FAQs-Exhibitions

Answers to questions are linked below.

General (answers)

Q: How many shows does CPSA have every year?
Q: If my work is sold before the show, may I substitute another piece?
Q: Is there is a chance that both of my works will be accepted into a CPSA Exhibition?
Q: If my piece was accepted into the "Explore This!" and is 100% colored pencil, is it legal to enter into the International Exhibition?
Q: Does CPSA take a percentage of the commission if my piece sells at the show?
Q: Why does the CPSA International Exhibition have size imits on artwork?
Q: Why are the specifications for CPSA shows so strictly enforced?

Copyright and Reference Photos (answers)

Q: May I depict a sculpture or some other art form in my work or may I use parts of pictures that have been published if I change them around?
Q: May I use a photograph taken by someone else as a reference?

What is Legal for International? (answers)

Q: Is there anything I can use besides colored pencils?
Q: Are water-soluble colored pencils legal?
Q: Is it true that Neocolors are not legal for the CPSA International Exhibition?

What is Legal for Explore This!? (answers)

Q: May I submit artwork that is 100% colored pencils?
Q: How can I make a 100% cp work eligible for Explore This!?

Prospectus (answers)

Q: Will I receive a prospectus in the mail?
Q: Why should I pay an entry fee if I am already a member of CPSA?
Q: The prospectus states that when the paintings arrive, they are juried again. Is this true?

Submitting Artwork (answers)

Q: How should I submit images of my work for CPSA exhibitions?
Q: What constitutes a "good image" for entering? (For help understanding digital terminology, check Digital FAQs.)
Q: My artwork was rejected from last year's show. Can I re-enter it in this year's show?
Q: What criteria regarding standardization of color are used in judging artwork for the yearly CPSA competitions? Is it best to use sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhotoRGB or some other program so that color-managed programs like Photoshop know the true definition of colors in the file?

Shipping Your Artwork (answers)

Q: Why do I have to pay a "Handling Fee" to ship my work to the show? What does this fee cover?
Q: Does CPSA provide any information when it comes to shipping my artwork?
Q: Which shipping company is the best one to use for shipping fine art?
Q: When should I send my artwork for the exhibition?
Q: On average, what does it cost to ship my artwork to an exhibition?
Q: What type of container will best protect my artwork during shipping?
Q: What is the most common damage done to artwork when it is being shipped?

Signature Status and Merit Awards (answers)

Q: What is "Signature" status?
Q: Does being accepted into my chapter show count toward earning signature status?
Q: What is required to earn merit recognition?

ANSWERS

General

Q: How many shows does CPSA have every year?

A: CPSA sponsors two exhibitions every year (see Exhibitions for details). The shows are open to all artists, members and non-members alike, who are at least 18 years old.

  • The annual International Exhibition requires artwork to be 100% colored pencil. It typically takes place in late July or early August, and is in a different city each year to increase the exposure of colored pencil artwork.
  • The “Explore This!” Exhibition, instituted in 2001, became a yearly online exhibition in 2009. For this show the predominant medium must be colored pencil, and artwork must include some element or technique that is not allowed for the International Exhibition. Those include using other media, preparing the surface, and working in three-dimensions, collage, or relief.

Q: If my work is sold before the show, may I substitute another piece?

A: No, we’re sorry, but you may not substitute another piece. Only the artwork chosen by the judge during the selection process can appear in the exhibition.

Q: Is there is a chance that both of my works will be accepted into a CPSA Exhibition?

A: CPSA instructs the judge to select only one piece per artist in order to include as many different artists as possible.

Q: If my piece was accepted into the "Explore This!" and is 100% colored pencil, is it legal to enter into the International Exhibition?

A: The specifications for these two shows are different and mutually exclusive. If a work qualifies for one show, it will not be eligible for the other. The Explore This! exhibition requires work to include some element that makes it ineligible for the Annual CPSA International Exhibition. Click here for details.

Q: Does CPSA take a percentage of the commission if my piece sells at the show?

A: No, CPSA never profits from the sale of any art exhibited in its exhibitions. The gallery usually charges a commission as stated in the prospectus.

Q: Why does the CPSA International Exhibition have size limits on artwork?

A: One reason has to do with the amount of wall space in galleries and the number of paintings we can accept. Another is that larger paintings are more difficult and costly to package and ship to the show. Those who prefer to work large can enter our online shows, Explore This! and ArtSpectations, which have no size restrictions.

Q: Why are the specifications for CPSA shows so strictly enforced?

