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The St Louis Image Workshop
February 25, 2012

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I want to preface this review by saying that the shows that do this should be commended for going out of the way in helping artists understand the jury process and letting them see how their images come across to the jurors.
The Review
I just viewed my first webinar with the St Louis Art Fair. They had a streaming video with jurors reviewing slides submitted by 190 artists. Most of us need better booth shots. It was interesting to see the competition. A few, and only a few, get the whole package of images and booth shots right. Some of us need work still. I did pick up that the jurors do not like grid walls in the booth, they would rather see them covered. They like an open airy space with color to bring the "eye" into the space. They do not like seeing a booth full of inventory, mirrors, chairs, or floor mats that might distract from the work. It's hard to balance that with the reality of being in the booth at a show. So, I am feeling pretty average today, not a winner.
The jurors today made it plain that most of our booth images are not as well executed as the professional photos of our artwork. What I took away from the mock jury is that the best booth for jurying will have a light airy space defined by a white tent that has no parts showing, with art work stunningly hung as if in a gallery with no visible method of support showing. No inventory to clutter the space and no desk, no sign, no chair and no shadows. How are we to have the ideal booth when when are asked to set up on uneven ground, steep slopes, or in the woods. We have to be prepared for all types of weather, have it all fit in our van and drive 2000 miles with enough inventory for several shows, and be able to set it all up in 4 hours and have every thing look "ideal"? Could we do a better job? Yes. No harm in having a high expectation of what it can be. We seldom have the ideal setting though.
Message to show directors
Please don't tell artists that it's OK to take their booth picture at a show if your jurors are going to penalize them for taking their booth picture at a show.
It's been suggested that artists not be required to submit booth images, or if a booth image is required, not show it to the jurors. Just use it to verify that the chosen artists have professional looking displays. Maybe have a box in the application where the artist checks which type of canopy they use, if that's what the show is concerned about.

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