First Experience – view from the juror’s seat

Hello everyone!  I just had a very interesting (and fun) experience as a juror for an exhibition.  Though I have judged a show before, and have hung many shows/helped select where the work goes, I have never been in on the selection process of what work is in and what isn’t going to make it.  Today, I got that experience.

The exhibition in question is 100th Monkey Studio’s 2010 Juried Show.  How this all came about was that 100th Monkey Studio put out a call for artists who would be interested in jurying this show.

It didn’t take long for me to think about it, I was a “yes” to the experience and contacted them with my resume and links to my website.   Within 24 hours I received an email saying “yes, we would love to have you.”

After further correspondence I discovered I would be joined by Jo Brody, Tim Combs, Lisa Albinger, Jessica Breedlove (who works at 100th Monkey) and two interns.   (I have included some of their images below.)  We got together at 5:30 today … well, about 5:40 for me, after getting stuck in a crazy traffic trap for a bit.  Snacks were served, and get got started about 5:45.

Forest View by Jessica Breedlove. Acrylic, paper and thread on canvas, 20"x20". Copyright Jessica Breedlove, All Rights Reserved.

We viewed the images on a laptop computer that we all huddled around in a circle.  We discussed the merits – or in some cases, lack thereof, of the pieces that were presented on the screen.  Boy was this a learning lesson as to why most exhibitions require certain sizing on your images for entry!  Some of the images that were sent in were *tiny*.  It was almost impossible to get a good sense of the work from them.  More often than not, they were rejected simply because we couldn’t see the work!

Another thing that is so important as a juror is to know what the piece is made out of.  There was one piece we were very interested in … but we were unsure if it was a print, a pen-and-ink drawing or a computer-generated drawing.  The person who applied did not include that information with their work.  Though the piece did make it into the exhibition, it did NOT win the award that it might have otherwise, because we did not know the technique used.  That was a shame for the artist and, a necessary step.

You're an Exciting Little Dumpling in My Soup by Lisa Albinger, oil and collage on canvas, 24"x20". Copyright 2009 Lisa Albinger All Rights Reserved.

Image quality is as important as image size and materials description.  There were a few images that were confusing … is that a reflection off of glass?  Is that piece already framed under glass before being shot?  Or are those lines part of the piece?  We couldn’t tell and that piece was therefore disqualified.  The jurors need to know exactly what they are getting when the show opens.  If they can’t tell – your piece is likely OUT.

Picking the Right Path by Tim Combs, 10 1/2" x 10 1/2", Oil, stain and wire on panel. Copyright 2010 Tim Combs All Rights Reserved.

Finally, quality of the work.  You would be surprised at some of the pieces that were submitted.  Some, were clearly from artists who were pretty new/had not learned their craft well yet.   A few were poorly crafted but were by artists whose other work was good.  Note:  If it isn’t well made, it isn’t making it in!

All of these things had been drilled into my brain in art school and other programs I have taken.   But there is nothing like being in the juror’s seat to pound home the message as to why it is important!

Not in Kansas by Amy Buchheit, limited edition digital photography, 16"x12", copyright Amy Buchheit 2010 All Rights Reserved.

The other jurors and myself enjoyed a lively discussion about composition, design, craftsmanship, concept and other things of importance as we went through the 60 or so images that were submitted.  In 2 hours and 15 minutes we had gone through them all, weeding out in the first round, then doing a fast second round to firm up the selections.  That was followed by a brief discussion about prizes (awarded for “Best in Show”, “Craftsmanship” and “Creative Content”), and finally which piece was to be used for the postcard.  We were headed out the doors and going our separate ways by 8:00 p.m.

I found the experience to be fun, enlightening, and educational.  I think I may have made at least one new artist friend/connection.  Sign me up!  I’d do it again tomorrow.

© 2010 Amy Buchheit All Rights Reserved

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About Amy Buchheit

I am a Signature Member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters and an Ambassador for Artist Trust. I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marylhurst University and have exhibited on regional, national and international levels since 2000. I am committed to connecting with the viewer through my work - stirring buried emotions to the surface for further inspection and introspection. The inspiration for my art comes from direct observations, research of subjects I am passionate about and personal experiences. For more information about my art, workshops and exhibitions, visit my website at http://www.amybuchheit.com. My blog "Fantastic Voyage" can be found at http://www.amybuchheit.wordpress.com, and I can be found on Facebook under Amy Buchheit Art and on Twitter as @AmyBuchheit.
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4 Responses to First Experience – view from the juror’s seat

  1. Pingback: Open House Sparkles and SHINEs « Amy Buchheit's Art Blog

  2. Evonne Taylor says:

    Great article- enjoyed hearing about the processes for Art Selection. I am sure sharing your experience with new arts will be insigtful for them.

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