Westside Culture Days

Westside Culture Days

Westside Culture Days

The last few months have been taken up with Westside Culture Days, as well as work for Comic-Con and Gallery Odin.  What is Westside Culture Days do you ask?  Well, sit right down and I am happy to tell you!

Westside Culture Days came about because I am a big believer in community and I have been trying to think of a way to get artists and businesses to work together under one umbrella.  In my book Art & Money, I talk about the benefits  of businesses and artists working together.  In the spring, my friend and fellow artist Vera Peltonen posted up a poster for an event she was involved in in Michigan.

Art on Nepessing Street Vera Peltonen
Art on Nepessing Street

I was immediately captivated by the possibilities here.  The complaints normally heard on this side of the lake is that it is so spread out being about 20 square km, there are so many strip malls, so many business, so many failing because of the high cost of rent.  Artists and creatives have no recourse for renting because of that rent and are pretty much invisible.  Not only that but there are two governments on this side, both the Westbank First Nation  (WFN) and District of West Kelowna (DWK) who don’t really get along.  People live on WFN land and work on DWK land, and vice versa.

I thought wouldn’t it be great if this type of event could happen on this side of the lake?  Wouldn’t it be great for the artists and cultural entities work together with businesses to go beyond the governmental problems?  So it got me thinking …. Culture Days is coming up in September, it is May …. there is tons of time.

I approached my friend Melissa Brown who owns the Blenz here on the Westside.  We talked about it, and she said that even if it just happens in her coffee shop, she is happy to participate.  Then I went to talk to my friend Tracy Satin who is the Cultural Manager for the Westbank First Nation Sncəwips Heritage Museum.  She was excited for the possibilities too.  So we all made a plan. I went and talked to Bob Kusch with DWK who supported the idea, as well as Karen from Greater Westside Board of Trade. Tracy assigned Coralee Miller within the WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum to work specifically on this project. Melissa talked to her many customers, also local business people, who got excited and many were able to grasp the vision and the passion.

Now, our locations for Westside Culture Days are WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum, Westbank Shopping Centre, Dogwood Nursery, Main Street Westbank, Snya?tan Shopping Centre, Okanagan Landing Shopping Centre, Volcanic Winery, and more being added as businesses hear about it and artists talk about it. The landlord for Westbank Shopping Centre gave all the empty spaces and the use of the parking lots for free, we just have to get insurance for those three days to be able to use the empty spaces. I hope other landlords join in on that principle!  Way to support your tenants Bentall-Kennedy!

Westside Culture Days






We called it Westside Culture Days so that there is no differentiation between governments of WFN and DWK but included Westbank and West Kelowna as entities. We are a community and that is the focus. Below is a snapshot from the Westside Culture Days website, but you will probably hear more about this as time goes on. Small updates not yet published on that website are the inclusion of the Food Bank and the local Hockey teams.

The first press article… don’t you just love that sublimal and serendipitous ad … “Just got better” at the bottom?

Westside Weekly July 14
Westside Weekly July 14

From the Westside Culture Days website:

Culture Days is a cross Canada cultural fair on Sep 26, 27 & 28. http://www.culturedays.ca. This event encourages creatives of all types and the public to interact in various ways some of them inventive and unusual. If you can think it, you can do it!

The Westside is a mix of very impersonal strip malls with many businesses scattered throughout the area and many spaces are empty. For this one weekend it could be very exciting to see the businesses cross the line of culture to participate in a very active way on this weekend. Some already are involved, and this could be a way for them to highlight it in a very visible way.

Next The Microcosm Snapshot of How

From the Culture Days website:

Culture Days aims to:

  • FOSTER appreciation and support of the artistic and cultural life that is lived, created and expressed across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas alike;
  • PROMOTE direct interaction between creators and citizens, as a key to increasing understanding and appreciation of art and culture; and
  • AFFIRM that every citizen is the guardian of the cultural life of his or her community.

Culture Days believes that every individual — regardless of age, location or experience — has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture.

Culture Days also believes that the arts and cultural sector makes a vital contribution to the economic and social development of Canada and contributes to the overall health of the country.

