Whether you’re an artist or someone who appreciates the creativity of others, you’ll be interested in the Galveston Art League’s juried competitions, which bring out the best in regional artwork.
The Art League holds competitions three times a year at each of its two locations, 611 6th St. N. in Texas City, where the contests are held in winter, summer, and fall; and 2117A Postoffice St. in Galveston, with contests in winter, spring, and fall.
“About 70 to 100 works are entered in every Texas City competition,” says Sharon Jones, who is the league’s juried exhibitions show director. “For the Postoffice location, we receive anywhere from 145 to 200 entries.”
During judging, the entries are numbered and the artists’ names are hidden to eliminate bias. Jones chooses each judge, sometimes finding them on the Lone Start Art Guild judges’ roster as well as recruiting judges she meets at other competitions. The judges might be artists themselves and/or teach art.
At Galveston Art League competitions, the judge evaluates works in five categories: oil and acrylic works on canvas or panel; works on paper (watercolor, pencil, ink, pastels, or acrylic used like watercolor); photography; 2-D mixed media (collage and fabric, for example); and 3-D, which includes sculpture, pottery, wood, metal, art dolls, glass, and more. The judging process typically takes two to three hours, Jones says.
One artist receives $300 for the top honor, Best of Show. In the Texas City winter competition in March, Lee Johnson of Dickinson won that award for her watercolor, Tropicals. In Galveston’s spring juried show in May, Jerry Bachman of Lake Jackson was judged Best of Show for his acrylic painting Texas Gothic. In addition, there is a $100 award for first place in each category and a $50 award for second place in each category. Artists always appreciate being able to mention a Galveston Art League award on their résumés, too, Jones says.
But even those who don’t walk away with prizes are winners.
“Artists benefit from the exposure of their work at the league’s Texas City and Galveston galleries, where the pieces are exhibited for a month and typically are offered for sale,” Jones says. If an entry is purchased, it stays in the gallery until the exhibit ends, Jones says. After that, the buyer can pick up the artwork or it can be shipped to the new owner.
Artists also may receive valuable feedback about their work. “When the judges attend the reception for the show,” Jones says, “they will discuss their judging process and give artists one-on-one advice about their entries.”
You don’t have to be a Galveston Art League member to compete, but entry fees are discounted for members. Members pay $15 per work for their first two entries and $5 for a third (there’s a three-entry limit); nonmembers pay $20 per entry.
For more information about the Galveston Art League, how to join (memberships start at $35 per year), and details about its juried competitions (including dates and deadlines), visit GalvestonArtLeague.com. To download the prospectus and entry form for a future juried competition, click on the link to the prospectus in the left column of the league’s homepage.
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