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Details about Jury Slides


I notice that the subject of “slides” for juries has popped up. I
was wondering if there are any bits of advice that everyone can offer

What are the judges looking for in a slide? Does the slide have to be
"Hollywood" production? Do items in slide have to be photographed in
one direction (all horizontal or all vertical?) Do stones in a series
of slides have to be color coordinated? (ie: all amethyst) Do slides
have to have some sort of “theme?” (not sure what that is supposed to
mean, but I was told that a “theme” was required . . . tough to do
when making one of a kind jewellery.) Should one focus more on
pendants, bracelets, rather than earrings?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and I thank all for their
advice (in advance.)


I’m no expert but this is what I think: Slides should have some
unifying characteristic The quality should be the best you can afford,
use a pro if you can Color helps the work stand out, my photographer
says that red is good

good luck,


I’ve been to several “mock” slide jury sessions. The judges are
looking at thousands of jewelry slides in a day and each person has
thier slides on the screen for about 10-15 seconds, so they really
need to stand out. The judges seem to like the slides taken on smoked
glass producing a light to dark gray background (see my website for a few of these examples. Also it seems more
important to show a common thread through the pieces, in style or
color. I know they say to show an example of everything you’re going
to be selling, but they’d rather see a theme in your work. Don’t stick
a pair of earrings or a bracelet in your series unless it really goes
with everything else. Also use a good photographer. I just got a
series shot by Jerry Anthony and they were pretty good! I’ve also
had Ralph Gabriner shoot my slides. Using a professional like this
shows the jury you’re really serious about what you do.
Unfortunately, doing everything right still doesn’t guarantee me a
spot in all my favorite shows, but I usually get in some! Good Luck!
Wendy Newman


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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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
lead them.

We’ll see it if works.

Karen Christians
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801

Current Artwork:


Wendy would you be able to show a sample of what slides you send to a
jury.(I hope this is O.K. to ask) I also do juried shows and like
you, some I get into and some I don’t. Of course, I am at the
beginning of my second year of doing juried shows and I am still
working out the kinks in everything. So I guess I am not
understanding what a “common theme” means.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Linda Crawford
Linda Crawford Designs


for 21 tips from the pros see… look along
the menu on the left hand side.

good luck.
cindy edelstein


Fishy, If at all possible find a show that is within driving range and
ask to sit in on the jurying process. It’s a real education! You will
witness slides projected three to five or more at a time for 5 - 10
seconds per group (depending on the show’s entry requirements) on the
wall of a darkened room while the jurors sit in the dark, staring at
group after group, trying to spot something that makes one batch fit
their show or more likely, any excuse to eliminate a batch from their
show. (The better and more popular the show, the more entries they
have to weed out!!) SO, :

  1. YES, you do need Hollywood production - your competition has it
    and your entry had better look at least as good - or you’ve just
    wasted your entry fee. 2. Project your slides yourself and pick the
    ones that show best - borrow a bunch of projectors and project them
    in a group - as the jury will - and see - do they look best all
    vertical? all horizontal? Mixed? Does it catch your eye or just annoy
    you? Get some friends together one evening at look at each others
    works this way - you’ll be amazed what you can learn. 3. Yes, jurors
    do like to see some sort of theme, something that will unify a body
    of work, something that will seperate a designer/craftsman from a
    dabbler. This does not necesssarily mean all the same stones or all
    the same metals, but rather a similarity of technique, of congruent
    designs - a developing Style if you will.

Good luck