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Jury Certification & Entry Process Standardization


#1

Does anyone on this forum agree with these needs for matters
concerning exhibitions/shows/contest/etc.:

  1. Basic Juror qualification/certification. (Requires education on
    the process.)

  2. Basic Photo submission examples. (Verbal descriptions or actual
    do’s and don’t types of photos.)

  3. Cap on quantity or some time cut off (published) on entries so as
    to limit volume that jurors have to view. (All entries received
    after cap or time cut off would receive a refund of entry fee.)

  4. Categorization of events to one of standard guides in a
    authorized set. (This would provide basic as to the
    responsibilities the promoter will be assuming and be descriptive of
    the event type.)

  5. Standards for entrants’ responsibilities. (May not close booth
    before end of event, etc.)

  6. A feed back system via the internet. (Books are rated,
    restaurants are rated, videos are rated… just about everything in
    the world has a “you rate this and write a review” system. Someone,
    an enterprising soul, could produce a web site for this purpose of
    rating and probably make a decent living with a few advertisers."

Which professional organization will step up and address these
needs? As jewelry artists do you think it is time for it to happen?
Not that can it happen, when should it happen?

Please understand that the framework I’ve offered is meant to be
minimal and as an illustration only to get ideas flowing from all of
you who can make this happen in the best and right way. Regards,

j
J Collier
Small Scale Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com


#2

…a more radical proposition: Would it be possible for Orchid
(Switzerland) to accomplish some part of this within the scope of
the mission statement? Perhaps the rating part?

Regards,
j
J Collier
Small Scale Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com


#3

I for one agree that the juror selection, qualification and
standards are appaling, essentially industry wide… It is often more
a who’s who of popularity than an actually objective process… One
reason I choose not to participate in most exhibitions, contests,
awards competitions, grant opportunities etc.

One of the more ridiculous juried processes I know of is entrance
into Penland School for residency, financial assistance and other
programs- If one is a novice in particular: Penland requires slides,
and statements and credentials, etc…If one is a beginner - the
reson anyone would seek schooling in the first place- Isn’t it
ridiculous that they would have such a body of work to draw from in
preparing an application package- yet another example of elitist
subjectivity in the art of jewelry making…and I have connections to
Penland that one would think would insure my entrance ( as my aunt
started and endowed the school!) but the system is so insane that Iis
hardly worth the time in making a request…

regarding standards for entrants responsibilities: I think equal to
entrants responsibilities it is imperative that the organizers take
some responsibilitiy for ensuring far more than taking money for a
space- advertising, admissions policies ( I don’t believe any show
should have an admission if you want it to be well attended- a
person may have a few hundred dollars to spend, but won’t go to the
venue if the cost is more than a couple of dollars that preferably go
to a well advertised charity than to the organizers- that is why
vendors pay a fee no?

As far as standards go regarding entrants policies: people that sign
on for a show should, if they agree to the terms put forth by an
organizer or group, should be required to stay for the duration of
each day ( unless of course there is an emergency). If the person
next to me, as an example, chooses not to stay for the entire day’s
show, then they should secure and cover their wares, and leave, then
return at the end of the day for breakdown, unless its a multi-day
show, in which case I personally find it annoying that while I’m
trying to do business a vendor may pull a trailer up to the display,
blocking access, loading, calling to the driver, etc… It is
unprofessional and discourteous at least, to the person next to the
one bailing out.

I also concurr that some of the media styles are getting out of
hand- basic photos yes, slides, and other specified graphic styles
are over-the top in many cases; it’s as if a show, just because there
is a new or available format jumps to that format rather than
simplifying the process and making it accessible to the person that
can’t hire a professional, doesn’t use slides as a standard practise,
and has no access or chooses not to, or can’t afford a 10 mega pixel
camera with ultra- high resolution and has no idea what a.tiff is in
the first place…An individual’s photograhic or graphic experience
hasn’t a damned thing to do with their skill at making jewlery. A
case in point is a ninety five year old jewelr I know. He shoots
pictures with a polaroid camera and flash bulbs- he has over 75 years
experience as a jewelr and his work is pristine- yet he has given up
on entering exhibitions, and awards competitions because a) his
social security does not allow for the exorbinant fees for a "juror"
to review his photos, and has had many a 45 dollars or more taken and
his polaroids returned as “not acceptable formatting”- This to me is
another example of the sheer greed and financially motivated focus
that most shows, exhibitions, etc are about rather than honoring a
master jewelr with more experience than the juror has been on the
earth… insane- yes! having to do with realizing one’s actual skills
or the beauty in work- not in the least… unfair and despicable -
yes.

