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Artwork by Patrick DolanMore Information

The Castle Open closed Sunday. Another party’s over (Saturday).
(I’m still suffering cake withdrawal symptoms from our 4th Birthday knees up – an even more distant memory).

I love Open Exhibitions.

There I’ve said it.

Ceanothus Triptych

Ceanothus Triptych

(It’s not just because I had a piece of work in the Castle this year in case you were asking)

I know some artists come over a bit sniffy about opens but where else do you get such an eclectic and interesting collection of work all in one place? Though that might make for a curatorial nightmare if you’re the one putting on the show it results in a visual feast if you’re the gallery goer.

Opens can mean openings, a chance for the un exhibited to get out there!

What I don’t understand is the controversy (and sometimes vitriol) that opens seem to provoke. It seems that some amongst our creative community would prefer to invent conspiracy and nepotism theories to rile against the organisers rather than face the reality that we are in a very competitive arena and there’s a numbers game here! I have been on panels where there are more than 300 applications for 100 places. It is fairly obvious that as a result there will be some great work that is rejected. So I suggest remembering that old adage if at first you don’t succeed…… (oh and the correct ending is not …. write an unprofessional diatribe to selectors/the organisation/on a public social media platform, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few in my time)

When I’m in the role of advisor I give the same top tips as the rest of the world; read the criteria, submit quality images in the format requested, aim for clarity and consistency. Despite following my own advice I’ve had plenty of rejections prior to this year’s success!

So if you don’t get in don’t take it personally, join the party (rather than the ranks of the bitter and twisted) drink a toast to those who did! Then look for opportunities and make plans that just might help you beat the odds next time.

The Castle Open’s new website has a whole series of articles far more eloquent than I can be on the mechanisms and the merits of opens along with good advice on how to make your submission.

Do you know an open or opportunity calling for artist submissions? Add to the comments!

Diana is one of our team of bloggers who tries to have something she thinks is witty to say in this bit, usually using alliteration. On this occasion she is uncharecteristically lost for words but can still be followed on twitter @AnaidMPA