People who had never participated in the arts before found it exciting and rewarding, finding a side of themselves they did not think existed. To us, that is what Culture Days is all about.
-Pam MacKenzie, Consolidated Artist Group of 7s (North Bay, ON)

Art & Money Book Signing – Vernon Oct 19 Saturday 1-3 pm

Almost Famous Vertigo Julia Trops

I will be at Gallery Vertigo on Saturday October 19th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing.  If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note.  My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.

The address is:

3001 31 St. #1 upstairs
Vernon BC V1T 5H8 Canada
(250) 503 – 2297

Almost Famous Gallery Vertigo Julia Trops Vernon Artist Art

I am a long time supporter of Gallery Vertigo, and believe in their mission, which is artists helping artists at a very grassroots level.  They have an event coming up called Almost Famous which is one of my favourite events in the Okanagan valley.  The Call to Artists has just been announced, and interested artists can get the submission form here:  online form.

Almost Famous Call to Artists Vernon Gallery Vertigo Julia Trops
Almost Famous Call to Artists

Almost Famous has original artworks created by local artists up in a silent auction, but these artworks have a unique twist in that the artist “copies” or “reinvents” a masterpiece from the past.  Considering that Picasso created 58 works based on Las Meninas from Diego Velázquez and these 58 works are all on display at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona (which I saw this spring), these Almost Famous works should not be under appreciated.  You really don’t know where our local artists are going to be in fifty years, and if you are lucky enough to be the successful bidder, you might just happen to have a winner in your hands.  I contribute two or three each year.  These are fun for me, and I always learn something new about the artist on whom I am focusing.  It’s a win/win.

I hope to see you there!  All the book signings are set up to show the benefits of cooperation and partnering with your fellow artist, or your favourite business.

Artists for AlleyCats Alliance – Penticton Western News Aug 2012

Original story here:  http://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/entertainment/168057436.html?c=y&curSection=%2F&curTitle=BC+Arts+%26+Entertainment&bc09=true

By Steve Waldner – Penticton Western News
Published: August 30, 2012 2:00 PM
Updated: August 30, 2012 3:38 PM

Cats sleeping, cats jumping at laser-pointers on the wall, even cats staring adorably at the viewer — as anyone who’s been to the website Reddit will tell you, these images are gold mines for attention.

One local group is taking this mentality and putting an artistic spin on it, in hopes to raise awareness, generate funds for local feline friends and create support for their cause.

The AlleyCATS Alliance, a cat support group has opened a call for artists to submit electronic images of some of their cat-based artwork, which will then be voted on online. The top 12 will be put into the 2013 AlleyCATS calender.

The cause has garnered the support of a number of artists in the Okanagan region who have already submitted to the calender. One such artist is wildlife artist Terry Isaac, who has been painting professionally for 25 years.

“I’ve always loved animals since I was a little kid, and I’ve had several pet cats along the years,” said Terry Isaac, one of the contributors to the calender.

“I just think cats are particularly beautiful. I’m inspired by their beauty and I think they’re intriguing,” he added.

Isaac has high hopes that the support of artists will bring attention to the AlleyCATS’ cause.

“I think more people need t be aware that cats need to be neutered and spayed, and every cat needs to have a nice home,” he said, adding that feral cats in the area are likely to fall prey to various predators in the region, like coyotes.

The calenders will be on sale throughout the area, with all funds going to help with the care of the strays the alliance brings in.

With spaying or neutering costing between $50 and $100, plus the cost of vaccinations and deworming, taking care of these cats can be costly.

December Foster, the president of the AlleyCATS Alliance, which started last month, said while the funds raised by the calender are important, building a foundation for her newly-founded organization is another key goal of the project.

‘What we’re trying to do is get the support of a network of amazing artists behind us and create this calender of not only cute cats but beautiful art by well-known artists and some not-so-well-known that should be, and use that as a way to support our group.”

Artists for AlleyCats Alliance December Foster Julia Trops
Artists for AlleyCats Alliance

Can I substitute my painting?

A little bit of advice for artists who apply for shows, from someone who is an artist first and foremost, but who also runs the Okanagan Erotic Art Show, amongst others.

If you submit a work to be juried in to a show (my show, for example), and I go through the process of preparing it for the jurors, time is spent on it being juried, then it is accepted, and I have done a lot of work to get it in to a catalog, that is then printed, and the floor plan is done, the labels are done, please don’t write me and ask if you can substitute that painting in the show (going up shortly) because it has now been accepted in to a gallery.