regarding a feedback system via the internet- well, what about the
folks that are anti-technology? How do you account for the
registration and inclusion of their feedback if they have no
computer skills or access? I’m al for feedback, but believe their
should be varied ways of submitting it that don’t require
electricity…

Once a professional organization controls anything - that implies
that the things or people under that control are members of x
organization…I can’t afford to renew most of my professional
affiliations that I held for at least twenty five years in most
cases, at this point in trying to rebuild after losing everything I
owned, and making repairs to my house and studio after hurricane
Katrina. I know I have stated that before here but the reality is
New Orleans is a disaster- the largest one in the country’s history
and no one, no federal or state agency is helping residents YET.
There is still unpredictable and unreliable power in the city,
promises of wi-fi access city-wide has just been cancelled, and no
relief is in sight .most people were forced to take out small
business administration loans to put roofs on theitr homes- whether
or not an individual or householder was in business for themselves or
not- across the board the SBA is the sole resource - in my case I
applied a week after the storm for assitance ( I was among the first
group to do so) The SBA lost that application - AND THE 2ed OnE TOO!
How do you afford to keep up with memberships and credentials when
sheetrock and building supplies have quadrupled in price ansd have
become extremely hard to get if one is not a contractor- as the
suppliers are giving contractors preferential treatment and
discounts- when to my thinking it should be the reverse…- 400 here,
200 there, 600 in another place is simply not possible for some of
us…So an organization taking on unilateral control of anything
regarding arts shows, competitions, juried exhibits etc., is not
something I see as viable or fair to everyone making jewelry or
metalsmithing, particularly lessser known jewelers or students not in
a university atmosphere

I like the idea of categorization of events, but it seems to boil
down to who or what agency has the capital to jump to task- answering
the question: who will be the first to publish such a directory?-
Lark Books ? 500 Exhibitions ?. I think the NEA should actually be
the responsible agency- as it is public, and objective and not profit
motivated ( at least in theory!).And I would expect that the NEA
would follow the basics of genre identification and traditional art
descriptor/titling formats (as we discussed a few weeks ago regarding
the omission Metalsmith magazine made in not listing the featured
work pieces as metal clay, but fine silver) : which would be listing
the artisans name, title of the piece, medium used in its fabrication
and size, and photographic where appropriate… However
making certain that all genre is included, or some excluded seems to
be subjective- I’m not sure wire wrappers are actually jewelers, but
rather are crafters as no jewelry making skills are involved…and
are blacksmiths jewelry makers? and what about chainmaille, I think
it’s a viable genre, but there are those that would disagree that its
a costuming genre adapted to adornment and not intended solely as a
style of armour…as it ws intended historically…

I do agree that there is room for change but the details require a
lot of careful thought on issues of inclusion and power and economics
as well as accessibility in a pro bono publico wrapper…

R.E.Rourke


#4
Does anyone on this forum agree with these needs for matters
concerning exhibitions/shows/contest/etc.: Basic Juror
qualification/certification. (Requires education on the process.) 

No. The diversity of the jury is good not bad for shows. Show staff
can educate on process & pick jurors with appropriate knowledge.

Basic Photo submission examples. (Verbal descriptions or actual
do's and don't types of photos.) 

That is out there in many places. Some artists just
don’t do the research to find it. Crafts Report has a monthly column
of tips for show images-check out anything and everything Steve
Meltzer has to say.

Cap on quantity or some time cut off (published) on entries so as
to limit volume that jurors have to view. (All entries received
after cap or time cut off would receive a refund of entry fee.) 

No. See my latest post in the jury slide thread. Shows need this $
to help run the show.

Categorization of events to one of standard guides in a authorized
set. (This would provide basic as to the
responsibilities the promoter will be assuming and be descriptive
of the event type.) 