A: The specifications for each exhibition need to be consistent over time and enforced consistently to provide a level playing field for members to earn signature status. Anything else is unfair to those who abide by the rules.

 

Copyright and Reference Photos

Q: May I depict a sculpture or some other art form in my work or may I use parts of pictures that have been published if I change them around?

A: The prospectus states that the work must be of original design, not copied from copyrighted or published material. It is not OK to use someone else's work of art as the subject of your colored pencil piece. If anyone can recognize the source from which your work is derived, it may be deemed as plagiarism, even if executed in a different medium from the original work. It is crucial for artists to be original and to nurture their own special vision and style.

Q: May I use a photograph taken by someone else as a reference?

A: CPSA requires artists to work from their own photographs, and the prospectus clearly states that the concept, design, and execution of artwork entered in CPSA exhibitions must be solely that of the artist. Although you may use other images for reference, the final work should not resemble that source in a recognizable way. Copyright law is complicated and you can learn more online or from books and art magazines.

What is Legal for International

Q: Is there anything I can use besides colored pencils?

A: The only other materials you may apply are graphite pencil (as enhancement only) and solvents.

Q: Are water-soluble colored pencils legal?

A: Yes, any product identified as a “colored pencil” by the manufacturer is deemed legal for our International Exhibition, whether it be wax-based, oil-based or water-soluble. See legal products for international exhibition.

Q: Is it true that Neocolors are not legal for the CPSA International Exhibition?

A: Yes, as of 2013, Neocolors will no longer be allowed for the International, although they remain a legal medium for the Explore This! show. We realize many cp artists use this product, but the manufacturer calls them ‘wax pastels’ and promotes them as such. Since all artwork in the International must be 100% colored pencil, CPSA simply cannot permit the use of Neocolors. Click here for details about show requirements.

What is Legal for Explore This!?

Q: May I submit artwork that is 100% colored pencils?

A: Yes, but the Explore This! specifications state that: Artwork must include some element that makes it ineligible for the CPSA International Exhibition. That means the work must include some other media, dimensionality, or technique that would exclude it from the CPSA International Exhibition.

Q: How can I make a 100% cp work eligible for Explore This!?

A: Some ways you can do that include:

  • adding other media such as pastels, acrylics, watercolor paint, ink, marker pens, wax, etc. (NOTE: colored pencil must be the predominant medium.)
  • working in 3 dimensions (sculpture, bas-relief, textured surface, etc.)
  • attaching artifacts (beads, fabric, wire, thread, etc.)
  • applying multiple layers of paper (collage, montage, etc.)
  • cutting or making cutouts in the surface
  • preparing the surface yourself (gesso, etc.)

Prospectus

Q: Will I receive a prospectus in the mail?

A: We no longer mail a printed copy of the prospectus, but you can download a copy from our website. The prospectus for the Explore This! online exhibition is available on September 1, and the prospectus for the International Exhibition is available on December 1 each year.

Q: Why must I pay an entry fee when I am already a member of CPSA?

A: CPSA offers a lower entry fee for members, but the money is necessary to cover costs such as the juror's honorarium, rent for the gallery, invitations, show programs, and advertising to mention a few. Membership dues barely cover the administrative costs of running the Society and the cost of providing benefits to its members.

Q: The prospectus states that when the paintings arrive, they are juried again. Is this true?

A: The paintings are not really "juried" again, but each piece is reviewed to ensure that it meets the "Specifications" in the prospectus and that it was accurately depicted by the digital entry.

Submitting Artwork

Q: How should I submit images of my work for CPSA exhibitions?

A: CPSA requires digital images submitted online for both of its annual shows.

Q: What constitutes a "good image" for entering? (For help understanding digital terminology, check FAQs-Digital Images.

A: Your digital image should be cropped to the edges of your image without showing the mat, frame, or any background objects. The CaFE™ system requires images to be a maximum of 1920 pixels for the longest dimension and no more than 1.8 MB in size. You can find information about preparing images on both the CPSA and CaFÉ™ website (http://www.callforentry.org/imaging_tips.phtml)

Q: My artwork was rejected from last year's show. Can I re-enter it in this year's show?

A: Yes. Each juror looks for different things and what one may reject, another may accept. Please remember that submitted work must have been completed within the last 3 years.

Q: Why is there so much time between the image entry deadline and the jurying of the digital images?

A: Due to the large number of entries submitted for the exhibition, it takes time for CPSA to administratively prepare the images for the jury process and to enter the information into our database.

