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  • LARRY BERMAN
    3872 SAXONBURG BLVD
    CHESWICK, PA 15024

  • February 25, 2016

    2016 Broad Ripple Open Jury

    2016 Broad Ripple Open Jury

    517 artists competed for 230 spaces.

    Because of the severity of the weather forecast, I left after the jewelry category which took place immediately after lunch.

    Artists pay attention – if you upload images that are smaller than 1920, ZAPP is still adding wide black borders to make them 1920 square for the shows that project the images. It’s now seven years since I warned artists about this and have given up asking ZAPP to just make the images the same size as everyone else’s images. I repeatedly saw images that had been uploaded at 1400 and they projected much smaller than 1920 images did.

    The jury setting
    The Indianapolis Art Center has a nice size auditorium where the jury takes place. Images were projected two over two on one large projection screen. The two on the top row were larger than the two on the bottom row and for some strange reason the upper right image, when vertical, had it’s top cut off.

    The overhead lights were on but slightly dimmed. But this was the brightest room I’ve seen a ZAPP jury take place. The room was so bright I couldn’t see the black borders around the images on the white screen from where I was sitting. Because of this, the images projected with lower contrast than I’d previously seen at the ZAPP open juries and mock juries I’ve attended.

    There was a two second per image preview slide show just prior to a 30 second projection for scoring where the artist statement was being read. 30 seconds was the longest time I’ve seen images projected and it gave enough time from when the statement was finished being read for the jurors to take in the statement and consider it when scoring. Compare that to most juries I’ve attended where the artist statement was being read while the jurors were scoring within a shorter time limit of under 20 seconds, making the statement next to worthless. Remember that a shorter, more efficient statement makes it easier for the jurors to understand what they’re looking at.

    The scoring was one through seven and the jurors were instructed not to use four. They were also instructed to deduct points if a name were in the booth picture.

    The booth image
    Aside from the usual complaints, the jurors were instructed to remove one point from the score if the booth had the artist’s name. Yes, there were some messy booth pictures, but what I found even more interesting was how many artists took the picture with a wide angle lens from directly in front of the booth creating the effect of looking down a tunnel. My advice to those artists is change the angle or change the lens and move back.

    The images
    Too many white backgrounds. I’ve been saying this for years. A white background makes it difficult to see detail in jewelry. And for all artwork images, your eye gets drawn to the brightest area in an image or the brightest image in the set. And I did see a few sets of images that were very inconsistent. Like two architectural images plus an animal image. Use one of the side walls of your booth picture to show different subject matter.

    The artist statements
    Broad Ripple gave artists a lot of leeway with the length of the statement. But listening to photographers statements made me wish there was no artist statement asked for. Who cares how many megapixels your digital camera has or what kind of paper you print on. You’re being juried on your vision – the images, not your camera equipment. Some statements were just limited edition archival prints. So what…

    In listening to all the statements being read, I ended up making a list of things not necessary in your statement, much of it being redundant. And don’t use words a layman doesn’t understand.

    “I work mostly in”
    “I make”
    “I create”
    “100% original”
    “A true work of art”
    “Artist’s original designs”
    “I use five star photo paper”
    “I print, mount, mat and frame”
    “All shot on RAW”
    “All designed by me in my studio”
    “OOAK jewelry” – read to the jurors as “AAOK” by mistake

    Folks, if you don’t create your own art you shouldn’t be applying. All of the previously mentioned parts of artist statements are taken for granted when you apply. Better use of what or how you do it will give you a more efficient statement. Especially for the shows that have lower limits on the length of the statement.

    I want to point out that despite all the issues I’ve mentioned, the process went smoothly and quickly. Broad Ripple is one of the few shows that does their entire jury in one round on one day. A good jury to attend. And for the artists who apply, unless things have changed, they can get their juror comments after the show is chosen.

    Jurors comments from the 2016 Broad Ripple jury

    Other open jury reviews and juror interviews.

    © Larry Berman