I understand that having work in a gallery is fabulous, and exciting, however you made a commitment to the show. The organizers, (could be me, could be someone else) spent a lot of time on having your work in the show, and then for you to ask if you can pull it and plop another work in….

A friendly word of advice: if you have submitted it for acceptance in to a gallery, don’t include it for a submission to a show. If you have submitted it for a show, don’t include it for acceptance in a gallery. Please don’t be that artist. Make it easy for yourself, and don’t put yourself in that position, in the first place.

Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous Auction

Gallery Vertigo in Vernon is an artist run centre that does an auction every year for their gallery.

The goal is to raise funds, support their programs and to get their artists involved in their community, and at the same time provide some education to Joe Public and other artists about various works in Art History. While Vernon is a bit of a distance as I live in West Kelowna, I enjoy contributing to this fundraiser because it gets me back in to the history books, to re-look at art, it gives a new way in, it involves my brain, my ability and skills and my awareness, which only enhances my work further. I look at how I can re-interpret a work that maybe I did not necessarily appreciate before, or how I can show how a work was impactful either on me or on the artworld itself. It is a win-win for all of us!

You know, I wish this was an assignment that would be incorporated in to the Art History programs at the university and the college. There is nothing that can help with the understanding of an artist quite like getting involved in their methodology, and their work.

Some of the things I consider when choosing a work to ‘re-create” for Almost Famous:

Try to do an artist, and or subject, I know nothing about. ie Wolf Kahn from 2008- I never paint with orange and yellow, and thought this would be a good opportunity to do so. I also never painted trees, but two years later, in my own work, the tree influence made itself felt:

Wolf Kahn 30×22 oil on canvas for Almost Famous Artist Run Centre Gallery 2008






Try to do a work that is not in the same medium ie I did a Tiffany Stained Glass in acrylic and oil from 2011:

Tiffany Stained Glass re-created to Acrylic Oil Pen and Ink 8×8 2011








Try to do the same dimensions and medium as done originally,  for example the Emily Carr from 2007:

Emily Carr Oil Painting Skidegate Pole Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous 2007









Or I will try to do the same dimensions but smaller, such as the Renoir from 2010:

Woman Reading Renoir Oil Painting Almost Famous Gallery Vertigo 2010









I also try to add my own twist, so that the work is not an exact copy but has my own personality, ie if done originally in pencil, I will do in ink, or I will change the surface as I did in the Renoir above. The Matisse below was originally done in willow Charcoal:


Matisse Conte, Pencil and watercolour pencil Drawing Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous 2011









One word of caution though – changing the colours is a tricky, because if the original work depends on colours for its substance, and is based in colour theory, it may be more difficult, but not impossible.  Changes like these are where I, as an artist, become challenged and really enjoy. Here is an Ingres from 2009:

Ingres Oil Painting The Bather Gallery Vertigo 2009











I have noticed some trends in bidding – the average price is between 50 and 70 dollars, with very few works going over $100 . and even fewer works going over $150.

If you are looking at maximizing the amount for your artwork consider the following:

  • works of some periods tend to go for more ie art deco, art nouveau, impressionism, expressionism, der Blaue Reiter
  • abstract work of certain periods tends to go for less ie abstract expressionism, deStijl
  • if you are going to do realistic work in a realistic expression, then be meticulous in the reproduction
  • some specific artists do very well ie (not limited to) Matisse, Klimt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, Monet, Carr and Group of Seven
  • some specific artists don’t do very well ie Bacon, Mondrian
  • colour always does well
  • size matters ie
  •     small works always do well
  •     large works (over 30×20) have challenges because of space
  • include a short writeup for the work – why did you choose it, how does your rendition change it from the original (if applicable)
  • include a picture and include a short bio (about 250 words max).
  • FINISH the work! it does not mean it has to be framed, but include a varnish of some sort, to make the colours pop – spray, or gloss medium to unify the surface, that sort of thing.

Just because I include the above as cautions, does not mean that the artists, periods and expressions listed will never do very well, it just means that the public (perhaps) is not all that educated in the value of those expressions. If YOU are drawn to those artists, there is a reason, and perhaps you can use this opportunity to show others what you see as important and impactful. Use this opportunity to educate. With understanding comes appreciation and that is what this exhibition is all about.