I don’t understand what you are saying here.

Standards for entrants' responsibilities. (May not close booth
before end of event, etc.) 

This already exists. Each show writes their own artist
responsibilities. Go to the show sites and look at the rules and
regs each show writes up. All shows have websites. Google, Cherry
Creek, Des Moine Art Festival, Art in the Pearl, Long’s Park, Old
Town, the list goes on forever.

A feed back system via the internet. (Books are rated, restaurants
are rated, videos are rated.... just about everything in the world
has a "you rate this and write a review" system. Someone, an
enterprising soul, could produce a web site for this purpose of
rating and probably make a decent living with a few advertisers." 

Been done. Art Fair Source Book is a consumer reports of shows
across the nation. It is excellent. Go to the AFSB site for more
info. AFSB is the gold standard for learning about shows.

Which professional organization will step up and address these
needs? As jewelry artists do you think it is time for it to happen?
Not that can it happen, when should it happen? 

NAIA is working for all show artists, not just jewelers. There is
strength in numbers and the diversity of this group. But as positive
as they are, as hard as their volunteers work.

The biggest threat to fine art & craft shows today is the huge
influx of imports and buy/sell work. Some of it gets in by dishonesty
(the “artist” juries it in as his/her handmade work) and some of it
the shows let it in to fill spaces (which peeves the real artists who
stop applying to the show, so the next year the show has less real
artists to fill the spaces and add more buy/sell work and you see
the demise of a show…) But shows haven’t been far-sighted enough
to realize what a huge problem for them and the artists this is to
act very aggressively to stamp out it out. Also its has a huge grey
area in proving something is buy/sell or imported. And this issue
exists not just in jewelry, but in 2-d work-photography, Chinese
factory paintings…etc. If one want to get one’s panties in a wad
and rail about the unfairness of something get on the import buy/sell
issue at shows. Its a very worthwhile issue to fight. :sunglasses:

hth

Carla
I’m going to start another thread with the urls for several of the
resources I mentioned here.


#5

Hi Carla & Dr. Rourke!

Thank you for your well considered replies to my suggestions about
the process of for standardization on Juries and Entries.

I generally don’t like to have “more government” or the like because
it becomes bureaucratic or power heavy. I do like bright lights where
anyone can get answers and take a look at the guts of the machinery.

Both of you have helped provide some good insight into this process
of casting one’s work before a jury. Overall it still seems as ornery
as trying to make a good solder joint for the first time. For the
experienced the process is not daunting in some areas, but for other
areas it appears to remain vague. In those areas I will be doing my
homework to become better educated. Once I become knowledgeable I
will freely share any I can to help others through this
esoterica.

I’m certain that there are efforts being made to improve this
system; where possible it is beneficial to both the artist and the
show promoters to do so and build futures for our art. Suggestions do
belong on this forum and it is reasonable to expect a good dialogs
with open mindedness. Orchid is a great resource to have available.

All the best,
j

J Collier
Small Scale Metalsmith


#6

Artists have been ranting about juries ever since this system became
the norm. Usually the complaint is that it isn’t working because it
is not being done right or fairly. But I wonder if the sacred jury
system is really such a good way to choose exhibitors after all? If
the jurors are connected to the show, then it becomes very
political. The more impartial and fair the jurors are, the less
likely they are to have anything at stake in what happens to the
show. So if the jurors are really outsiders, what does it matter to
them if the work is too expensive or cheap, too slanted towards one
style, if artists who have supported the show for years are rejected,
or if there are no “crowd pleasers”? The jury system is based on the
idea that the best show possible will result from a competitive
beauty contest. I question if that is really true, because unless the
selection process really matches exhibitors with an audience willing
to support them through sales, what is actually gained? In addition
to quality, a successful show has to have a certain kind of balance,
loyalty from its exhibitors and patrons yet also continue to offer
something new and exciting. The jury can be an obstacle to those
things. I really think that “Entry Process Standardization” based on
the notion that the jury system needs to be, or even can be
perfected, is a mistake, because it would discourage other ways of
negotiating who exhibits in a show that may work better.

