtFinder artists and site Users. As an ArtFinder artist, I receive email alerts when a User (aka potential buyer) follows me or favorites one of my artworks. I can then follow the User back and  review the User’s profile to see all the artists the User has followed. With this new understanding of the User’s tastes, I may add images of my other available artworks to meet the User’s interests. ArtFinder sends the Users following me a newsletter containing images of my newly uploaded available work.

A recent ArtFinder newsletter (excerpted below) alerted me to new artworks available from artist Gabriella Cleuren–with cropped thumbnail images that enticed me to visit her portfolio on ArtFinder for full views of each work.

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Sculpture and Paintings of Italian Artist Tony Cassisi

Sculptor and painter Tony Cassisi creates his sculptural works in wood and other materials.

Strip, wood sculpture, Tony Cassisis

Strip, wood sculpture, Tony Cassisi

Exile from Eden (view 2), sculpture, Tony Cassisi

Exile from Eden (view 2), sculpture, Tony Cassisi

Exile from Eden, sculpture, Tony Cassisi

Exile from Eden, sculpture, Tony Cassisi

Boys, bas-relief, Tony Cassisi

Boys, bas-relief, Tony Cassisi

On the artist’s website, there are images of 47 bas-relief artworks of people, as well as many creations of birds and other subjects.

You will find dozens of beautiful oil paintings of people and the Italian landscape on the artist’s website. These paintings Tony Cassisi called Metalgraphs, his own unique mentor of paintings with oil paints on metalized boards. The backgrounds of these paintings the artist has painted with metallic colors, while foregrounds he has painted with oil colors.

Shepherds Under a Porch, painting by Tony Cassisi

Shepherds Under a Porch, painting by Tony Cassisi

Lava, painting by Tony Cassisi

Lava, painting by Tony Cassisi

Herdsman at sunset, painting incorporating found materials, Tony Cassisi

Herdsman at sunset, painting incorporating found materials, Tony Cassisi

Sorrowful Mother, pyrography, Tony Cassisi

Sorrowful Mother, pyrography, Tony Cassisi

Visit the artist’s website to view many more artworks: www.tony cassisi.it

Call for Artists: NURTUREart Benefit

Artists are invited to submit their work for consideration for NURTUREart’s annual benefit, which will take place on October 28, 2013 at Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York City.

All artists are invited to submit work.  Selected works of art will be displayed at the event, which is attended by approximately 500 collectors, curators, artists, and art professionals.  Guest curators will review all the works submitted online and select pieces for exhibition and sale at the Benefit, with all proceeds going to fund essential NURTUREart programming.

Artwork can be in any 2D or 3D medium, framed or unframed, maximum 16” in any direction including frame. All artworks must be able to be hung on a wall; sculptors may include a small shelf for display. Please upload a jpeg file—no larger than 350 KB and no more than 600 pixels in any direction—to the NUTUREart benefit submission page for the curators’ review. Only one submission per artist, please; multiple submissions from an artist will not be reviewed. Online submissions must be received by midnight, September 1, 2013.  All artists will be contacted by email in mid-September to let them know whether or not their work has been selected.  If your work is selected to be included in the benefit, you will receive free admission to the event for yourself (admission at 7pm), and a voucher to purchase one “Artist Friend” ticket for $50.

Details:

You will be responsible for dropping the selected work off at the NURTUREart Gallery in Brooklyn during regular gallery hours (Thursday through Monday from noon to 6 pm) by October 13. There is NO option to drop off work in Manhattan, so please do NOT bring any artwork to Bernarducci Meisel Gallery. No exceptions.  If you plan to ship the work, please be prepared to follow our mailing guidelines and ship early.  We can only accept works via UPS, Fed Ex or another private courier.  No USPS please!  NURTUREart may choose not to display the work if the work arrives damaged, is unfinished or otherwise unfit to be installed, or is not the work of art that was originally submitted for consideration.

Read the full guidelines and begin online submission process on the NUTUREart site.

Prin­ted Mat­ter Calls for Sub­mis­sions for a New Emer­ging Artists Pub­lic­a­tion Series

Five selec­ted artists will work with the sup­port of Prin­ted Mat­ter and a ded­ic­ated designer to real­ize indi­vidual projects…

Sub­mis­sions are open to emer­ging artists whose prac­tice has demon­strated a com­mit­ment to exper­i­ment­a­tion within the artists‹ book medium in unusual and excit­ing ways.

Broadly speak­ing, Prin­ted Mat­ter is inter­ested in pub­lic­a­tions that have been con­ceived as art­works in their own right, rather than books that doc­u­ment work cre­ated in another medium. Pro­pos­als should not be a con­ven­tional cata­log of art­works, tra­di­tional artists‹ mono­graph, chap­book, or other straight­for­ward works of fic­tion, non-​​fiction or poetry, as these fall out­side our scope.

Sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als will be reviewed by a com­mit­tee made up of Tauba Auerbach (Artist), David Senior (Bib­li­o­grapher, MoMA Lib­rary), Gar­rick Gott(Con­sult­ing Design Dir­ector, Prin­ted Mat­ter) and James Jen­kin (Exec­ut­ive Dir­ector, Prin­ted Matter).

All items should be sent as attach­ments in a single email to submissions{at}printedmatter.org, with the sub­ject line EMER­GINGARTISTS_[YOUR NAME]. Emails should not exceed 10 MB.

Unfor­tu­nately, due to the expec­ted volume of sub­mis­sions, we will not be able to acknow­ledge the receipt of applic­a­tions, and will only be able to notify selec­ted applicants.

Timeline
All book pro­pos­als must be sent by Monday, August 10, 2013. Selec­ted applic­ants will be noti­fied by Septem­ber 10, 2013 with the expect­a­tion that work on the first two sched­uled pro­jects will com­mence in the fol­low­ing weeks. The five books in the series will be pub­lished over the course of a year.

Sup­port from Prin­ted Matter

  • $1,500 fee to artist
  • Print­ing and design costs paid (within pro­ject budget)
  • Optional access to a designer, who will aid as needed in ready­ing pub­lic­a­tion for print
  • A launch event at Prin­ted Mat­ter or at our NY Art Book Fair or LA Art Book Fair, or pos­sibly another major fair atten­ded by the organ­iz­a­tion, includ­ing Frieze NY, Basel, Miami Basel, LA Con­tem­por­ary, Inde­pend­ent, NADA, and Chicago Expo
  • Press announce­ment of pub­lic­a­tion via Prin­ted Matter’s social media
  • Oppor­tun­ity for in-​​store exhib­i­tion and win­dow installation
  • Inclu­sion in Prin­ted Matter’s dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gram and offer­ings to lib­rar­ies and institutions

Read the full submission guidelines here.

Art in Brooklyn, Art in New York City

Artists in Brooklyn and New York City seeking more visibility for your work can submit artwork to sites that support local artists:

Art in Brooklyn  http://www.ArtinBrooklyn.com
Art In Brooklyn was founded by Michael Sorgatz to promote the work of local artists. To submit your artwork for consideration, please send an email containing a link to your work or 3 jpegs (at 500 pixels wide). There is no obligation or fee for participating artists.

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Art in New York City http://www.ArtinNewYorkCity.com
Art In New York City was founded by Michael Sorgatz to promote the work of local artists. To submit your artwork for consideration, please send an email containing a link to your work or 3 jpegs (at 500 pixels wide). There is no obligation or fee for participating artists.

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For an extensive resource list of art magazines and blogs, Artist Marketing Resources created this gratis list for artists everywhere–click here.

At Age 64, Brooklyn “Hermit” Artist Has Solo Debut in Manhattan Gallery + First Sales!

A completely unknown Brooklyn artist, Mr. Rafael Leonardo Black, described as a “hermit”, was recently discovered at age 64 by a Manhattan gallery owner who mounted the artist in an exhibit titled “Insider Art,” an exhibition of 16 works by Mr. Black. Ten of the artworks quickly sold and at prices ranging from $16,000 to $28,000USD.

Read the full NY Times article here.

More Art Sold Online than in Brick and Mortar Galleries

The Saatchi Gallery was based at County Hall 2...

The Saatchi Gallery was based at County Hall 2003–2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to this BBC article, more art is sold online than in galleries. This is the first I’ve read of this. Over the past few years there has been an ongoing debate, and even a snobbery perhaps against online galleries. It seems the tides have turned!

Read this article, including a quote regarding Saatchi online gallery sales vs physical gallery sales—http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23054641

PLEASE NOTE: Keep trying the links–you may receive an error message, but you will get through to the article if you keep trying.

Artist Opportunity: Fluctuations Print Exchange, Deadline July 19th

Submissions are now open for the first Recession Art Print Exchange, Fluctuations—the theme of the print exchange will be the very idea of exchanging; fluctuations between giving and receiving.

19 artists will be selected to participate in creating original prints in an edition size of 21. Each participant will receive their own complete portfolio of this exchange, and the additional prints will be on view during a reception that will be held on September 27th 2013.

In each artist’s submission, submit a clear proposal of the print including images (sketches, collages, photos) of the proposed work or images of previous work if necessary.

All prints must conform to the dimensions of 11″ x 14″ (approximately 1/4 of a standard sheet of industry printmaking paper).