Look upon the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous exhibition as a way to help your fellow artists and the general public understand about various times in Art History. If you could visually express something about a specific work, what would it be? How can you incorporate what you learned about these works in to your own work, or your outlook…? For me, it is interesting to see how these works, whether I painted them, or viewed them, affect my own work later on down the road, whether in subject, or colour or expression or all of the above. Any education is never wasted.

If you are interested in getting involved in the Gallery Vertigo Almost Famous Auction, mark your calendar for June, as the call usually comes out then, with a deadline of delivery of mid to end July. The actual auction happens about the second/third week in August. Why not do an artwork or two or three during the year, and then you will have something ready for when the call comes out.

Any questions on the blog post, please do let me know – and on Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous, please contact Gallery Vertigo info@galleryvertigo.com.

All the best! Julia

Almost Famous Art Auction – Gallery Vertigo

I participate in Gallery Vertigo’s Almost Famous every year.

It is a great deal of fun, and I appreciate challenging myself by trying to find a new way in to works that have been previously seen and enjoyed. This exhibition also allows me to go in to Art History to periods I really enjoyed, and to refresh my memory on the exploits and accomplishments of my favourite artists, as well as discover “new” ones that quickly become favourites. I try to do different artists every year. This year I think is year 4 or 5.

I also like to help out the non profit galleries when I can. If I believe they are trying to make a difference and are not exclusionary, I am happy to donate. For Gallery Vertigo, I also try to give them framed works, because they go for more, and are taken a little bit more seriously than unframed works.

Here are my three submissions for this year, and my Almost Famous artworks:

The original Tiffany Peacock, Stained Glass
The original Tiffany Peacock, Stained Glass
From the Art Nouveau period, one of my favourite artistic times, this work is a detail of a stained glass peacock originally done by Tiffany & co. Peacocks and opulence, feathers and roses, are back in mainstream fashion, but confidence and luxury never goes out of style.
From the Art Nouveau period, one of my favourite artistic times, this work is a detail of a stained glass peacock originally done by Tiffany & co. Peacocks and opulence, feathers and roses, are back in mainstream fashion, but confidence and luxury never goes out of style.
The Matisse Charcoal original drawing
The Matisse Charcoal original drawing
The original work done by Henri Matisse in 1938 and the Art Deco period, was with willow charcoal. My philosophy to not use erasers comes from his example, with the belief that there are no mistakes in drawing. The work is re-expressed in ink, conte and pencil crayon.
The original work done by Henri Matisse in 1938 and the Art Deco period, was with willow charcoal. My philosophy to not use erasers comes from his example, with the belief that there are no mistakes in drawing. The work is re-expressed in ink, conte and pencil crayon.
This work of Gustav Klimt, originally done in 1910 in pencil and blue crayon, during the Art Nouveau period, has been recreated in freehand ink. I love his economy of line, and chose to redo the work in ink to increase the drama effect as well as to challenge my own ability to drawn with the brush.
The original Klimt drawing
This work of Gustav Klimt, originally done in 1910 in pencil and blue crayon, during the Art Nouveau period, has been recreated in freehand ink. I love his economy of line, and chose to redo the work in ink to increase the drama effect as well as to challenge my own ability to drawn with the brush.
This work of Gustav Klimt, originally done in 1910 in pencil and blue crayon, during the Art Nouveau period, has been recreated in freehand ink. I love his economy of line, and chose to redo the work in ink to increase the drama effect as well as to challenge my own ability to drawn with the brush.

Okanagan Arts Awards Visual Artist Showcase

I am on the Okanagan Arts Awards committee, working on getting the awards underway with fellow volunteer board members Sharon McCoubrey, Sharon Lancaster, Daneen Agecoutay, Angela Bonten, James Avery, Sarah Parsons and Janet Anderson.

One of my chief duties was to put together the Art Awards Sculpture competition, and now that the sculpture has been chosen, I help out with other activities. The next main activity I am involved in is the representation of the Visual Arts in Okanagan. This is called the Visual Artist Showcase, and is a slideshow presentation representing all the visual artists in the North South and Central Okanagan. Daneen Agecoutay is masterminding the slideshow based on the entries by the submitting Okanagan visual artists.