Stephen Walker


#7
A feed back system via the internet. (Books are rated, restaurants
are rated, videos are rated.... just about everything in the world
has a "you rate this and write a review" system. Someone, an
enterprising soul, could produce a web site for this purpose of
rating and probably make a decent living with a few advertisers. 

Please clarify, I’m not sure which part of the system you’re
suggesting should be reviewed? The jurors themselves? Specific show’s
jury processes?

Elaine


#8

Before we jewelers get ourselves in a knot, we are in the MOST
competitive category in the shows. We are fighting a numbers game b4
our images are even viewed. So if you get tired of being juried out,
consider your work while fine is not standing out in the mob of
jewelers the jury is looking at.

All artists need to look at shows from many perspectives to
understand the jury system. What the jury picks impacts on the show,
the criteria the show tells the jury to use when picking work is
also important. How the organizers view their audience and what are
they doing to make $ is also important.

In one show that I have helped organize…they still jury the
real product. Interested artists must bring their work in for a full
day for the jury to walk around, touch, discuss, check out the
craftsmanship, etc. This show has always put artistic merit at the
top of their list. Saleability has never been the issue. As a result
this show’s audience has grown with the jury selection and they are
buying the more sophisticated edgy art. (It is currently in its 40th
year).

Another show in that has huge community support was in the past a
commission show. They invited back their best selling artists
regardless of artistic merit. Much of what was invited back yearly
was work that had low price points and could sell bulk numbers. As a
result they have “dumbed” down their audience. Even medium priced
items have a hard time moving at this show. They too have trained
their audience as to what to expect. Unfortunately for them artists
are no longer applying to this show, they can’t sell at it. And I
doubt if this group of enthusiastic organizers know what they have
done.

Running a show that works, picking a show that works for you, are
complicated issues. There are lots of interconnected threads that
work together to make the show work. To say its all the jury’s fault
is to miss the complexity of the whole picture.

hth
Carla
www.carlamfox.com


#9
The jury system is based on the idea that the best show possible
will result from a competitive beauty contest. I question if that
is really true 

All your objections are true, but what do you propose instead? It is
much easier to tear down than to build up.

Noel


#10

The jury system is based on the idea that the best show possible
will result from a competitive beauty contest. I question if that
is really true

All your objections are true, but what do you propose instead? It
is much easier to tear down than to build up. 

Someone is going to choose, and it is never going to be totally
fair, so it seems to me that the policy should be crafted to make the
show as successful as it possibly can be. Some shows are working very
well with the traditional jury system, and if it is working, don’t
fix it. But alternatively:

Some shows are selected by the promoter, or by a “selection
committee” that considers whatever factors they think are
appropriate, not just slides. These tend to be smaller shows and are
usually run by private promoters, but these can sometimes be very
good sales venues. This way the exhibitors who are real assets to the
show are not lost due to the whims of the jury. The “curator” can
choose the show to either balance it, or specialize in a certain
style, whatever the goal of the show requires.

Another system that bypasses the jury, but still keeps it involved,
is for the promoter to reserve the discretion to override the jury
for a certain percentage of the show. I have only seen this
explicitly stated in one prospectus, but I suspect it happens on the
sly in many more cases. For the sake of honesty and good management I
would like to see more of this. I also like juried shows that have an
invite back policy, where a certain number of exhibitors are judged
by their actual work on display at the show. Slides give an
impression of what will be offered. What can be better than choosing
from the real thing? This way the juried show retains its best
exhibitors. This also relieves anxiety for the exhibitor and
encourages them to make a longer commitment to a successful
partnership.

The problem with having a benevolent dictator or oligarchy choose
the show, is that it becomes political (but it already is) and
narrows the opportunities for those who want in. It also means that
if the promoter decides to change some exhibitors they have to be
rather heartless about it. It is emotionally much easier to let the
jury do the dirty work. But I still think that for some shows it
works and could work for many more.

The jury system has been the default way to select shows, especially
those run by non-profits, for over half a century. A juried show is
supposed to be a quality show, but it is still a bit of a crap
shoot. We can go on and on about how to improve your chances with the
jury, but that only means that someone else will be juried out when
we get in. We need to improve our opportunities. Artists as a group
will benefit more from keeping the shows healthy and viable. With the
jury system it tends to be “us and them” when we really need to be
working together for a common good. Thinking outside the box about
artist selection might help.

