In 2003 I submitted a wood engraving to Euro Art Centre in Vaxju, Sweden for the Mini Print de Sarajevo exhibition and it was accepted. There was a website which showed photos of the exhibition and the events surrounding the opening. An e-mail arrived in 2004 from a G.Wahlin of the Euro Art Centre which let me know that my print was to be returned to me in May of 2004. I was busy with other projects and forgot the print until October of 2005 when I wrote G. Wahlin. There has never been a reply. I tried numerous ways of contacting G. Wahlin and the Euro Art Centre with no results. I can't seem to even find any sign that this Swedish Euro Art Centre still exists.
A similar experience was had with the Townhouse Gallery in Belfast, Northern Ireland and their International Small Print Exhibition in 2003, only in this case they responded and insisted submissions had been returned. I'm still waiting.
I have long since written these off as losses which go with the business, but I was thinking recently that there may be printmakers out there who know about these institutions and may have had similar experiences. Sending work to offshore international exhibitions always contains an element of risk. These two are the only losses I have experienced in years of submitting to group exhibitions. There was one case where a drawing was returned from an exhibition in Eastern Europe with poor packing (not the secure container I had sent) and was so severely wrinkled it had to be destroyed.
Has anyone got any thoughts on this subject they're willing to share? Does anyone know anything about the Euro Art Centre or the Townhouse Gallery in Belfast? It would be interesting to hear what other horror stories there are out there and perhaps there are even lists of organizations to be avoided which could be published.