The post on your CaFE jury experience was particularly enlightening. I'm wondering if you could write a post regarding what types of information jurors take into consideration other than good imagery/photographs and the actual piece itself?
If everything else was there, would the lack of backup information lessen the chances of acceptance? If the required guidelines were somewhat less than stellar, would a great resume, bio, or artist statement raise the possibility of inclusion?
In most juried situations the artwork is definitely the primary consideration. More specifically, the jurors are not looking at the artwork in person so the photographic images are THE primary method for evaluation. This is why the quality of the photographic images is so important.
Lora Hart sent two pairs of photos for the same work. How does the quality of the photo influence your decision about the work?
.999 Metal Clay, Mica, Photograph, Pearl. Kiln fired, riveted.
Left Photo by Lora Hart
Right Photo by Marsha Thomas
IF the juror can’t “read” the photographic images well enough, or the photo isn't good enough for any reason, the juror may look to the supporting information including the description, dimensions, or statement for further insight. Therefore, the quality of the information and the writing can be important, but usually secondary.
Also, be sure to follow the instructions for the information requested. If required information is missing (for example, dimensions are required, and there were no dimensions, or a statement is required and there is no statement), this would definitely be sufficient grounds for "decline."
If a juror is on the edge about a decision, an artist's statement may influence the juror's decision toward "yes" or "no." So, your statement should avoid fluff, artspeak, and meaningless emotional verbiage. Express concrete ideas and clear descriptions that may not be apparent in the photographic images. (Read a previous post on ASK Harriete about Artist Statements.)
For a themed based situation:
On the other hand, for a themed juried situation, the statement may be much more important as the art or craft will be evaluated on how well it specifically addresses the theme. An artist statement that addresses a theme or expresses ideas in the work may have more impact.
The statement that accompanies your work should specifically address the theme of the exhibition. Too many artists use a general statement about a body of work that does not directly relate to the specific images submitted. In addition, avoid discussion of technique unless it relates directly to the theme.
I would say that a bio or resume is rarely a factor in a juried decision. Typically, the resume is not part of a juried application. If for some very unusual reason a juror decided to look at a resume, what they would want to see is past influences and how a person has applied themselves with dedication and effort. (Read a previous post on ASK Harriete about resumes.) Do not inflate your resume, do not double list shows, do not include workshops as education -- just the facts without exaggeration is all that is needed.
In conclusion, there are a couple of issues that are total turn-offs. One is excuses (such as, "you don't have much time," who does?) Another turn-off is a one-word or one-sentence statement or a statement such as "My work speaks for itself." If the juror is looking at your statement, the work obviously did not speak loud and clear, and you just shot yourself in the foot.
Next post: a discussion of these photos and the photo description information.
Compare and contrast these photos. How does the quality of the photo affect your opinion of the work?
What do you think about the inclusion of technique in the description with the photo?
This post was updated on February 11, 2022.