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a response from the director of Artisphere

other art show juror interviews and jury reviews

Attending was worthwhile, I really enjoyed it and it was eye opening. But there were only about six artists attending including one who didn’t want to see their own medium projected. Talk about being in denial.
The process
We were told at the beginning how many applications were received in each medium and how many spaces were allocated for each medium the previous year.

I was surprised how fast the images went by, even though everything I’d previously read about projection juries said that. They did a run through by medium before scoring that particular medium. The preliminary slide show seemed to be about two seconds. Then the jurors saw the images for about ten seconds, all five projected simultaneously on separate screens without the artist statement being read. We were told that they juried in the order that the applications were received. Whenever there was a break, they came over and spoke to us (observing artists) answering any of our questions. Artisphere is one of the few shows on ZAPP that has filled out the “jury details” information page in their application so they are open in their process.

The importance of booth images
One booth image was taken in a gallery and it wasn’t just that artist’s work. There were even a bunch of people standing around drinking wine in the picture. And there were people who set up easels in their home and took a picture of it for their booth image.

Some of the jewelry booths looked like Claire’s Boutique with all the stuff in the booth. Claire’s Boutique is a cheap jewelry store chain in malls where every inch is covered with little things. In other jewelry booths I saw too much skirting because the camera angle was too low. I did see one jewelry booth where a ladder was used to get a perspective showing more of the actual jewelry.

The one juror I could see clearly would score the artist and then enlarge the booth image on their monitor and adjust the score accordingly. For my own images, I saw the juror lower my score by a point after examining my booth and for some other artists I saw the juror raise their score by a point. This answers a commonly asked question about the importance of the booth image. In fact, the only image I noticed any of the jurors enlarging on their monitors were the booth images.
A cohesive body of work
Seeing the images projected simultaneously made it easy for me to see if the presentations flowed properly and composition matched from image to image. To see that cohesive body of work made a big difference for me, and it also did for the one juror I was able to see scoring. It’s frustrating for me as an artist because I want to show what else I can do, but it doesn’t translate to the jurors in that short a period of time. I’ve read about that over and over but it didn’t make sense until I could actually see it. I thought my images were somewhat cohesive but when I saw them projected they didn’t go together as well as I would have liked them to. I could see that the artists that did have a cohesive body of work got higher scores from the juror I could see.

The artist who let me do this interview prefers to remain anonymous

Response to the review from the director of Artisphere
Hi Larry, I just read through the jury review on your website. I thought it was very fair. We were a bit worried when we realized that the attending artists were able to see the jurors scorecards on their computer screens. We will probably change the set up next year so that attendees cannot see the computer screens but, at least for the artist who wrote the review, it seems to help that they saw exactly what the jurors were doing. The attendees were not present when we went over our expectations in the morning with the jurors – we ask the jurors specifically to judge the work based on the projected images and to use the thumbnail images on their computers as a point of reference only – that is why the artist did not see the jurors blowing up any other images of work. Liz Rundorff Smith

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