Participating in Art Call Events

Bobby Baker

As an artist getting your work seen is always key, as is widening your audience. Entering open artist call events, I believe, is an important part in one’s growth as an artist – and has the potential to place your work in front of thousands of eyes that may have never seen your work otherwise.

For me, entering these kind of events and the success or failure of my work being accepted to the events has played a significant role in my growth – and success – as an artist.

I clearly remember the feeling of having my first piece accepted to a juried exhibition; that acceptance was a catalyst that not only told me that I was indeed on a positive path with my art, but by its acceptance encouraged me to work all that much harder to better understand my art, and how to really see before I pressed the shutter.

With each notice of my work not being accepted to an event, I quickly ridded myself of the disappointment and viewed this as an opportunity to learn. Reviewing all of the accepted work and award winners, as well as the juror(s) comments were all key in my growing process. Also, any time you can get feedback from a juror as to why your work didn’t make the cut, take it, as it is invaluable information that can help greatly on your path to being a successful artist.


With each exhibition that my work was accepted to, I scrutinized all of the other accepted work, especially that of the painters. I always marvel at how talented painters render light, and in turn that has helped me in how I see light and compose with my photography.

As I continued to develop my skill and style, my work was being accepted to almost every event that I entered. I began to expand beyond regional events to national and then international events to enter my work, growing my audience. As exciting as being accepted to the many events was, something was missing – the awards!

Winning an award in an open call exhibit is difficult. You create within the theme of the exhibit and present work that you feel is truly special. Interestingly, I find the disappointment of not having what I feel is a special piece recognized, a bit more hurtful than not being accepted to the event at all!

The awards did come – but you still always want recognition for all of the pieces that you feel are really special, and often it doesn’t come. It just makes you create and prepare better for the next opportunity. My work was recognized with awards in regional events, national, and international exhibitions. “Best Seascape” and “2nd Place‐Fine Art” in national exhibitions and “Best Photograph” in an international online exhibition stand out among my awards as very proud moments for my work.

After all these years, I still find it exciting to come upon an open call event that I find interesting. It’s stimulating to select the work that fits the theme, or to plan on shooting work specifically for that event. You review your selections, then select only the best to submit...and then you wait for that notice to arrive in your email box... “Congratulations, we are pleased to inform you....” Those emails never get old!

As artists, I believe that we create our work to share with others, for our viewers to feel the emotion and to explore its meaning – and for our art to be seen by as many art lovers as possible. C4E provides artists with a guide to help in seeking out those events and opportunities in which to shine. The world’s a big place with lots of opportunity – show it your art!

Bobby Baker Photography | Cataumet, Cape Cod, MA |


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