Artwork Presentation and Submission Guidelines

To increase the chances of your artwork getting selected for shows, be sure that your artwork is neatly finished, dry, and properly prepared for display. The curator does not have time to correct the wire on your frame or design a mounting or display device for your 3-dimensional work. If your work is well-executed but poorly presented, it risks rejection because it looks unprofessional. DRA’s guidelines are given below, but read the specific Call for Entry carefully for any additional requirements from the show curator. You can also visit local galleries and museums for ideas—note how the art is displayed and bring those ideas to your own artwork.

Artist’s Statement

What should be included in an artist’s statement? What is one, anyway? What should be in a bio? A CV/resume? View this presentation to unravel the mystery:

Unfolding the Mysterious Artist’s Statement (PDF)
Presentation by Elizabeth G. Mead on May 15, 2011

2-Dimensional Artwork Guidelines for Exhibits


  • All artwork on paper should be under glass, matted and framed
  • Use a frame and mat cut and chosen for that work. If you are re-using a matte or frame, be sure it fits your image and complements it.
  • Make sure glass and matte are clean (no fingerprints or smudges)
  • Make sure the frame is sturdy
  • Make sure the frame has screw eyes and wire for hanging
  • You may submit paintings on canvas or panel unframed, provided the edges of the canvas or panel are finished, e.g.:
    • Continue your painting around the edge or paint the sides solid black or a complementary color
    • Make sure screw eyes and a wire hanger are properly attached for hanging (do not use “sawtooth” hangers)

Do not:

  • Do not submit unframed 2-dimensional work (unless the work is on canvas with finished edges)
  • Do not submit frames with “sawtooth” hangers. Frames must have screw eyes and wire to hang.
  • Do not use frames that are chipped or in poor shape
  • Do not submit painted canvas or panel with unfinished edges
  • Do not submit any artwork that is unfinished, unglued, or with paint still wet.

Tips on adding Screw Eyes and Wire to a Frame

  • Be sure to select screw eyes and picture wire that is strong enough to hold the weight of your painting and frame combined.
  • Screw eye hangers should be installed on sturdy frame side rails (back!) about one-third of the way down from the top edge of the frame. Measure and mark this location equally on both side rails.
  • Make pilot holes for screw eyes by drilling with a bit slightly smaller than the screw eye diameter. (The drill bit should be approximately the diameter of the screw minus the threads.)
  • Cut a length of picture wire 6-8 inches longer than the frame is wide. Thread one end of the wire through the screw eye and then back through to form a Lark’s Head knot. Wrap the remaining tail tightly around the wire. Repeat on the other side.
  • Leave enough slack in the wire so that when it is pulled taut against the back of the frame, the center (highest) point of the wire reaches about half the distance between the level of the two hangers and the top of the frame. The hanger should never appear above the frame nor close enough that the hanging hook/ nail would appear above the frame.

3-Dimensional Artwork Guidelines for Exhibits


  • Include display stands, bases or other mounting devices as well as any instructions
  • Installation Pieces: You are required to contact the curator before work is dropped off to discuss how your piece could be best displayed
  • Jewelry: Include hangers, stands, display cases or other mechanisms to display your jewelry art.

Do not:

  • Do not submit 3-D artwork without a way for curators to display it, nor without instructions on how it is to be displayed.
  • Do not include any artwork that is unfinished or unstable.