Q: What criteria regarding standardization of color are used in judging artwork for the yearly CPSA competitions? Is it best to use sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhotoRGB or some other program so that color-managed programs like Photoshop know the true definition of colors in the file?

A: First, don’t be overly intimidated by the technical aspects of preparing digital images. If an image looks good on your computer, it will probably look fine on the juror’s computer as well. Here are several things you should know regarding color settings for digital images:

  • The individual (whether you, personally, or a professional photographer) who is preparing the digital images for a show entry should be sure to check the specifications at the CallForEntry.org website first. This will ensure that you start with a good quality digital image. (You will note, however, that there is no mention of color settings on that website.)
  • Basically, saving digital images in any of the RGB formats (rather than CYMK, Lab Color, or Multichannel) should be fine. Tip: In PhotoShop, RGB formats can be found under Image>Mode.
  • The sRGB option works best for CPSA purposes, enabling our printers to reproduce color images as accurately as possible in To The Point.
  • Although CPSA has no way to control the calibration of monitors and projectors used to view the images, we make every effort to preserve the quality of images submitted by the artists.
  • And finally, the juror views all images on the same monitor which makes for an even playing field. In addition, the juror chooses the award winners for the CPSA International Exhibition in person while viewing the actual pieces of art.

Shipping Your Artwork

Q: Why do I have to pay a "handling fee" to ship my work to the show? What does this fee cover?

A: Such fees are standard for many major exhibitions. Most galleries have neither the storage space nor the staff to handle the number of pieces in a CPSA exhibition. The fee goes directly to the cartage company which unpacks the artwork, stores the boxes, delivers the paintings to the gallery, retrieves them from the gallery, and repacks them for shipping back to the artists. CPSA simply cannot afford to pay for cartage services and requires accepted artists to cover that expense.

Q: Does CPSA provide any information when it comes to shipping my artwork?

A: CPSA will post detailed information and instructions about shipping your artwork on www.cpsa.org after the selected artists have been notified.

Q: Which shipping company is the best one to use for shipping fine art?

A: Although selecting a shipper, such as Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, is an important decision, CPSA cannot recommend one shipper over another. Artists should not use the U.S. Postal Service because it has no pickup service for return shipping. Ask your fellow artists what shipping company they use.

Q: When should I send my artwork for the exhibition?

A: The Notification of Acceptance defines the “window” of acceptable shipping and receiving dates. It is important for your work to arrive within that exact window of time. Be sure to research shipping methods early, so you will be prepared if the shipping window is a short one.

Q: On average, what does it cost to ship my artwork to an exhibition?

A: It is impossible to determine the average because shipping costs vary based on the size of the box, its weight and the shipping distance. Insuring your work will also add to your costs, so it is good to do some advance research on these important items once you are notified of acceptance. You may incur additional costs if you have a professional mailing service pack and ship your piece.

Q: What type of container will best protect my artwork during shipping?

A: It is best to use a sturdy cardboard reusable shipping box made especially for the transportation of fine art. When you first receive your box, we advise you to put extra clear or beige shipping tape along all of the edges. This will help your box last longer and will protect it during shipping.

Q: What is the most common damage done to artwork when it is being shipped?

A: The most common problem happens when the artwork has not been secured properly to the mat prior to framing. During shipping, the artwork shifts and the painting may drop behind the mat. Remind your framer to use strong hinges to secure your work and, if necessary, put a piece of masking tape at the bottom of your piece to prevent it from falling down behind the mat. Other problems can occur when metal frames have not been assembled properly or wood frames have not been secured tightly in the corners. This allows the Plexiglas, which is required for all CPSA exhibitions, to loosen and may damage your artwork.

Signature Status and Merit Awards

Q: What is "Signature" status?

A: “Signature” status entitles CPSA members to use the initials “CPSA” after their name when their work has appeared in the annual CPSA International Exhibition 3 times within 10 years. Starting in 2009, members may earn CPX signature for appearing in Explore This! 3 times within 10 years. Membership must be maintained in order to qualify. Any lapse in membership results in loss of previous acceptances and forfeiture of that honor.

Q: Does being accepted into my chapter show count toward earning signature status?

A: Sorry, but members may earn signature status only by having work appear in the CPSA exhibitions. Chapter shows offer an opportunity to gain experience and win awards on a local level, but do not count toward either a CPSA or CPX signature status.

Q: What is required to earn merit recognition?

A: Signature members earn merit recognition for each five times (including the first three for signature status) their work appears in the CPSA International Exhibition. Merit recognition applies to the CPX signature status for Explore This! shows as well.

 

 

 

 

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