Artist Opportunities – The Top Resources For San Diego Artists

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:

  1. “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 for art events to network and hear about current issues in the art community.
  2. The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN)Sign up for their monthly message to get a list of current calls for artists. Artists are encouraged to submit their work for events listed in their online opportunity section. And this website 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 established artists. You might consider their page listing national and International competitions.
  3. Rising Arts Leaders is a networking group to help artists find jobs and connect with other young artists.
  4. Look to artist alliances or guilds in museums and establishments that fit your niche. Consider the OMA AA or the SDMA AG.
  5. MCASD, the Athenaeum, and the Women’s Museum of CA accept submissions for juried exhibitions and shows for local talent throughout the year.
  6. 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.

Looking for more guidance? Sonya Sparks is available for 1:1 meetings with artists. You will have personalized, actionable steps on what direction you should take for preparing your portfolio and marketing materials, building your credentials, experimenting with new work, and where to find opportunities to show and sell work. Learn more on our artist consultation page.