Can I submit the same painting to multiple exhibitions simultaneously?

I only recently started submitting my work to art or gallery exhibitions and I ran into a situation I was unsure of, so I thought I would chime in for people who may also be new to showing their artwork.

There were two exhibitions I felt one particular painting might do well in. I was holding off on entering it into the second exhibition until hearing from the first one about whether it was chosen.

Everything I had read online in the art community and on blogs suggested entering the same painting to two shows that run simultaniously is a big no-no!

So when the deadline to enter the second show hit and I still hadn’t heard from the first exhibition, I decided not to enter it into the second show.

Unfortunately, the day after submitting a different piece of art into the second show, I received an email from the first exhibition saying my art was not selected, which means it would have been available to show at the second gallery.

I was a little bummed since I felt my chances of it being chosen by the second exhibition were higher, but on the other hand, I began to question what protocol is for this.

Can you enter the same piece of art into multiple shows simultaniously? What if more than one exhibition accepts it? Then what?

Is it unethical to show a piece of art in more than one show, at different times?

While it seems everyone has a different opinion on these topics, here’s what I’ve determined works best for me.

I only enter a particular piece of art to one show at a time. If the art is chosen by multiple shows that run simultaniously, then I figure I’m potentially burning a bridge with the gallery shows I decide to pull out of.

In fact, pull your chosen art from a show or a gallery multiple times and you may gain a negative reputation of being an unreliable artist.

It’s better to scan the internet for potential shows to enter, and then create a piece specifically for an exhibition.

If it’s not chosen, don’t fret. There’s always other shows you can enter.

I see nothing wrong with showing the same piece in multiple shows, so long as the guidelines of each show allow it and the times don’t overlap. It’s important to read the fine print to make sure you’re adhering to all the rules when you enter a piece of art into a show.

I hope this helps clarify a few things for people who are new to submitting their art to gallery shows.

Do you have a different opinion? Would love to hear your thoughts!! Feel free to comment below.

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