3 Benefits Of Entering Art Competitions

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Art competitions are an excellent opportunity to grow as an artist and develop your art career. They can benefit you in a number of different ways – exposure, exhibitions, and even self-confidence.

Madiha Abdo, an artist represented by Agora Gallery, who was also one of the selected artists of the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition, says, “I consider art competitions and other related opportunities very important for my artistic journey, as they help me get much-needed exposure and become more self-confident.”

People attending an art competition

The jurors in an art competition will often be well-known in the art world, with considerable experience and a good sense of the current market.

This makes art competitions a great networking platform and the task of being “discovered” much easier. Prizes are generally chosen to benefit artists in ways that matter, whether it’s the chance to participate in an exhibition, cash, or promotional material or opportunities.

Being selected in an art competition is a great achievement! It is something you can add to your CV, mention to collectors, and discuss in interviews. However, even just entering art competitions, whether you are selected or not, tells the story about you as an artist.

How Can Art Competitions Help You?

Entering art competitions can be a strong start in proving to yourself that you can be serious about your art. It shows that you are willing to put effort into it, and you think that your art deserves to be recognized more widely.

Reaching this point is crucial to the development of your career as an artist. According to Agora Gallery executive director, Angela DiBello, “Participating in art competitions takes courage and is an act of faith and belief in one’s own talent and strengths. Anyone who simply enters the competition is a winner.”

The act of entering a competition requires a certain amount of time and thought: a reflection that helps artists identify, establish, and unify their voice and artistic concept.

“My confidence in me as an artist has intensified, and I will continue to try to go this route.” – Kaethe Haase Kornstein (Testimonial For Chelsea International Fine Art Competition)

It takes you a step back, allowing you to see beyond individual images and forces you to consider your work as a whole. Whether it’s the first time you’re doing this or the hundredth, evaluating and re-evaluating your body of work is a fundamental part of being an artist.

It shows you how you’ve developed as time passes, how you are improving, and what the combined impact of your collected works might be. Each work has an individual essence, presence, and impact, but it is also a part of the greater whole, and you need to be able to appreciate that. Putting together an entry for a competition encourages you to develop this viewpoint, allowing you to make more informed decisions about what you should be working on next.

Art students are often encouraged to enter competitions, and many schools run competitions of their own, so that their students can get experience in viewing their work as a body and practice considering their art from an ‘outside’ perspective. After art school, though, many artists leave competitions behind. For the same reasons that they were valuable in school, entering competitions are valuable to all professional artists.

entering art competitions

Benefits Of Entering Art Competitions

1 Confidence

Obviously, winning breeds confidence. But putting yourself in a position where someone is judging your work requires a statement of confidence in your creations and even in yourself as an artist. Regularly entering competitions is a powerful way to inspire yourself to continuously try and improve. Further, the confidence you build in putting together a worthy entry is invaluable in the art world. Without faith and pride in your creations, you’re never going to be able to make it very far as an artist.

2 Up-To-Date Portfolio

Getting photos taken and keeping your resume current are things that many artists put off. Having a deadline will push you to get high-quality photos taken of your artwork and maintain your portfolio. Remember, no matter which art competition you enter your photos must accurately represent the work you are entering. Having an up to date portfolio is essential. You never know when you might find an interesting opportunity.

3 An Opportunity To Evaluate Your Art

As mentioned above, when entering an art competition, you are forced to evaluate your work in an objective manner. In order to be successful, you will need to categorize your art accurately so you can submit it to competitions where it is relevant in terms of media, color, style, and theme. This is especially important when your artwork shows different styles or you work in a variety of media. The work you enter should be in a similar style.

“To see my work displayed on the walls of your gallery was validating on so many levels. I have been doing art for more than forty years, and I couldn’t help but feel a strong sense of satisfaction, joy, accomplishment, and personal honor. Thank you for that opportunity. Being selected in the competition has fueled my passion and inspired me to work harder. It has also provided me with distinction as a professional fine artist.” – Doug DePice (Testimonial For Chelsea International Fine Art Competition)

The important thing about entering art competitions is not to focus on what you didn’t get, but to appreciate the value of what you did achieve. Think of entering competitions as a stepping stone to building a successful art career. Just because your artwork was not selected does not mean it is not good or that you are not talented. A painting can be rejected for many reasons that have nothing to do with your ability or skill.

Keep researching competitions, keep submitting your entries, and keep getting your work out there. Whether you end up winning them all or not, there is no greater way to get to know your own work and stay attuned to the art world than by staying active in the ever-developing community.

To sum it up these are the 3 benefits of joining art competitions:

  1. Confidence
  2. Up-To-Date Portfolio
  3. An Opportunity To Evaluate Your Art

Read about the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition and see how you can submit your portfolio this year!