Stephen Walker


#11

Dear Orchidians,

I cannot help but jump in on this thread. As some of you may already
know this is a nut I have already picked from the tree and cracked
open.

I have found some success with making changes to what I believe to
be a pretty much unsatisfactory jury system not for all shows, but
many shows.

But I would like to reply to some comments first and then just add a
few thoughts.

All your objections are true, but what do you propose instead? It
is much easier to tear down than to build up. 

I agree Stephen tear down is what we need to do. I am working on
doing just that. Email if you want to help.

Carla Fox Wrote this reply to the original post text in quotes:

Does anyone on this forum agree with these needs for matters
concerning exhibitions/shows/contest/etc.: Basic Juror
qualification/certification. (Requires education on the process.

Carla replied,

No. The diversity of the jury is good not bad for shows. Show
staff can educate on process & pick jurors with appropriate
knowledge. 

Carla, respectfully, I don’t agree. It is this very diversity and
show staff that is killing the process simply because these are peer
juries and show staff and many of them don’t require the outside
ethical standard of having no vested interest in the results. Prime
example: This years Craft Council.

Did anyone get an email saying their scores were incorrect based on
last year? This is not possible with the application they are using.
There are some serious issues with peer jurying and show staffs that
are not fair or ethical. I do agree Carla, with your comments about
outsourcing which I will address in the end of this post.

Rourke wrote:

I do agree that there is room for change but the details require a
lot of careful thought on issues of inclusion and power and
economics as well as accessibility in a pro bono publico wrapper.. 

Rourke

  • humbly, I am that pro bono publico wrapper. I created a new prize,
    (http:///www.coutureawards.com) got corporate sponsors, and also got
    an independent jury of scholars to jury the prize. The jury consists
    of curators and scholars who have no vested interest or eligibility
    to be in the event. They did it to promote and aid American Jewelry
    Design. I am making no money off this event=AD what I get is that I
    am changing the perception of American Made and Designed jewelry. If
    we don’t stand up for ourselves as more creative, more talented and
    better than the Europeans, no one else will. If we don’t stand up
    against outsourcing, no one else will. As far as outsourcing, there
    is little we can do to change a machine that exists or perhaps the
    retail buyers attitudes who want to may less and get more - but we
    can change public opinion and for that, I am up to the challenge.

What is killing us is us. We all need to change everyone else’s and
in some case our own perception of what we do and our place in the
world. It’s all about perception and that is what marketing our
work is about.

I hope some of you will read this and reply come with me, help me
promote American Jewelry Design. It costs you or me nothing and it
gains everything for those of us who work very hard to make a living,
making jewelry in our studios ever day.

All the best,
Suz Andreasen
http://www.suzandreasen.com


#12
The jury system is based on the idea that the best show possible
will result from a competitive beauty contest. I question if that
is really true 

At one time I helped produce an ‘art fair’ in CA. We, there were
about forty of us, spent an incredible amount of time trying to make
the process as fair as possible to every entry. One of the singular
things about this particular show was that interested parties were
invited to witness the jurying process. The rationale was that future
applicants could gain an understanding of how things worked; to take
some of the mystery out of the process. Perhaps there are venues that
still offer this opportunity. It’s very educational.

I was a member of the jury one year. I do not want to do it again;
it’s an extremely difficult process if you take the responsibility
seriously.

I do a number of juried shows each year. I don’t believe that what we
did in that situation is done any longer in the majority of shows.

For those who are beginning ACC shows are not the alpha and omega;
nor are some of the museum shows. There are other opportunities.
Spend some time deciding what it is you want out of the experience.
Personally, I made my living doing what I do. If you do not need to
earn your living from your work, it’s totally different.

KPK


#13
Please clarify, I'm not sure which part of the system you're
suggesting should be reviewed? The jurors themselves? Specific
show's jury processes? 

Any portion or all aspects… whatever will glean the best usable
for both the show promoters and for the artists who were
selected and those who did not make the cut. Would it be possible to
create an e-account for an artist on submission for entry to a show
so they might be able to review jurors’ comments about their entry?

