Art Competition Odds

Twelve Months in Art Competitions, 2019-2020

Stats on my art competition applications from July 2019 through June 2020.

Goals

My goals this past ‘goal-year’ included applying to:

  • 2 grants. 
  • 6 residencies or studio programs in NYC.
  • 4 exhibitions in NYC.
  • 2 residencies, commissions, or projects in the S.F. Bay Area. 

This adds up to 14 applications.

Progress

I submitted 13 applications.

Of course, this was an exceptional year. I had other extenuating circumstances, and COVID changed everything. Not only were health, safety, travel, and finances endangered, existing projects were postponed and extended. Open calls were sometimes paused by the organizations. Some programs were canceled when organizations restructured due to the recession. Given all this, I was surprised to learn that I nearly reached my goal of 14 applications.

Here’s how much progress I made:

  • Grants.
    • [√] [√] √  √ 
    • I set out to apply to 2 grants, and I did.
    • I also applied to a fellowship and an award whose primary benefits were funding. If you count these towards my grants goal, then I exceeded this goal.
  • Residencies or studio programs in NYC.
    • [√] [√] [√] [√] [√] [_]
    • I aimed to submit 6 applications, and I completed 5 (3 residencies, studio programs).
  • Exhibitions in NYC.
    • [√] [√] [_] [_]
    • My goal was to apply to 4 exhibition opportunities. I completed 2 applications.
  • Residencies, commissions, or projects in the S.F. Bay Area.
    • [√] [_]
    • I submitted 1 application, though I aimed for 2. 
    • However, I was invited to do a project in the Bay Area, which leapfrogged the application goal to serve the greater goal.

Rejections

I received responses for 12 out of 13 applications. One program has been put on indefinite hold due to COVID.

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Of the 12 responses I received, all were rejections.

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Three of my 13 applications (23%) made it to a second round, or semi-finalist or finalist round.

I’ve enjoyed at least one or two successful applications each goal-year for the previous six years (the years most easy to look up), so garnering zero successful applications is a surprise. The sting of these ‘no’s’ is ameliorated by a more recent ‘yes,’ as well as invitations which arose from existing partnerships or past work.  


See my stats from 2018–2019, 2017-20182015-2016, 2014, and 2013.

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