Art Competition Odds

My 2013 in Art Competitions

Stats on my art competition applications in 2013.

Last year, I applied to 34 art competitions.*

I applied to: 11 residencies, 8 exhibitions/museum submissions, 6 fellowships, 4 studio programs, 3 grants & awards, and 2 professional development programs.


I received: 1 residency, 1 grant, and 1 professional development program.


I was also informed that I was a finalist for 2 residencies and 1 award.


My overall success rate was 3 out of 34, or 1 in 11.3, or 8.8%.

I paid $280 in application fees for 9 applications.


The most expensive was a residency at $45, followed by a residency and fellowship at $40 each. The lowest fee was $10 (to submit work for review to a museum). Twenty-five applications were free.

(*This amount of applications in one 12-month period is a quirk due to the fact that my “goal-year” starts in June. To meet my goal of 24 applications per year, I did 7 in the second half of 2012, and now I only need to do 10 more this spring.)

Art & Development

2013 Year-end Roundup


phtos from residency at the Tides Institute and Museum of Art, Montalvo Art Center, Happiness Is... Chinese Arts Centre, more

2013 year-in-review. Highlights include the residency at the Tides Institute and Museum of Art in Eastport, Maine; Happiness Is…, at Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California; Irrational Exuberance Flags at Southern Exposure; Irrational Exuberance (Asst. Colors) at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, UK; Obsolete Californias in San Francisco; Jenkins Johnson Gallery in NYC; publications such as Temporary Art Review and The Dark Would.

Looking back at 2013, I’m grateful for the generosity and passion of many people…

• the dedicated staff at arts organizations providing residencies and exhibition opportunities to artists like myself…

• whipsmart collaborators Leah Rosenberg and Susan O’Malley… and

• inspiring, fearless women artists like Torreya Cummings, Sarrita Hunn and Lauren Adams who shape the art worlds they would like to participate in.

In 2014, I’m looking forward to…

Bronx AIM informal studio visits. Visiting photographer Martyna Szczesna's studio.

Bronx AIM informal studio visits. Visiting photographer Martyna Szczesna‘s studio.

• participating in the Bronx Museum of Art’s AIM program, and helping to organize mutual studio visits in the interim…

• contributing to artist’s publications: the next Ortega y Gasset Gazette, and Land and Sea, slated to debut at the LA Book Fair…

• launching a new version of my website…

• continuing to read and participate in book clubs about class, community, and engagement.


Goals: Looking back, looking forward

Be strategically optimistic. Imagine and implement advantageous conditions.

In 2012, I inserted these goals and attitude reminders into my rotating desktop photos:

  • Be active and injury-free.
  • Forgive.
  • Do six studio visits.
  • Enter [art] competitions.
  • Have a strong show of killer new work.
  • Make work that answers, “What would I do with a solo show?”
  • Be open [to new experiences].
  • Practice kindness.
  • Embrace adventure.
  • Practice gratitude, not garbage.
  • Be strategically optimistic. Imagine and implement advantageous conditions.

Most of these were attended to with solid efforts, to varying degrees of success. Many will require more time, intention and attention. I take it as a sign that these are good reminders for me, as they are not too easily achieved nor unrealistically ambitious.

All still seem like good ideas to carry forward into 2013. They’re what positive psychologists call “self-concordant”—rather than reflecting societal demands, they are aligned with my professional and personal goals.

If you’re thinking about making New Year’s resolutions, Creative Capital’s goal-setting tips might be useful. I have been using their goal-setting strategies for the past few years and highly recommend that artists espouse and maintain the practice. It is like plotting a course on an open sea.