The first call I put out for the Okanagan Visual Arts Showcase resulted in nine visual artists responding. Nine? Yes, nine, from the entire Okanagan, North, South and Central. I am not sure why it is like pulling teeth to get these visual artists to respond, but it is. Maybe because there is no cost for entering their images? Maybe if we put a $10 charge on each image submitted, there would be more people submitting? I am not sure.

The goal is to have minimum 50 artists, and currently I think we are halfway there.

Some notes regarding the Okanagan Arts Awards Artist Showcase.

1. There is nothing online about the Visual Arts Showcase because we (the Arts Awards Committee) have no direct access to the website – this is why you see me posting this on my own blog and on my facebook page and the other various facebook pages such as The Okanagan Artists Group, and the Arts Council for the Central Okanagan.  The Okanagan Arts Awards is http://www.okanaganartsawards.com and you can go there to see info on the event itself, including nominations and sponsorships. The event itself will take place  Feb 23 2011 at KCT. Tickets are on sale NOW, available from SelectYourTickets at the RCA.

2. The Artists Showcase will be a slideshow presentation (hard to have art dancing on stage or singing) to represent the Visual Arts in the Okanagan. You do not need to be Arts Council members to be included. If you are interested in having your work included, please send two images to info@artsco.ca.

3. Please do not send me images or ask me to choose for you.

4. Please do not confuse this with the actual nomination process for an award – that you would ask friends to do for you, or they would think of it themselves. Nomination Plug: If you know someone who should receive an award (in whatever category!) Why not nominate them as their Christmas gift? Deadline Jan 15.

5. 2D and 3D are acceptable! just two images, so if 3D be creative and maybe include many sides in one image.

6. If you don’t know how to do the images, get someone to help you. Just make sure they are 2000 px wide. Web images will not do. Make sure they are clear! Blurry images will not be shown.

7. This would be a great Christmas gift for your loved one who is an artist – put a note in their stocking that you have done this for them! The gift of love and respect always brings joy and tears, right?

That’s pretty much all I can tell you about the Visual Arts Showcase – two images, good quality, art only, to Elke at info@artsco.ca. Questions? Post here, likely if you have them, others do too.
All the best!

ps – all sculptors, think about submitting a design for next year’s Call to Artists, it ALWAYS COMES OUT IN JUNE, WITH A DEADLINE OF AUGUST> lol.

What is a juror for an art show?

To be a juror for an art show is something pretty special.

Jurors get to look at such a wide variety of artworks and select the ones that will appear in the show. They consider such things as the theme of the show, originality, the merit of workmanship and presentation. They consider the artist statement, the title and the bio. They stretch their imaginations and look beyond what is presented in the microcosm of artwork itself, beyond, in to the actual entire show presentation. How would a certain group of artworks look with each other?

There may be artworks that are of very high quality but would not fit with the majority of the other artworks that will be presented. Sometimes jurors prefer to see an artists work over and over again before they will accept them in to a show – almost like a test to see what the artists’ commitment is like.

Jurors are usually from a range of backgrounds. For my juries, whether for the Erotic Art Show or the Arts Awards, I try to select people with a wide variety of backgrounds, experienced artists themselves or even supporters or people who just interested in how the process goes. They may be educated in Fine Art, or they may be self-taught. Gut reactions are important in selecting art, as is education, sure, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, there is no formula to the jury selection. I also try to vary the jury members so that it is not the same people over and over again. By doing this, a greater number of the public become involved and they learn exactly what it is to be a juror, and how difficult it is. I also try to mix up experienced jurors with newbies. Both learn from the other as concepts of the artworks are discussed.

Jurors are honest in their evaluation of artworks. They are not in the business of being politically correct, but they are also not trying to be mean. An artist does not learn from wishy washy comments, but they do learn from honest gut reactions to the work. The best thing an artist can do with jury comments is to look at how these comments are received by them (the artist). Were they insulted? Were they pleased? Were the jurors on track and tell the artist what they expected to hear, or was it really out in left field? I believe the honesty is good for the artist even though it can come as a shock or is unexpected. It is better when it is unexpected don’t you think? Especially when it is a completely new viewpoint that provides a new way in to their work. How precious a gift that is!

