Central Virginia Watercolor Guild

Combining Camaraderie with Creativity

Prospectus Jargon

okay for showWhat’s a substrate? Why can’t I paint on canvas? What’s wrong with no mat? Why all this mess about ‘under cover’? Can I just paint on mirror?

Yes, these are questions you might have as you read a prospectus for an art show. Understanding the terms and the intent of the show can help you decide if this event is a good match for your work at this time.

For as long as it’s been having an Annual Show, our CVWG has held to some ‘rules’ or ‘standards’ to provide both consistently in display and a “level” playing field, so to speak, for artist who enter our show. The requirement of a standard light mat and the use of a simple frame give a visual consistency to the work when hung in for viewing. At McGuffey, the team works hard to make the paintings look consistent by centering all the paintings on a single “eye” line and using invisible fishing line which make the hanging process fairly invisible.

Since 1992, we have used the language “water media” in our prospectus and allowed the use of acrylics. We decided then to maintain the “water” roots of our organization and not accept oil or canvas. Perhaps the next generation of painters who manage our annual exhibition will change these restrictions, but for now, these are the “rules” we expect all to follow. “Under cover” means put Plexiglas (not glass) over your painting that you have matted in a light mat. Plexiglas is lighter and less dangerous if it breaks but one must take care that it not be scratched.

And last, the surface you paint for our show must be paper, and we will accept synthetic paper like Yupo. Another word for that surface is ‘substrate.’ It’s a fun word to use. You’ll sound as authentic as an artist, especially when asked, “What medium and substrate do you use?”

Keep painting. The deadline for entry is approaching! It’s May 4!

Pam Roland, Annual Exhibit Chairman

2 comments on “Prospectus Jargon

  1. John A. Hancock
    Mar 21, 2019

    well said

  2. Donna L. Koutrakos
    Mar 21, 2019

    Great explanation.

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This entry was posted on Mar 21, 2019 by in Call for Entries.

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