Want to submit to international shows but don't know where to start?


During the SNAG Conference segment: "Purple Cow, Sacred Cow, Cash Cow" the speakers discussed that by thinking differently in our field, you can set yourself ahead of the rest of the pack. Not only were attendees encouraged to think outside the norm in regards to finding, getting, and capitalizing on opportunities ranging from galleries to magazines, the speakers practically handed over the key formulas to attendees in order to do so. It was an excellent segment, and proved to be one of the most useful and contemporary presentations throughout the conference. It was so advantageous, I fervently typed notes on my iPhone and soon noticed I wasn't the only one. Clustered around me, I noticed a slew of attendees' faces illuminated by the yellow glow of the notes app also.


If you find yourself lost in digital cul-de-sacs when seeking out international exhibition opportunities, I'd like to offer a piece of my purple cow and blow your mind for a second to help rewrite your map from a cul-de-sac to a highway. In the name of thinking differently, here's an approach I thought of and started implementing last year that has opened my eyes to opportunities that lie seemingly unreachable around the rest of our globe. 


Firstly though, let's consider how most North American artists search for show opportunities. We generally enter keywords and search for phrases in English, right? By searching these phrases solely in English, you're only generating English results, and your Google passport isn't being utilized to it's full capacity.


For example, "Art Jewelry Submissions" searched in English will primarily give you the same opportunites in America, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other English speaking countries, the same as all of your fellow artists are reading and going after. To find more diverse international shows, take those same keywords and search phrases like "Art Jewelry Submissions" or "Art Exhibitions" or whatever you wish, and search in your desired country's native language, and voila! You've tapped into the unearthed and under-discovered international art show and market. 


When galleries list opportunities online, they do so in their native language, and roughly 75% of people in the world do not speak English.


Let's take that key phrase "Art Jewelry Submissions" and input it to Google Translate while selecting Portuguese to yeild show opportunites available in Brazil. Brazil is the 5th most populous country boasting major galleries in cities like Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Fortaleza.



Highlight the Portuguese translation, copy, and paste the Portuguese in your search bar or url.



Click enter.

Click on the translate button.



Welcome to a new facet of your art career.


Get into the habit of checking every two weeks, and experiment with your searches using different phrases, keywords, and languages. Don't be afraid of other alphabets, if you want to search for a show in Japan, Google Translate will search for the translated Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana into your search engine without your need for a keyboard that supports those keyed alphabet symbols. Customize your search time frame to filter out the old and receive only the most recent postings, and you're on your way to peer through a periscope above the web's sea of data, focused on other continents.


Some examples:

  • Appel de soumissions art -French
  • Arte presentaciones- Spanish
  • Bando per progetti di arte- Italian
  • υποβολές τέχνης- Greek
  • التقارير الفنية- Arabic


I know what you're thinking, relying solely on Google translator is risky given the nuances of each language, but that's where deeper, personal research will be to your benefit. Extra research ahead of time will also save your neck when it comes to ensuring you'll participate with a gallery who has a reputable and trustworthy history. I can't emphasize extra research enough, especially when participating on the international stage and dealing with customs, currency exchanges, cultural differences, etc. Do your research!


Coincidentally enough, while preparing notes for this blog post, the August Mensa Bulletin arrived on my stoop, sporting a cover filled with different translations for words associated with comprehension and intelligence. The meaty article inside penned by fellow Mensan Lisa Van Gemert, "Language Lessons: 6 Reasons You Should Learn a Foreign Language Today" points out the advantages of learning more than one. In it, she included a fitting quote by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who wrote, "the limits of my language are the limits of my universe."



"Mensa Bulletin" August 2013 Issue. Roger Brooks, Editor.