And artists know this. Artists are brave creatures to submit work to a jury. Regardless if they are young artists or older artists, in age or experience, there is always a quiver of “what if…” It’s an exciting time, the thrill of the hunt, of the catch. Artists always hope to be selected, some even fear it. But all artists who submit hope for the best. And they know the jury will do their best to choose the works that will make a cohesive rounded exciting show.

The Friends of an Artist

I have very few friends.

I like it that way.

My friendships are based on quality, not quantity. My friends are ones who I know that if I ever needed anything, I could ask, and it would be there. My friends, at this time of my life, here in Kelowna and I am happy to say, worldwide, are the most supportive I have ever known in my 47 years.

My friends help in show setups, they help in providing lights and supports such as easels, and they help in terms of emotional support when all I want to do is be irrational. My friends listen, and nod their head and wait for the storm to pass, and then, my friends talk, and I listen.

My friends give me reassurances. If necessary, my friends tell me to shut up, and/or my friends tell me to sit on my hands. My friends ask me “are you crazy? what the hell are/were you thinking?” all the time. (Hmmm, maybe I should listen more.) My friends are great sounding boards, and my friends know where I am coming from. And if my friends don’t know where I am coming from, they ask.

I have good friends.

Thoughts on “Calls to Artists” from an artist who coordinates and curates

I do a lot of shows in Kelowna and the surrounding area, some as an artist, some as curator/coordinator, some as both.

Two of the major ones that I have put out Calls to Artists are The Okanagan Erotic Art Show, and Evergreen Art Gallery (formerly Gallerie Diamante). Clicking on either of these two links will open a new window. If you have pop-up enabled, then each of the websites is itsname.com – so www.okanaganeroticartshow.com.

The calls themselves for each of these show are Okanagan wide – which means that it covers an area from Salmon Arm to Osoyoos – about a four to five hour drive – or about 500 km lengthwise. We are lucky in the Okanagan to have such a rich cache of artists.

Calls always include:

  • Images (high res usually is requested)
  • Art information (for labels, such as title, medium, size and price)
  • Artist Statements – (usually a one liner, or else 100-250 words)
  • Biography (short – about 100-250 words)
  • Timeline (deadline for call, when to drop off work, when to pick up work etc)

When I receive the information, out of every ten artists who answer, at least six of the packages are incomplete. The reasons they are incomplete follows:

Images of the Artwork

Images are one of the most complicated things for an artist to do it seems. The problem stems from not understanding your camera. Usually, with a camera, you point it at the object, and you click the button. Seems easy enough right? Well it is, once you get your camera set up! So instead of phoning me to ask me how to take a picture or to complain that you don’t know how to take a picture (no, I am not doing it for you!) learn how to do it!

Go to the camera shop where you bought your camera, whether London Drugs, Future Shop, Walmart etc. Tell them what you are doing – what size you need (largest), what light you are using, and ask them to set the camera up for you (ensure it is cmyk). Alternatively, you could read the manual, a highly recommended and effective way to spend your time.  (If you want to know more about the differences between cmyk (print) and rgb (web) please click here.)

After the camera is set up, the most important thing is to make sure it looks good in your little window, point and shoot. Ensure your hand or the camera is supported on something solid and you won’t get any fuzzies.

Size of file

The size of your file can be changed in the “tools” or “image” section of your imaging software. In Photoshop it is under “Image/image size”. In other programs, look for something similar.

For Print
Large files are required for print. By having a large file for print means that if the image is suitable for printing.

It fulfills these requirements:
a. it is 300 pixels resolution
b. it is 1500 pixels wide minimum
c. is cmyk

For Web
Small files are required for the web. By having a small file for the web means that it can be viewed on the web with minimal disruption (ie wait time) to the webpage visitor.

It fulfills these requirements:
a. it is 72 pixels resolution
b. it is 500 pixels wide
c. is rgb.

Type of file image
Some people are proponents of certain file types for printing and web. Quite frankly, if the curator or gallery manager needs a tiff file or a different file, they can change it over from your 300 pixel print jpg file. Don’t worry about that – just keep it simple unless you know what you are doing. Save it in jpg format. When you are completely comfortable with that and have the inclination to explore, by all means, explore and have fun. After you have take the picture, pull it in to an image editing software (preview on the mac and paint on windows), and crop it down so ony the artwork is visible (without any frames or mattes), and save it to your cd or your harddrive.

