I have been seeing this trend in a lot of art galleries where they charge to view your work to participate in shows. I often wonder why this is an accepted thing for artists. I mean don't you think it would be weird if actors had to pay $25-$50 for every audition they went to-- or how about people looking for jobs. Wouldn't we think it was strange to pay to have job applications reviewed by say, Mc Donald's or Gap? So why do artists have to pay? It is just accepted as part of the requirements of being an artist-- and the sad thing is lots of really good artists do not have the money to continuously enter shows. One of the more outrageous entry fees I have seen, was one where you had to pay around $100 to enter and if you were chosen in the top entries you had to pay another $200 to be reviewed. I wrote a letter asking what the point of all this money was-- and the response I received was so ridiculous. They said if they charged a high fee -- the artists would be taken more seriously... Really? No, what you mean to say is that you can rip off artists and make shit tons of money.
I don't know what a solution to this is but would love to hear ideas on how you think it could be better, and what you as an artist would like to see.
Oh-- and PS -- if you are a gallery and you are charging to review portfolios AT LEAST take online payments and submission-- get the hell out of the stone ages!