NYU small works

It has come to my attention that my blog comes up fairly high (like #2 or #3) when you google “NYU small works” – so I thought I would take the time and go in depth about the jurying process, as an informational tool to those artists that might be  interested in entering in the future. It seems that it is a bit confusing to some, so I will attempt to articulate everything true as I know it. Also I will go ahead and state the following disclaimer:  Some of this information might be a little off due to lacking details on my part, or variations from year to year – so don’t  take my word as the law. Also, by reading this, I am assuming you have a general interest in the NYU show and have seen the application and read the following rules – so I don’t have to spell out actual deadlines, dates, etc. And for those of you that don’t really know much about show here is a brief writeup:

For over three decades our Small Works show has provided a visual forum for both established and undiscovered artists working in small format. This juried exhibit includes artworks in every medium imaginable, and offers an opportunity to see together in one place in New York City hundreds of artworks selected from thousands of local and international entries.  The unique concept of the competition dictates that all works submitted for possible exhibition measure twelve inches or less in every dimension. Throughout the years, tens of thousands of artists contributing from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and our own hemisphere, have challenged this size restriction with innovative and exciting creations. Although often imitated, the diversity and consistent quality of artworks exhibited in Small Works is rarely matched.

So, that being said…….This is one of those shows where they actually jury the art in person – not by slides, photos, or jpg images.  I guess this is how they have been doing it for so long – and it works for them.  It seems like a lot of work to return and/or mail back all the thousands and thousands of rejected works – but that is just me.  It is not a show where you are required to provide a bio, artist statement, or resume in – so even if you are a talented emerging artist, or toothless uneducated hillbilly who managed to crank out only one decent piece in your lifetime  —  you should defiantly enter that one good piece of art, as you will be  juried strictly by the actual piece(s) in front of them – not your cohesive body of work, reputation (or lack there of), or padded resume. Translation: You might actually have a chance to get in!

You can either (A) hand deliver or (B) mail in your art. You can enter up to three pieces as long as they are under 12×12 (which is strictly enforced, so measure!)

(A) Mail:  If you decide to mail it to the big city (like I did), pack it very well and as with any juried show – follow the directions carefully – correctly labeling each piece, filling out the application properly, etc.  You will also need to enclose a check to cover the amount of the return postage in case your work is  not accepted or, if you are accepted, and your work does not sell. If you get one piece in the show and one not – they will keep both the rejected piece and return it at the end of the show in March – just in case your accepted piece(s) does not sell.  Am I making sense so far? If I remember correctly, you will be notified by email and approximately 10-15 days after the deadline  if you had any of your work accepted (any day now.)   Unfortunantly this is not really enough time to book a reasonable ($) flight if you want to attend the actual opening.  I think they only let me know only a week before the opening.  I don’t know how they inform people who were not accepted. I do not think they take the time to email thousands of rejection letters.  Maybe they make you suffer until you see a package on your porch 2-3 weeks later.  Sorry, I don’t know that detail – just speculating. I have been fortunante to be accepted both years I applied.  Anyway. Once you know you have been accepted by email, they also mail you an “official” acceptance  letter with some promotional material (post cards) to mail your patrons if you want.

(B) Hand Delivered:  From what I understand, if you bring in your work, you have to physically go back to NYU and look on a list of accepted/rejected names just to find out the verdict. I think this is  7 – 10 days after the deadline. Unless they changed it, I don’t believe they contact any of the local artists by email – even if you got in.  There are tens of thousands of applicants (with 2-3 pieces each, mind you) from all over the world and I guess it would take too long to email everyone. So if you do not actually live in Manhattan – maybe you can sweet talk a friend or family member who does, to save you a trip and go peek at the list for you (and pick up your work, if needed.)  I don’t know this exact process – because I mail my work and have only heard this info second hand.

I have not actually been able to attend the reception or show at all – due to other obligations, but I hear it is really nice, and an honor just to get in. However this year I plan to go toward the end of the show (March) – hopefully it will be warmer then.  Here are a few photos.

When you have a piece sell, they contact you by email almost immediately.  They tell you who bought it, and give you their address in case you want to send them a bio, thank you note, or add them to your mailing list. I thought that was cool. Most galleries guard that info with their life. The lady in charge, (or one of the ladies in charge last year), Ruth Newman, had to contact me several times by email for various reasons – and she was such a sweetie.  I think my acceptance email bounced back so she called me or something, once something sold she wanted my Social Security #, and emailed me the patron information, encouraging me to forward a bio/resume to them. Then they needed to figure out how to reimburse me for postage since all my work sold.  There was also something else they called me about regarding my second piece……Seems like I had more contact with them than most would ever.  I think I got my check approximately 30 days after each individual sale. All and all a pleasant experience.  They seem to really have it together over there.

So if you are thinking about applying, or are waiting to hear if you got in – Good Luck!

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