Make sure you know where you saved it.
The system I have set up on my computer is like this:


  • >2003
  • >2004
  • >2005
  • >2006 you get the idea

or you could also do something like


  • >artimages (ie in here you would have your large original images and your cropped images)
  • >artistdocs (ie in here you would store your short bio, long bio, short cv, long cv, pics of you)

How to label the artwork image file

Many different galleries and calls to artists have different requirements. Me, I like it really simple. lastname#web or lastname#print. So a large file for print can be used in anything printed: invitations, media releases, etc.

My image filename would look like this: trops1web.jpg or trops1print.jpg. No capitals.

Your image filename ie #1 or #2 etc, should correspond to the label information you have submitted. Please whatever you do, do not name your image the name of the artwork. Keep it simple: your name, the artwork # and if it is for web and print. When I am scanning for images to use, I need to know right away if it is print or web friendly, and to be able to access it quickly and efficiently. You save ME a lot of time by doing this.

Artwork Information

On a separate sheet or even within the email you send, label the artwork with the number which will correspond to the image, your name, the medium, the size and the price.

Unless specifically told otherwise, the size should always indicate height first.

For an artwork image trops1print.jpg or trops1web.jpg (it’s the same artwork but two images, so only one label is required.)

1. Rising Waters
Julia Trops
Oil on Canvas

Artist Statements

This is one I get asked about a lot. I am not an expert, I just know what I personally like and appreciate. I am not a fan of artist statements that require a PhD to read but if that is your aesthetic then by all means…. maybe you should take up writing instead of art? Just a thought. Anyway – you don’t know who your audience will be and likely they will read (or try to read) your artist statement. By keeping it simple, you are keeping it inclusive to all levels of understanding. But it is your choice.

When submitting to shows, you will require one of two types of an artist statement, well, perhaps even both: a short one sentence no more than 30 words, and one long, no more than 250 words. The short one can easily go by the artwork, if the curator wishes, or it can be published in the newspaper as part of a quote or it can be on the web. Long artist statements go in catalogs (if there is room) or on the promotional materials around the gallery if it is a solo or small group show.

Try to avoid putting three sentences in one, separated by commas, okay? Just do a straightforward honest one liner.

A name for this file could be something like trops_artiststatement_long.rtf or trops_as_long.txt. Save it as a rich text file or text file in order to be easily transportable across platforms (mac or pc) and programs (word etc). By saving it in an .rtf or .txt file means it is also easily copied in to webpages without much hassle. Other programs such as word etc tend to add little codings that can screw up a format on a webpage and cause havoc to the webmaster, so, keep it simple.

Artist Biographies

I have already written a primer on artist biographies, you can find it here. A few quick notes: an artist biography is not the same as a cv. A cv is something where you say what you have done. A biography is where you have come from. A cv is in point form of your accomplishments and involvements. A biography is a story about you. Yes a biography can include things from your cv, but it is a story.

Two types of bios could be asked for – a long one and a short one. Please, whatever you do, don’t write a book. Think 300 – 500 words for a long biography. For more information, visit the link above.

Title your file name the same manner you did for the artist statement.


And last but definitely not the least of which is the timeline.

The timeline is a schedule that I set out as coordinator which will dictate when I do things. I broadcast this loud and clear in the Call to Artists, and I say where you can find it on the web. If you are in the habit of not having your materials in on time and requesting extensions, please do not enter, but alternatively, you could consider counseling for lack of self-discipline or a disregard for other people’s time. A really good webpage to get you started back on the road to mental health is here.

Respect the deadlines.

If I tell you where the timeline is placed (usually on the web, and I even supply the web address!) then bookmark this page and go back to it if you have forgotten dates. Please do not write me three or four times in a month, and call me on the phone to find out when the deadlines are, I will think you are a flake. If you have trouble with calendars, or don’t have a calendar, sign up for google mail, and get their calendar. It is fabulous and will even email you reminders if you want!


Remember I am an artist too. I know how tough it is to do some of these things, but if you get them done, think of how easy every other call will be! If you want me, as curator or coordinator, to respect your professionalism, then please respect the Calls to Artist requirements. It isn’t rocket science, and with some careful planning in the beginning, entering a Call is a snap.

Good luck!