It is interesting that this subject has come up. I have a workshop
coming up on just this subject in the summer.
Claire Sanford who is both juried and juror talks about this when she
teaches at Mass Art. Slides should NOT be a Hollywood production.
The work is about the art, not the props. Most juries ask for five
slides at a time, with five slide projectors going at once. You the
juried get five seconds of glory. Jurors rate your work 1 & 2 being
good and 4 & 5 being not so good. There is no rating of 3. The 4 &
5’s are taken out immediately, with the 1 & 2’s being seen again and
eventually weeded out.
A couple of tips:
Don’t mix dark with light. If you have a graduated gray
background, be consistent. Your work should have a “look”. Mixing
styles and sizes can be confusing.
Try to stay away from props UNLESS it is completely appropriate.
Remember what you are trying to get the jury to look at. If your
slide has a prop, gather a couple of people who are not familiar with
your work, project your slide for five seconds. Ask them what they
see. Does your piece have a theme? If so, it MIGHT be appropriate.
a) a tea service might look very nice on a tea tray
b) models don’t always help the look for jewelry. You end up looking
at the model
A rule of thumb is three on the top, two on the bottom. Don’t have
the jurors cock their head in odd angles, trying to figure out what
you are showing. Often something with color looks best in the number
2 middle slot. The last slide might be a grouping. But only if you
are selling a group of ceramic mugs, or different size vases with
perhaps a flower in a couple of them.
Include a detail next to the piece, but only if it HELPS the piece
read better. There are some pieces of work which look great when you
hold them in your hand and play with piece, but do not photograph
well. If this is the case, then by all means, help the audience.
This is a good question to ask by the way, and one that I eternally
struggle with. I’m building some pieces now which I am submitting for
a show on “House: The Form” in late March. I’m assuming that most of
the submissions will be mostly larger sculptural pieces. I making
small jewelry scale houses which sit in the crooks of several
branches. Each house can be taken off the branch and worn as a piece
of jewelry. I intend to show the piece as a whole, details of the
houses on the branch and one worn on the body. It will be hard for
the jury to see what I am up to, so I am going to have to visually
We’ll see it if works.
M E T A L W E R X
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801