Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
Let me premise this one by a wonderful quote from someone a few of you may have heard of:
God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things. - Pablo Picasso
Think God would make it past most juries these days? Sure doesn’t seem like he has a “cohesive body of work” according to many jurors. Guess he never had to face an art show jury in his day.
Also, if jurors are composed of "art experts" or "experts in their fields" - should definition of terms really be so widely interpreted and varied in their application?
Such terminology or dare we say "definitions" as "consistent body of work", "cohesive body of work" or "breadth of work" are thrown around IMO carelessly without definition or example in the prospectus and then again in the jury process, without supervision creating a confusing and in many ways lethal scenario for the fate of artists and patrons.
If a show prospectus says something akin to: the jury slides and booth slides you submit should represent the body of work, or breadth of work ...... what exactly are they saying? How are we interpreting these words and combinations of words? Are we to micro-interpret that if the wording is "should" rather than "must" that leaves it more open to open interpretation by the artists? Or is the intent clear either way? Clear to the show? Clear to us? Do shows evaluate their documents to see if their choice of words (i.e., wordsmithing) is crystal clear? Clearly transmitting their intent without ambiguity? Is whatever the definition of these words by the SHOW that wrote these terms clearly and unambiguously communicated to their JURORS? Can jurors score submissions based on a different set of definitions or interpretations?
So for your consideration, some examples. All these where the prospectus says the jury and booth slides should (or even if they say "must") represent the "breadth" or "body" of work to be shown":
Okay. Now let's put you in the seat of a juror.
These aren't meant to be laughable, nonsensical examples (except that last one of course). These are real. They have happened.
Definitions have a purpose - to clarify. These terms referring to a "consistent", "cohesive" and "body of work" among others are in no way - IMO - clear. They are written as words by a show in a prospectus that represent a binding legal contract and equally binding ethical contract with us - artisans - to say this is what we expect you do to, to submit, and then how you will be judged and what you will be allowed to show - based on these characteristics of your work as represented by your jury images. Are these terms clear to you? Are you okay with them not being clear? And are you okay with thinking in reading the prospectus that you understand and choose your images and pay your fee accordingly, only to find out later than that is NOT how they were judged? Perhaps that show staff pre-juried you out because of such inconsistencies, or perhaps that jurors applied a different interpretation of those words or concepts? Part of this absolutely is Show Management (last topic to be posted here shortly) - clear and unambiguous teaching of the jury what the rules, definitions and interpretation of those definitions are. The other part is a clear stating of what these terms, concepts and ideas are to us so we have a target to shoot for. No?