I am posing some questions that I hope can help improve awareness
about matters where they need help. We have new tools available to us
with the internet. It is all a matter of time and willingness as to
what can be done. Look at it this way: Everyone invested wants a
show/event to be a success… The Promoter, The Artists and The
Customers. It takes all three to make it happen. Can it happen better
with feedback Can we think creatively in this arena as
well as in our art?

All the best,
J Collier
Small Scale Metalsmith
http://jlcollier.com


#14
Would it be possible to create an e-account for an artist on
submission for entry to a show so they might be able to review
jurors' comments about their entry? 

Excellent idea! I have phoned in the past for feedback and get
ethereal answers. When people are asked directly for an honest
opinion, it is very tough to give it, especially when you are
speaking to someone who has already been disappointed (presumably).
An e-account would take the whole human interaction factor out of it
and people would be free to be honest. Great!

Kim Starbard
http://www.kimstarbarddesigns.com


#15
Did anyone get an email saying their scores were incorrect based
on last year? This is not possible with the application they are
using. There are some serious issues with peer jurying and show
staffs that are not fair or ethical. 

I did, for one. What are you saying is actually going on?

Noel


#16
Would it be possible to create an e-account for an artist on
submission for entry to a show so they might be able to review
jurors' comments about their entry? 

I think this is an excellent suggestion! It will add a little more
work to the jurors’ already heavy task, but it is indeed excellent.
Thanks!

Wayne Emery


#17

the on line submission of photo’s through E-mail is the best idea ive
heard all month- save time, money, paper, products, gasoline ! - not
to mention it would be living in the now of the 21st century

goo


#18

It is certainly true that one consequence of the jury system is that
when someone is juried in someone else is juried out. Anyone who has
applied to a juried venue-book, magazine, exhibition or craft fair-
has most likely experienced both sides of the equation.

Rejection stinks. But I’m not sure that removing or overhauling the
jury system is necessarily a good thing. I am much more interested in
applying to an exhibition, gallery, etc. if I know that some
discretion has been applied in selecting the work that will be
featured. It may sound elitist, it may sound cruel or even
condescending. But it is our reality. I am assuming, of course, that
jurors are acting in good faith and not grinding any axes.

I am not so callow as to think that politics and personality don’t
enter the jurying room. But, again, this is our reality. I realize
that I am mostly addressing galleries, publications and exhibitions.
But much of this applies to craft shows, etc… I don’t participate in
art/craft shows.

Early on I made a decision to market my work differently and to
pursue galleriel events. Many of my colleagues and friends really
didn’t enjoy those paths and chose instead to market via fairs and
shows and have no custom clientele. The reality that many who posted
on this thread have regarding jurors is, I’m sure, different than
mine. But I often deal with the jurying system.

On a basic level, it means that my work, if chosen, will appear in a
collection of work that may have a some what similar sensibility. I
don’t mean that the work need or should be visually similar to mine,
rather that my work will be in the company of work that is made with
a similar commitment to idea, formal development or craftsmanship. It
can also mean that those who see the work (in a point of sales
situation such as a gallery, craft show or even a museum) may be more
inclined or equipped to purchase the work or simply more open to
experiencing it. And from a resume point of view, it is a more
distinguished line in my “Selected Exhibitions” section.

I have certainly been (and will be) rejected and not included by
juries and curators many, times. Sometimes I agreed with the
decision, other times I considered them to be dead wrong. As with so
many things in the arts it is often a simple matter of opinion or
even prevailing trends and-even worse- fads. Right now many
collectors and gallery owners have turned their focus on Europe and
work that has that sensibility. My work does not fit that mold and I
have felt the sting of rejection. I’m not sure what market trends are
currently affecting the craft and art show marketing venues. Platinum
certainly ruled the roost in recent years and I’m sure put the hurt
on those who do not work in this material. I’m sure those who make
fashion jewelry must have their ear to the ground as to what colors
or clothing will be “hot” for the coming year.

