You might not think you need to track this information now. But start it anyway. Keep a text file, an Excel spreadsheet, a Word listing, heck, write it in a spiral notebook. However you track it, track the shows you’re participating in. Because there might come a time where you need that information – and it is a royal bear trying to recreate this from memory.
There are all sorts of reasons a show listing can become important. Maybe you participate in that same show the next year and they don’t want you to include works you’ve submitted previously. Here at the BVAA, for example, if we have a prize-awarding show, we exclude works which were submitted to our previous prize-awarding shows. So it’s important to keep track of what you submitted when.
For each show you participate in note:
- The date range of the show
- The names of the works you entered
- If it was juried (could anybody participate or did a “jury” decide who could have art shown in the show)
- If prizes were awarded
- Did you win a prize?
These are the types of details which are easy enough to note at the time but become fuzzy very quickly. A year or two later you might not remember the precise details. Still, if you’re having to reconstruct a list, do the best you can. Some information is better than none. Enlist friends and family for help and go through old email messages. You might be able to put together a fairly decent list.
This information can form the basis of submissions to future shows and even solo exhibitions. But the key is that you need the information. So start tracking it now and make sure it’s a living document. Update it each time you do a new show.
Your future self will thank you!
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