If you’re an artist in the Greater San Diego Area, there are many local opportunities to find commissioned and/or public projects… if you know where to look. Contests and juried exhibitions can be good places to gain exposure and make connections to enhance your portfolio. However, you want to be selective: does the establishment have a good reputation? Does your work fit the theme of the company offering the contest? Will the cost to join the juried show be worth it? Make sure you do your research. On the plus side, a potentially challenging project can get your mind working and keep you active and creating, as well as add an additional revenue stream to your regular income. So where are the best places to look?
Here are the some of the current best local resources available for San Diego artists outside of galleries:
- “San Diego Artists – Resources, Opportunities, and Online Communities” Facebook group is comprised of arts organizations and artists who post opportunities to show work, as well as events. Over 1,000 group members were listed at the time this post was published. Don’t forget the Sparks Gallery Facebook page, which also lists local finds.
- The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN): Artists are encouraged to submit their work for annual events, and their web site offers a comprehensive database of local artists (list yourself!), and art happenings in their event calendar. Great opportunity to list events in which you are participating. They also offer the San Diego Art Prize to a set of emerging and established artists.
- The San Diego Foundation: Currently funding artist fellowships ranging from $10,000 to $20,000 for up to 10 local professional artists via the Individual Artist Fellowship Program, and offering a networking group to help artists find jobs and connect with other your artists: Rising Arts Leaders.
- The California Arts Council web site offers Artist Calls for nationwide projects. It’s worth taking a look through their listings on a regular basis.
- Look to museums and establishments that fit your niche. MCASD, the Athenaeum, and the Women’s Museum of CA accept submissions for juried exhibitions and shows for local talent throughout the year. Join their mailing lists to stay in the loop on their events as well.
- Grab a booth. Consider art fairs, such as the Little Italy Art Walk, Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair. Or, as their name suggests, go for a more “raw”/underground environment with RAW:Natural Born Artists. For photographers, consider the Art of Photography Show, or the Medium Festival of Photography to show and network.
Are there any other San Diego artist opportunities that you would recommend? Any that we missed? Please feel free to comment below or send in your suggestions to be added to the list.