Tuesday, March 4, 2008

My Art Show Application Experience: Jury Slides

I'm back with another article on my experiences in applying to art shows. I want to remind everyone that these are just my thoughts on how the whole process works. I've been applying to shows since 2005 and have been accepted to all of them, but I am in no way an expert. But I have learned a lot in these few years and I'm willing to share it with those just starting out. If you missed my first two articles on planning and paperwork, be sure to check them out.

Now, who wants to talk about jury slides??? I must admit that when I first started out, this was a fearful topic! Not only do I hate taking pictures of my work, but knowing that those images would affect my chances of getting into decent shows really had me shakin' in my boots. Actually, for my first round of shows, I intentionally refrained from applying to any that required slides. Then I began to realize that if I was going to be a serious artist doing serious shows, I had to get over it... and fast!

I began to research the topic a little and found out that the images submitted for jury are nothing like the ones you see of pretty objects in catalogs or online shops. In those photographs, items are displayed with colorful backgrounds, props, and "in action" showing suggested use. In photographs used for juried competition, objects are to be the one and only focus in the image. Backgrounds are minimal and drab; lighting, and therefore positioning, is key; and clear, sharp images that make sense are necessary. In my images shown here, it is obvious which of my pieces are pendants because a little of the chain has been kept in the photo.

In a future post, I will be walking you through an actual jury procedure, but for now it is important to know that typically a jury, or panel of judges, will see your images blown up as big as 3-feet wide. Keep that in mind! The smallest flaw on a piece might become very obvious when viewed at that size.

If you've read this far in what has turned out to be a very long post, here is just a little more to keep you busy...

Mama's tips on submitting great jury slides...

  • Ask another artist to select items from your body of work to be photographed. When we create our own work, we tend to be biased and think that every piece is the best. Get a fresh pair of eyes to help you select work from a judge's perspective.
  • Be sure to label your slides according to the shows specifications, making sure to clearly identify your name and the images proper orientation. It would really stink if you had a great slide that was shown upside down!

  • Use a professional photographer, and not your cousin who takes great wedding photos. I am convinced that some things are best done by others. So if you think that I created my own jury images, you are CRAZY. They were taken by the extremely talented Larry Sanders, who is based in Milwaukee, WI.

  • Update your images every few years or when your body of work changes significantly. Some shows are now indicating that they will check your booth to make sure that you didn't turn in images of your only five things that actually turned out.

Lastly, start where you are and do what you can. Use the jury process as a learning experience and never stop reaching higher and higher!

P.S. Shown are all of my jury images. Soon I will post about booth shots, the jury process and more!

12 comments:

Kristina Law said...

You make beautiful pieces and your blog is awesome.

Linney Shvede said...

absolutely gorgeous artwork!!! so impressive!!!

Mimi - Image Beads said...

Love your work! Thanks for the jury tips.

knitting dragonfly said...

OMG beautiful!!
Lovely!!
Vicki

Helen said...

Oh your work is beautiful. I wouldn't know where to begin!

Kay said...

I found your blog today and you have quite inspired me with your beautiful work and blog. Thank you.

TexasTesla said...

Great blog! You are so brave to attempt the juried process...I'd imagine it's rather intimidating!

Kitty said...

These pieces look amazing. Congrats!

A friend of mine was interested in jewelry. It is really a labor of love.

Erin said...

Great tips, thank you for them. You've got beautiful work too!

Tizzalicious said...

Great advice! Thank you!

High Desert Diva said...

I like all of the pieces you made jury slides for.

Glad you're feeling better. Your new ring design is great!

moletalk said...

wow, these are beautiful. i wish i know how to make jewelry like you do. good luck on your venture. i'm sure you will have lots of success with this one. :)