One more thing about the "blind " jury statement that I made in a
recent post. There is another way that it cuts. As a juror I have
come across work (jurying blindly) that is, at first look, obviously
that of a well known maker. But something about the image or the work
was not quite right - somehow different or simply wrong. It made me
wonder whether my assumption about who made it was correct. Here’s
the dilemma: If it has been made by the artist who one would assume
at first made it, that is one thing. If it work that is so similar as
to have been mistaken for that of another, well known, well published
maker, then it should not, in my opinion be allowed in. Either it was
consciously or unconsciously replicated. It would be unfair to the
known maker to allow the work in. Convergent evolution aside, even if
the maker is not aware of the work of the more well known artist, it
is the juror’s job -if they know- not to include that work in that
venue. In this case the juror almost has to try to find out, if they
can, who made the particular work. I have also been on the other side
of this situation. Having my work appear in a book along with an
image from another artist of a piece that was uncomfortably close in
concept and design to a signature series that I make. The execution
of the piece was not particularly great.

The processes involved were not rocket science and I could certainly
understand how another artist might begin working along the same
lines. What stuck in my craw was that this very similar piece was
juried in along with mine by a juror who I am sure is familiar with
that particular body of my work. I am sure that the juror didn’t see
it that way. (The similarities in the work were brought to my
attention by colleagues and friends- way before I came upon it).

Speaking both as a juror and as an applicant I think that if an
exhibition, show or publication has a theme, topic or title it is a
simpler task for a jury to filter out and select work that fits. It
can also help makers and artists decide what to enter. Craft shows
and art fairs may not be as straight forward, in that the jurying
criteria may be somewhat more vague.

Andy Cooperman


#19
Rejection stinks. But I'm not sure that removing or overhauling
the jury system is necessarily a good thing. I am much more
interested in applying to an exhibition, gallery, etc. if I know
that some discretion has been applied in selecting the work that
will be featured. 

There are other ways to use discretion when choosing a show than the
formal jury. A gallery certainly uses discretion and judgment when
choosing what work it will show. How many galleries do you think
could expect commercial success if they turned over the selection of
their artists to an independent jury? Maybe for a special exhibit,
but not for its core stable of artists. Suppose a gallery did this
and it worked. How much sense would it make to then clear the deck
and choose again with a different jury a year later?

The jury system works for some situations, but I think that most
fairs and festivals would be better off if they choose work based on
what the promoter knows will work. If you have exhibitors who are an
asset to the show, you keep them and you try to recruit more. If you
have exhibitors who are not working out, you do not have to keep
selling them a space year after year just because they have dazzling
slides. If you have some customers looking for price, you can work
with that knowledge and find the best quality exhibitors you can
bring in for that situation. If you have some very interesting
artists who don’t sell much, but who are exciting to have at the
show, you can cut them some kind of a deal to keep them coming.

When I did shows for a living, it seemed like the artists were
constantly in a state of agitation about the jury and results, but
only rarely did anyone question the assumption that this was right
way to select the artists. If they did suggest anything else, it was
a form of tenure. The theory was always that if the jury is done
fairly by the right people, acting in good faith, everything will be
fine. But the jurors are people. They have axes to grind. They make
mistakes. They have friends. They get tired. The bright side of the
jury system is that it seems like the opportunity to get into any
juried show is open to any and all who want to take a crack at it.
But this is the same mentality that sells lottery tickets. Imagine a
business plan that starts with the assumption that you are going to
win the lottery! Obviously, it isn’t really that bad and the better
your work the more consistent your acceptance will be. My
observation is that the obsession has been to try to make the system
fair and tends to ignore the other factors that make a good fit
between the exhibitors and the audience.

Stephen Walker


#20

I am liking this thread better than the last one ! there has been
some mention of using the e-mail system for entry into shows which in
my opinion is very appropriate. take a think at ETSY its basicly a
24-7 art/craft show on line they get paid you get paid and there is
room for all, and the best best part is the viewing patrons are the
jury, crummy pictures equal no sales what could be more straight
forward than that ! I am convinced that shows as we know them are on
the endangred list as soon as the first crafty person who figures out
how to make the virtual version of "art and craft artist "show
happen. think about this,main stream jewelry has the JBT couple of
phone calls everyone is satisfied the other is OK and business
happens, i have personally recieved memo’s worth thousands of dollars
this way why cant this work for independant artists as well… ??? I
dont really expect the American Craft Council to stop having shows
but if one of the organizations higher ups should read this post
please please please consider the benefits.

best regards goo