Impress art show jurors

Juried shows—you can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. In other words, having your artwork judged can be nerve racking, but juried shows are an important way to build credibility and get your name out there as an artist. Whether you are having trouble getting accepted or fret about facing such subjective judgment, don’t give up! The benefits you will reap are worth the effort, and we are here to help. From how many pieces to enter to which pieces to choose, here are five easy ways to impress art show jurors and give yourself a leg up for being accepted into a juried show.

  1. Label Entries Properly
    Who would have guessed that following the rules could make you stand out? With entries pouring in from all kinds of artists, jurors need to be able to sift through applications in a jiffy. Make their job less painful and ensure your artwork is seen by following labelling, style, and size guidelines to a T.
  2. Provide the Maximum Amount of Entries
    Why not show judges who you truly are as an artist? Providing as many entries as possible will help them achieve a more complete understanding of your artwork, recommends John R. Math of Light Space & Time. The more art that can demonstrate your ability and consistent technique, the better!
  3. Present Your Art Perfectly
    Another sure-fire way to impress jurors is by presenting your art in the best manner possible. Many art show applications call for digital images of your work. So, unless you are a whiz behind the camera, it might be wise to hire a professional photographer for a few hours. Well-lit, high-quality, perfectly cropped photos with no distracting backgrounds are a must.
  4. Choose Consistently
    “Everything should relate visually,” explains Joanne Fox, juror and exhibiting artist for over 30 years, on Artist’s Network. Keep your media consistent, with similar colours and style, so that judges get to see a complete and strong body of work. Don’t know which pieces to pick? Organize your work with Artwork Archive to easily view and manage your entire collection.
  5. Buckle Down on Your Bio and Artist Statement
    If applications ask for a biography or artist statement, make sure to put your best foot forward. Write a well-constructed paragraph, suggests juror and artist Michelle Davis Petelinz, and then read it out loud to a friend to see if it flows smoothly. Keep reworking until it does!
  6. Now start applying!
    Applying to juried shows can be intimidating with such a critical eye on your artwork, but getting into one can be a wonderful achievement for your art career. Set yourself up for success by following these tips—whether you crack down on submission guidelines, get professional shots of your artwork, or use Artwork Archive to manage your inventory and pick the right pieces. Your art career will thank you.

For more juried show tips, check out “Carolyn Edlund Shares How to Apply to a Juried Show and Get Accepted.”

*This article first appeared in the Artwork Archive Newsletter published online on 7/8/*