Judging one’s Art

What an interesting week!  I was on the giving AND receiving end of having one’s art juried.  That’s never happened before, and it brought fresh, new perspective to the jurying process!

Any artist who puts him or herself “out there” has been through the jurying process.  And it can be exciting, or it can maybe ruin your day.  Well, allow me to shed some light on the process and possibly help you see what it all entails!

This past Thursday, I was invited by my friend Frank Juarez to help jury a call for artists for his magazine, Artdose Art Guide. In every issue this year (quarterly), there is a different, juried “show” of a different medium.  The current magazine shows excellent photography.  I was one of three artists asked to jury the collage entries.

There were 30 entries from 11 artists.  I honestly (and quite foolishly) thought we’d get through it in an hour.  HA!  The entries were so intriguing, and the work so good, that it was nearly impossible to choose the eight entries.  Eight out of 30!

It wound up taking Cooper Diers and me (and Erika Block, from her satellite location) over 2 hours to decide!  It was agonizing at times!  In the end, the decision was based on so many factors besides whether or not the art was “good”.  How do you eliminate entries when ALL the art was good?

On the flip side, I was also on the receiving end of a juried show.  I wish I could say that it ended well but alas, I judged and was judged.  🙂  Here are the two pieces I entered into a small print show:

IMGP8001    tributary framed woodcut

It was a national show, so I figured that it was a long shot.  They had to choose only 80 prints out of 407 entries!  That means that 327 others got the same news I did.  I’m sure I’m in excellent company.  And I’ll never know how close I came to being chosen.  Maybe it wasn’t close at all, or maybe one of mine was the last one eliminated.  But I do know this – it won’t stop me from entering next year’s show.  Because after this week, I realized first hand that it’s not about how good you are, but what the jurors are looking for.  Maybe someday I’ll get lucky!  😀


4 thoughts on “Judging one’s Art”

  1. Good article Mel,
    I also received a ‘thanks but no thanks’ just prior to reading your post. We try not to take it personally and you never know when your work will be selected so you just gotta keep putting it out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pat! REALLY?! Okay, you just floored me. I can’t imagine your work ever NOT getting chosen, because it’s so beautiful! Thank you so much for writing this – because if it can happen to YOU, then clearly it can happen to anyone. 🙂 You’re right – the key is to not take it personally, as difficult as that is sometimes. 🙂


  2. Good article. I also am one of the 327 who got the no thank you. I think of it like buying lottery tickets. I think lottery tickets may have better odds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my GOSH, CathyJean! No way!! Okay, so now seeing both Pat’s and your responses, I’d say that the lottery analogy is actually quite perfect. I admire your work so much and can’t imagine it not being included in this show!! But if you compare it to the randomness of a lottery, it takes everything personal out of it. I love it! 😀


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