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Enlightening and Honest Talk about Annual Exhibitions

I've been paying close attention to some art exhibits/competitions/popular art organizations.  Many of these organizations ask for a nominal yearly fee (average approx. $60) - some of them are juried entry but most are not...  it seems like a tight inner circle of "popular artists" and new members/entries are few and far between when it comes to award time.  

I was watching the O P A live event last night that announced their big winners - many have a long standing tradition there - a rare few are O P A M = Master status there is extremely exclusive and prized (as well it should be!) - but, I noticed last year and this year, that most of the prizes are very small ($100 art supplies or an exaggerated value in a magazine spread advertisement) - for the most part - all of those artists that spent the week there are walking away with whatever experience they gained by meeting other artists - the competitions and prizes look popular but the prizes were not much to be desired.

The Board members were sitting on the stage with hundreds of O P A members in the audience - two of the OPA board members on the stage won two of the top prizes and the biggest prize went to someone I admire and have learned a great deal from but....   the judge even admitted to being her longtime friend and was so please to present her with the grand prize of many thousands of dollars -    So, clap, clap....   good for them...… congratulations..... but something is off.....  there seems to be a trend of an inner circle that makes it seem a waste of money for new artists to even waste their time and energy in those venues.  They seem happy and set in their circle of friends and they really offer little to most members.  I can honestly say I have not gained one iota of knowledge or value from my past two year's memberships.  

So, this article was timely for me:    How can an organization this huge and renowned become so unprofessional to not even acknowledge the sponsors or current award winners in  timely manner?   


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