Well I got my wish and my entries did not make the cut for the final exhibition, which will consist of 70 drawings. At least I’m saved the expense of getting the things framed and transporting them on what would have been about a 200 mile round-trip (twice if I had delivered and then collected them). Think of just the petrol money, much less fares on public transport and which would take simply A G E S. That’s the upside.
But just to go back to JJ’s point about fees, let’s do the sums in very round figures. The rejection letter claims there were thousands of entries, so let’s say there were 2000 entries, each paid around £40 an entry, making a total income of £80,000 for the organisers. From this we can deduct say £8,000 for the prize money (I’m being generous), leaving £72,000 for administration costs, which I think you’ll agree are unlikely to be anything like that. Say the judge (a minor painter and academic) is paid for a couple of weeks for the pre-selection weeding-out. That might come to, say, £3,000. Actually the logistics of trying to view thousands of JPGs with any degree of scrutiny is a little problematic, no matter how you look at it. And she may not even have been involved at that level, may only be called upon to judge the final 70 works – this a much quicker exercise since the works are then all properly displayed in the gallery. All she has to do is point to one, after due pause. No justifications are required, which is probably just as well. At best that might be a day’s work, perhaps a couple of extra days to cover the opening formalities. Let’s say that might come to £5000, probably much less. Then let’s assume the budget for promotion and hospitalities might run to around £5,000 at most, given the modest scale of the operation. This leaves a clear profit for the organisers around £62,000 which is a pretty tidy annual profit for a minor provincial gallery, plus it acquires the winning work into the bargain. So if a ‘name’ artist takes out the gong, there may well be other agendas playing out there…
Obviously these art prizes are good business, in the short term.
Just for the record, my entries were Boutique Terrorism
and Home Myths
(both February 2012, lead pencil on paper, 76 X 56 cm).
The rest of that series of drawings is here
.Oh and as a postcript - added 10th May
- The prize winning drawing (chosen from what turned out to be a final 76) is hereTee hee.....