Three things to consider when entering a juried show

by Nancy@goneinc on January 30, 2015

The Methodology of Art Show JuriesClick to view

Having been coordinator of a significant regional art show for a few years, I am often asked why a certain piece is picked by the jurors and other pieces are declined. The query is usually phrased “How could they have chosen that over my work?” To which I usually reply, “Because art is subjective and those were the pieces that spoke to them”. But I have noticed certain things are important if you want your piece to have a stronger chance of being accepted.

1. Originality: Your work may be the most proficient in style and technique but if it’s another lighthouse don’t be surprised if it is declined. Some jurors will bypass any piece that looks as if it were painted from a photograph, particularly a famous photograph. Trite themes or popular fads may sell but it might not get into a juried show.

2. Presentation: Your frame matters. If the frame does not complement your work, you are doing yourself a disservice. The frame does not have to be the most expensive, although sometime a nice frame can set your piece apart. But it should never over-power the art. The frame should not be the first thing someone notices.

Your work should be clean and the mat well cut. It should give definition to your work and be of a color that enhances the art. The mat should not be distracting, by overwhelming your art. Smudged or coffee spills will not get your work into the show so be careful of how you treat your original art work and don’t use the least expensive substrate to work on. If your work is worthy of your time and effort to make, it is worthy of quality materials to create it.

Clean the glass. Jurors notice the dust and think it is an old piece that you are trying to submit as new. They want to see the work you are currently creating, not what you were doing ten years ago. They want the serious practicing artists to get into the show. Dirty glass also indicates you do not think highly of your own work.

3. Results: Try not to take the jurors’ decisions badly if your work is not accepted. Just because your piece was declined does not mean it is not worthy. Art really is subjective and some art speaks to someone and another piece may not. If your art is accepted don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need to keep being creative. Next year’s jurors will likely have an entirely new agenda and prize winners this year could be declined the next year.


S. Phil Saffer 1927-2014

by Nancy@goneinc on October 30, 2014

bershires Berkshire Hills

Occasionally our lives are blessed by special people.  Someone who suddenly enters our lives and gives us new perspectives just by being who they are.  For me, one of those people was S. Phil Saffer.  I first met Phil when he stopped into my studio to learn about giclee printing. He came back with several pieces of art. He warned me his art was considered weird by some people. It was, he said, like nothing anyone else was doing. He thought I might not like it. I could not imagine what he was bringing me.

Loblolly Pine Loblolly Pine

He was partly right. I had not seen anything like his work.But he was wrong about my not liking it. I was blown away. The first two pieces he brought me were “Berkshire Hills” and “Loblolly Pine”  It was love at first sight. Phil immediately became my favorite artist!

Over the years we worked on several collaborations and I had the opportunity to reproduce much more of his artwork.  As a giclee printer and gallery owner, I get to meet many artists and see a great deal of very good art. No one else has ever given me such a thrill when first seeing their work as Phil did. His work was so vibrant and energetic. So much like the man, himself. He was excited by color and patterns. His artistic style kept evolving, changing, growing into new and complex ideas. He kept demanding more of himself, artistically. A master of many different media and methods, he was always reaching for new techniques and ideas. He was not afraid to challenge himself.

Phil was a master sculptor, painter, construction artist, and inventor of strange machines. He was always creating, thinking, planning.  The world will be  little less bright because of his passing. I will be forever grateful that he happened into my studio one day, bring me colors and images I had  never imagined before.  Thank you, Phil. I will miss you.


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Imaging for Output Part 1

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Fine Art Photography: Imaging for output, Three Part Discussion

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The end result of photography is not as it used to be. In the days of film photography the only way the photographer could view the image was as an actual printed photograph or sit in a darkened room and view a slide show. If the processed photo was excellent the photographer might consider an […]

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Plug-ins for Photoshop

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Photoshop Plug-ins… What are they? Why do I need them? Plug-ins are typically third party software that works in conjunction with a specific software or software products. Adobe, makers of Photoshop, is company that encourages developers to create plug-ins for its products. There are several plug-in products that work with Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom that […]

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