Learn more at: American Mensa


Every so often however, domestic art galleries will partner with international art galleries to produce traveling shows and exhibitions. San Francisco's Velvet Da Vinci Gallery recently partnered with Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City for "La Frontera," an exhibition sharing artists' interpretations on the relationship between Mexico and the US as influenced by the infamous border between the two. Below are some pieces from that exhibition. The show features the work of roughly 90 different artists and just completed it's first leg of the tour at Museo Franz Mayer in Mexico City, from June 6 - July 28, 2013. The second leg of the tour will open at Velvet da Vinci in San Francisco, from August 14 - September 15, 2013. 

Celeste Christie, "La Migra" Lapel Pin.

Nancy Moyer, "Border Fence Series: Border Scenarios" Neckpiece, Front and Back View.

Elvira Bessudo Maya, "Seguro 1" Brooch.

(My favorite "La Frontera" piece.)

View their online coverage of the full exhibition here:

Velvet Da Vinci x Museo Franz Mayer present "La Frontera"


Earlier this year in May, while conference goers hustled from one ballroom to the next, European jewelers were converging across the globe at the Art Gallery of Legnica in Katedrainy, Poland for the 22nd Annual Silver Festival. This year's theme, "Revolt!" showcased artists' interpretations of the Occupy Movements that triggered similar global revolutions and events worldwide. I was honored to show my piece "Puppeteering" at the festival, along with art jewelers from 43 different countries.


"Revolt!" Official Poster, 22nd Annual Legnica Jewellery Festival, Katedrainy, Poland.

Guests during the opening of "Revolt!" May, 2013.



Huxley's literary warning about technology thankfully doesn't have to surpress your ability to currently use modern developments to your advantage. If you're daring enough in this brave new world, you can do anything, be anyone, and go anywhere you want to with a strong wifi signal and a plane ticket. 


Enjoy your new Art Show Rosetta Stone!




Why don’t we be friends?
Sculpturings Website



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Replies to This Discussion

Excellent Post !! Thank you, Rebecca.

Thank you, Brigitte! Helping make the art world smaller and more accessible, one post at a time!

Thanks! I'm having one of those "duh" moments and wondering why I hadn't thought on that before.

Everyone can watch the "Sacred Cow, Purple Cow, Cash Cow" presentations online for free on the SNAG website or my website.

Here are the links:

SNAG Professional Development Seminar


Watch the 21 PDS presentations from past PDS programs  directly on SLIDESHARE
(This works much better in Chrome. )

You can watch all  21 presentations from the PDS (and other presentation that I have given ) as many times as you want directly on SlideShare.

All of the PDS presentation information was recorded at the SNAG Conference Professional Development Seminar.

Thank you SNAG for making this information available to the craft community.

Thank you to the PDS organizers Andy Cooperman, and Brigitte Martin. We do our best to create a program of information that bring success to the craft community.

If you have ideas for the next PDS please let me know. All ideas will be confidential or leave a comment here.

If you would like to (privately) here about the program we are considering for the next PDS, contact me. I'd love to bounce ideas off you.
bermaid [ at ] harriete-estel-berman.info

Thank you Rebecca Rose for you post on Crafthaus. Great ideas if you want to show across international borders. Be aware that shipping is very problematic.

This presentation by Andy Cooperman from the PDS may offer informat... Filling out all the proper paperwork and insurance are key issues if you work is traveling across borders. There are no easy answers. 


Thanks for posting individual hyperlinks to each speakers PDS presentation, Harriete! The audio files are worth listening to more than once to really soak up the info for those who haven't already. And provides a great archive of key info to those like me who want to revisit them over and over.

I absolutely agree, researching international shipping challenges and costs are essential when participating in global shows. For those needing to know where to start with international shipping, the below link is for a previous PDS seminar presented by the one and only Andy Cooperman, and is a realistic guide to help prepare for and prevent issues, and dealing with them after they've happened. You can never do too much research! 


Thanks Rebecca. That is the handout designed to accompany this presentation by the one and only Andy Cooperman "International Shipping Issues".

Brilliant ideas and thanks for sharing them with us Rebecca!


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