36th Chelsea International Fine Art Competition


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28 responses to “3 Benefits Of Entering Art Competitions”

  1. Phil Laverty avatar

    This year I reached the longlist of the Jackson painting prize but failed to make the shortlist . I have read the mission statements of quite a few of the entrants and they all without fail talk in a way that conceptualises the reason they paint ! Speaking for myself, I paint because I love to do it ,there is no flowery reason why I choose to paint what I paint and for the most part I paint without thinking if it will sell or not !
    Am I putting myself at a disadvantage by being strait forward and un arty farty for want of a better expression when writing a mission statement !?

  2. Mmutla avatar

    Hi my name is Mmutla im a sculpture,working with recycling plastic doing indoors sculptures and public sculptures.
    And I also won entry in sa national crafts award 2022,looking for ather opportunity for my work to be seen out there.

    1. Rhanna Almerol avatar

      Hi, Mmutla! Kindly send an email to submissions@agora-gallery.com together with your portfolio to know more about our artist promotion and gallery representation service. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to message us on Agora Gallery’s Facebook and Instagram accounts. Thank you!

    2. Rhanna Almerol avatar

      Hi, Mmutla! Thank you for getting in touch with us. Agora Gallery helps artists to promote their artwork. May I know if you are interested in our artist promotion and gallery representation services?

  3. zoritoler imol avatar

    Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  4. Laurie Higgins avatar

    Sorry to be the negative Nancy here, but I don’t see the point of entering shows. There’s no feedback of any kind. If your work is rejected, there’s no feedback to know why. If it is accepted and whether or not you win an award, there’s no feedback as to why or why not or how to improve your work. It costs $100 or more to frame a piece and I would rather spend that money on supplies – paper and pastels, etc.

    I had one piece win the grand prize at my art school’s member show last fall and the same piece was rejected twice by other shows. I don’t know why other than that’s not what the judges were looking for. That’s fine; it’s all subjective.

    I don’t care if I have a portfolio or try to have a show of my own or even sell any. I’m just painting because I want to paint.

    My background is showing horses in dressage where there is a form full of comments on how to improve each movement in the test. Not getting that feedback is like one hand clapping.

    For me there is no reason to enter a show. 😛

  5. Mithila Sarkar avatar

    can I take part in this competition from Bangladesh? And what about painting materials? Is there any restriction?

    1. Daisy O Connell avatar

      Hello Mithila,

      Artists from all countries are welcome to enter. Painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, digital, printing, and mixed media are eligible.

  6. Mithila Sarkar avatar

    what type of colour materials and paper can I use for my art work? Is there any instruction?

  7. Felix Burgos avatar

    What is the average number of pieces artist have been entering?

  8. Aemy Sofrianiza avatar

    how do we get pay by this?

    1. Andra Bilici avatar

      Hi Aemy! The main purpose of art competitions is to boost the career of an emerging artist.

  9. Alya avatar


    1. Andra Bilici avatar

      Hi Alya! How can we help you?

  10. Silvia Mier avatar

    i would like to ask how does a participant can transport the art in the flights to take it to the competition.


  11. Jade Brunet avatar

    My daughter loves art and we are thinking of entering her pieces into certain art competitions. Thank you for this information informing me that this is a good idea because of the confidence my daughter will gain. I also find this beneficial because it will provide the opportunity for her to express herself and learn more about who she wants to become as an artist and as a person.

  12. Teresa kit avatar

    Is the art competition only for 18 and over?
    Also, where does this competition take place in?

    1. Agora Experts avatar

      Hi Teresa, Chelsea International Fine Art Competition is an online competition. Artists do have to be 18 or older to enter.

  13. Carmine Fratto avatar

    Per cortesia se possibile vorrei ricevere le comunicazioni relative ai prossimi inviti a presentare gli artisti .

    1. AgoraExperts avatar

      Gentile Carmine, la ringraziamo per il suo commento. Abbiamo aggiunto la sua email alla nostra mailinglist. Ricevera’ gli annunci delle aperture dei prossimi concorsi.

  14. Norm Nelson avatar

    So sorry I was in Mendocino going to art school and missed the deadline for the competition
    please add my e/mail address to your notices for upcoming call to artists. I wanted to
    enter but things got busy and I missed out.
    Thank you

    1. AgoraExperts avatar

      Thank you for commenting. We have added your email to receive notices for upcoming calls for artists.

  15. Beatrice Alioto avatar

    haw can I participated in the in the Art Competicions if I live in Argentina Buenos Aires? I know your gallery because I have been in NY many times , thank you for your answer regars Beatrice

    1. AgoraExperts avatar

      Hi Beatrice,
      The competition is open to artists 18+ from all over the world. You can enter by going to http://www.agora-gallery.com/competition/submit-entry/ The competition site is also translated to Spanish http://www.agora-gallery.com/Competition/inscribir-portafolio/ . Follow the instructions to begin your entry. If you have any questions you can contact competition@agora-gallery.com. The competition closes on Tuesday. March 10th. Good Luck!