Dab Art

Has anyone had any experience with Dab Art, in Ventura CA? I applied for a Call for Entry, which was a request to review artists work for future (and unspecified) exhibitions. The cost was not much, but they also offered a $50 consultation in addition. I paid for both, figuring if I was not accepted I would be better able to determine why.

I received a rejection letter fairly quickly, along with a comment that if I had paid for a consultation I would be contacted shortly. 2 months later I had not heard anything, and figured they weren’t worth working with. I emailed the director of Dab Art asking for a refund of the $50. She was a bit stuffy about it, but said as a courtesy (“which we normally don’t offer”) she would refund my $50, within 90 days.

I’m now wondering if I’ll ever see the refund. Dab Art doesn’t seem to be brick and mortar, but is associated with H Gallery in Ventura.

Does anyone else have any experience, pro or con?

  • Anonymous

    They took money (quite a lot actually) from me for a pre-order book last December which I STILL have not received. (It was supposed to be shipped to me on Feb. 15, 2023).
    They have returned any of my messages… Very dubious…

  • Anonymous

    My experience is pretty much what most have described here. I tried to do a little research of the owner and turned up a couple interviews in minor publications. My gut told me it all sounded too good to be true, but I submitted some entries anyway. I found the prospectus to be a little confusing. Notification (in my case, rejection) was late, but I did receive an email saying that they had some personal issue and would be sending the notification within a week, and they did. I would not enter again, as I suspect it is as most here have characterized it. There do seem to be a lot of these kinds of questionable calls for entries, especially during the pandemic when artists are so limited in where they can actually exhibit their work so many are reaching for opportunities in places they might think better of pursuing in normal times. If you see the same outfits putting out way too many calls then you know who to avoid, and as they always say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.

  • Anonymous

    I lost 45 to a gallery that is basically not even a gallery. Of course the owner will not contact me back. I actually went there. The gallery open by appointment only. ONLY OPEN 2 DAYS THE ENTIRE MONTH ! The gallery is so small, you can not even really stand inside. A few photography photos and a couple paintings to look as if it is a gallery.. No room to stand…. a front.

    Horrible experience. None of my paintings would fit on the wall. No no no.. Horrible rip-off… Horrible.

  • Anonymous

    I get Cafe Call For Entry emails weekly. The Dab Art thing appeared a few weeks ago and again today, both times the first post at the top. First thing I noticed was the ridiculous and cringeworthy claims of “trendy” and “hipster central.” Closer scrutiny reveals that there are several galleries in different towns and different states, the shows are vague if they exist at all, the listed website is a dead link, and “consultations” are offered for an extra $100 fee. A 5 star Yelp review of a related gallery was suspicious and immediately removed by Yelp after I reported it. A lot of Cafe entry solicitations appear to be pointless, more than a few are hinky, but this one yells FRAUD!!!

  • Anonymous

    Avoid this scam, they make money off of artist’s application fees. They run a new post on Café every month. I am certain that are aiming for 1000 submissions a month.

  • Anonymous

    I wished I had read these reviews before submitting on CaFE. I submitted 3 paintings ($35) plus one additional painting ($5) back in March 2020 for an exhibition in May 2020. Never heard from them until 4 months later with a form rejection letter for all 4 paintings. I initially thought the May exhibition was cancelled due to cov19 but they should have contacted applicants sooner. They seemed unprofessional and disorganized. I’m not sure if I’ve been scammed but this experience definitely left a bad taste in my mouth. I will never do business with them again. I also saw that the gallery is permanently closed?! Their website looks the same. Does anyone know?

    • Anonymous

      I had a similar very bad experience. Things look good on the outside. They are absolutely not. Very frequent calls for entry and little to show for it. Do your research. Wish I had.

    • Anonymous

      Do your research. Wish I had. They put out frequent calls with little to show for it. Don’t expect a response even when it would be guaranteed under any other professional circumstance. They are more concerned about how things look on the surface, than how things actually are. You can see this in the language they use on their website to get artists hooked. Artists and artwork are not their priority.

  • Anonymous

    Hmm, interesting I found this forum. As I see the the ongoing ‘Dab Art’ call for artwork on Cafe, I’m suspicious that fees are just being collected nefariously? It’s a yearly ongoing call… hmm. nice income. That’s interesting to take people’s money, but not communicate with the applicant in some direction or the other.

  • Pat Watson

    I answered a CFE at DAB Arts and got two paintings selected. I hand delivered them, went back for the opening and drove back to pick up my work. My experience was OK but it’s not a place where you’ll sell much, if anything. It’s out of the way. It’s primarily an artist’s co-op, run by a woman who has a more reputable gallery downtown. I didn’t much like the feel of the whole enterprise. After the show came down and I had collected my work, I learned that a number of other artists hadn’t received their work through return shipping. I contacted CAFE management (who listed the CFE) and told them about the multiple complaints. I got an email from DAB afterwards saying the had a server crash, etc. I guess it got straightened out but it seems shafy

  • Dale

    For this one, I can’t tell if it’s a scam or mere incompetence. As far as I’m concerned it’s a scam because they got my money and I got nothing.

