• Share
  • 412-401-8100
    CHESWICK, PA 15024

  • June 18, 2014

    Feedback from the Jury

    Does getting feedback from the jury benefit us? Or more important, does getting feedback in a mock jury improve our chances of getting into top shows?

    Any artist with experience doing art shows understands how random jurying is. Some jurors will like your work and some won’t. Some jurors will understand what you’re doing and unfortunately some won’t. And jurors change from year to year. We just hope that the jurors that don’t understand will ask questions. They can ask to have individual descriptions read, ask to have the artist statement read or read again, and if they still don’t understand the medium or process, ask other jurors. Now obviously I’m referring to the top shows that have the jurors in the same room and project the images.

    For the shows that use monitors and have the jurors jury from home, the jurors do have an opportunity to open a new browser window and do a little research, or at least communicate with the show director who should be available during the entire jury process. And for artists who are working with a technique that may be confusing or difficult to understand, they should update their artist statement to reflect that technique. Art shows pay attention here. The length of the artist statement should be a minimum of 300 characters, preferably 500 characters. Some artists need more room to describe their process. That’s the only way new cutting edge work will get into art shows. If the same work keeps getting back into shows year after year, the public will stop attending and art shows will become a dying venue for seeing art and meeting the artists who create it.

    Getting back to feedback. In the short period of time the jurors see your images, they can’t possibly give you feedback that is meaningful without increasing the jury time exponentially. And remember that what jurors score is just one person’s opinion.

    Mock juries or image evaluation juries are a much better place to get your submission reviewed and get feedback. Sometimes it’s even possible to have a short discussion with the jurors during the image projection. A lot of what you’re not getting in feedback from an actual jury could have been analyzed and corrected before submitting to a difficult to get into show by attending a mock jury. Even more so if the show that you are applying to offers one.

    SLAF mock jury stats

    The St Louis Art Fair offers image evaluations during a mock jury that takes place a few months before the application closing date. I asked Cindy Lerick, executive director of the SLAF, if she could provide statistics on how many artists get accepted to the art fair after attending the mock jury. It turns out to be a significant number as you can see in the table above.

    © Larry Berman