All printmaking processes will be considered for this print exchange, though digital prints must also contain one or more hand-pulled elements in the final artwork. We encourage innovative, mixed media approaches to printmaking.

The print exchange is open to artists living within the United States and overseas. Portfolios can be sent by mail to each recipient or can be picked up at our location in Brooklyn. Each artist is responsible for the cost of shipping.

Deadline for submission : July 19th, 11:59 pm

Prints must be delivered to 47 Bergen St, Brooklyn NY by September 20th, 7:00 pm

Reception at 47 Bergen St: September 27th, 7:00-9:00 pm

http://recessionartshows.com/submit

Recession Art
47 Bergen Street
Brooklyn, New York 11201
United States of America

New Book: ART-WRITE, The Writing Guide for Visual Artists

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ART-Write, The Writing Guide for Visual Artists, written by Vicki Krohn Amorose, helps guide artists through the process as they write their artist statements, exhibition announcements, press releases, cover letters, blog posts, biographies, social media posts, and much more. Author Vicki Krohn Amorose has a writing background that includes professional positions as Educational Media Writer, Advertising Copywriter, Art Instructor, and Art Gallery Manager.

I read a print copy of her book, which is also available for Amazon Kindle readers and other readers, and found it an excellent resource guide for artists, and much needed! I glided through the chapters, thanks to the no-nonsense writing style of the author. I will return to the book again and again for the writing exercises and prompts.

Author Vicki Krohn Amorose (VKA) agreed to answer questions about her book for the artists who read the Artist Marketing Resources (AMR) blog—

AMR: Vicki, let me share an excerpt from an artist statement sent to me recently —“My work explores the fragility of the human form to delineate cartography of imagined histories and understand the body as a cynosure.”  The word cynosure is used frequently in contemporary art writing. Should artists use a word because others use it? Besides those *at the moment* words, I sometimes read exhibition announcements written in a style copied and re-copied from decades past. How can artists avoid extremes–the miming of the latest or staying stuck in the past? What is “Art Speak” and how does ART-Write, The Writing Guide for Visual Artists help artists to write about their work honestly and in “plain language.”

VKA: I am wholeheartedly opposed to artists using “Art Speak” in their written communications, and the word “cynosure” falls into that category. Art Speak is the vernacular of elite Art-Worldlings, often invented and repeated to impress each other. When writing about your own art, the question shouldn’t be, “Do I sound erudite?” Rather, it should be, “Does my writing help the viewer to see, and does it encourage them to look again?” Art Speak tends to have the opposite effect on the reader/viewer; people furrow their brows and walk away.

I think artists continue to echo phrases because it’s difficult to find comprehensive, current instruction on this subject. I wrote my book to help fill that deficit, and my “no-nonsense” writing style was very deliberate. We can write about the complex subject of individual art in clear, straightforward language.

AMR: The writing exercises in ART-Write, The Writing Guide for Visual Artists helped me think of new ways to write about my work. Please explain the purpose of the writing exercise for artists who say “I don’t explain my work” or “I can’t explain my work.”

VKA: It’s so common to hear artists resist in this way, and I believe this comes from confusion about what is required of them. An artist statement is not a full translation of a visual concept into a written document! Of course you can’t do that, it’s a ridiculous idea. The exercises are designed to bring about the thinking required to connect with an audience. Thinking about your own work can spin off in a thousand directions, so the prompts are a way to reign-in the confusion and develop truthful sentences.

AMR: When and how should artists “name drop” in their writings?

VKA:  Referencing another artist is tricky, because you always want to direct the viewer’s attention to the work in front of them –your work. If you want to mention an artistic influence, make sure you describe how you were specifically inspired. Don’t just “name drop” to fluff your credibility.

AMR: Do you prescribe a structure for writing an artist statement?

VKA: Yes, structure in writing helps to hold the reader’s attention, and I give examples of 3 different structures. These are not complicated. One structure is storytelling. Both art and storytelling are deeply rooted in the human psyche. People find connection through stories.

AMR:  And how do artists know when to put personal details into their statement or instead put those personal details into their bio?

VKA: Again, we come back to what is directly in front of the audience. The artist statement says: “People, meet my art.”  The artist Bio says: “People, meet the artist.” Unless the work in front of the audience is biographical or humorous, keep those details out of your statement and put them in your Bio.

AMR: Can artists buy a book directly from you?

VKA: Yes, and I welcome comments at http://www.artwritebook.com. Thank you for your interest in my book, Marie. I sincerely want the information to reach the visual artists who need it.

Seep, painting by Vicki K. Amorose

Seep, painting by Vicki K. Amorose