    An alleged ‘company’ called International Art Management (IAM) put out this call via Callforentry.org:

    [ IAM ] International Art Management – owned and operated by Alan Campbell and Paloma Fernandez is an art consulting and pop-up art gallery agency working with businesses, corporations, collectors, non profits, and art enthusiasts to place artwork within their spaces, host pop-up events, support the growth of emerging contemporary artists, and increase patronage of the arts. IAM is based in Los Angeles, CA and Denver, CO and works with artists and clients nationally and internationally.

    IAM is looking to source a diverse range of artists (in background and medium) within California, Colorado and surrounding states including: visual artists, painters, sculptors, photographers, installation artists, textile artists, glass blowers, ceramicists, woodworkers, metal work, printmakers, filmmakers, digital media, street artists etc, for upcoming opportunities and exhibitions. These opportunities and exhibitions range from corporat, business and hotel clients, art enthusiasts and collectors, and independent pop-up art gallery events hosted in Denver, LA, Chicago, throughout the United States, and Internationally.

    They even listed a half-dozen ‘events’ where they would need artwork. With upcoming events scheduled and using their names, it looked legit, so I paid the $25 and submitted three images.

    My artworks were accepted and then….. nothing, no contact at all for the next five months. Ultimately I contacted Callforentry.org and, after a few more emails, they replied with, “They’ve been trying to reach you.” Of course my contact information was required when I made the submission, so no one was actually “trying to reach me.”

    Then, a few more months later I received this email from IAM:

    Dear Applicant,

    Thank you for applying to the [ IAM ] International Art Management Call for Artists. Our apologies for not getting back to you sooner. IAM has been involved in multiple projects including artists that applied to this call. This was our first open call to artists and it has been a learning process in so far as how to stay in contact with artists and how the platform operates.

    We planned originally to “accept” artists we enjoyed the work of and would like to work with in the future. If and when the opportunity arises we would still love to reach out to you to work together. Till then we will be moving “accepted” applicants to “declined” in order to avoid confusion around the lack of communication or movmement on IAMs behalf. IAM will still have access to artists portfolios and will be in contact when we have a project we would like you to be apart of.

    So, now my artworks have gone from ‘accepted’ to ‘declined.’ Again, they got my money and I’ve received nothing at all!

    If this isn’t a scam it’s incompetence of the highest order and I sure won’t be working with ‘International Art Management’ ever in the future. This one is truly unique. I’m guessing they’re not actually that incompetent but simply using the ‘look & feel of incompetence’ to mask their nefarious activity.


  • Sandra W

    That’s no right! I am glad I found this forum as I was very tempted to apply for the February 2019 call. I think sometimes as a struggling artist I should to the same thing and fill my pockets with money does not belong to me but that not the way to do business and to create a good name for yourself and your brand. At the end everything catches you up. There are betters ways you just have to brainstorm and find the break through if you aim and talent is true and sincere and your passion honest! My advice, you have to be very careful when you are an eager artist trying to get ahead you can fell pray of this opportunistic low lives. Best luck to you all!

  • Anon

    I showed with them once and had a good experience. They hosted an artist panel discussion which was professionally filmed and distributed, so a nice PR piece. That being said, it’s true that the location of the gallery is kinda nowhere, so you’re not likely to sell from a show. They do post everything to Artsy, but I don’t think that’s likely to make you any cash either.

  • Nick Jankowski

    One of the most unprofessional galleries I have ever come across. Their artist calls are obviously about making money and the dates posted mean absolutely nothing. The push back submission dates, as well as acceptance dates with no explanation. The last time I entered a show here I found four different dates for the submission deadline. The announcement date of accepted artists came and went so I figured I did not make the cut only to see several days later they were still under review. Don’t bother with this gallery, they just want your entry fees.

    • Diana

      Yes, and if you complain, which I did when they changed a date of entry without notification, and by about two months, they reject your work immediately and keep your fee. Attempts to get it back were met with insults.

  • Bryn Del Mano

    I submitted work to one of their calls. Didn’t pay for a consultation fee, but did pay more money for the privilege of submitting extra images.
    They did not keep to their specified timetable of review and notification, being easily six weeks tardy.
    Oh, but then I received a form rejection email, so that made the wait worthwhile. Unimpressive.

  • Anonymous

    I have been there, checked it out for the same reasons as all of you. It is a big space in a nowhere place. No walk in traffic, not really a destination place. The area of town rather seedy, too far from LA or other art markets. Pretty sure they survive on entry fees. After viewing k would not enter work there.

  • Mark Nesmith

    I applied to one show (no consultation fee) and was accepted. My painting is currently part of the Proto Pop show. They also uploaded the work to the Artsy website. I’ve had communication with both the gallery director and assistant and both have responded in a timely fashion to my emails. I haven’t been able to go there in person as I live out of state, but so far I’m pleased with them.

  • L

    I didn’t pay for the consultation, but I did submit to their Call for Entries. I got a rejection email about 8 weeks later. Can’t say for sure that it’s a scam, but the “rolling call for entries” does make me wonder if they’re just milking the entry fees without really doing anything.

  • Anonymous

    I also fell for this appeal. I have to admit I thought that they might be one of those galleries where “show fees” are part of their business model, but did it anyway. I did not pay extra for the consultation. I did not even get a rejection letter. Perhaps that is what the extra $50 gets you 🙁

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