Why Juried Shows?

I am the chair person of Lloydminster’s Arts Without Borders Fine Art Shows.  One of these is a Juried show. When I have gone around letting people know about our show, and encourage people to enter it; some people have asked me “What is the benefit of entering a juried show?”  I have to say, I was stumped for an answer at first.  So I gave it some thought.  What I came up with is this:

For myself, I am always trying to improve and challenge myself and my art.  Entering a juried show, while you do not very often get direct feedback, you do get feedback of a sort.  If your work gets in, you can look at your work and see what you did that you think got it noticed and in.  If you did not get in, then you compare your work to the ones that did, and try to see what the difference was and try to see the reason.  If one of yours made it and another of yours did not, you can compare them and try to figure out the reason for this.  It is a gage of sorts, as to if you are on the right track with different elements and skills. You have to be objective about your work, and sometimes getting someone else whose opinion you value, to help with the postmortem will help too. You always have to bear in mind though, that one juried show, is not the be all and end all.  The process is subjective, and depends on the mindset of the jurors on that day.  What does not suit one set of jurors, will be awesome for another.  The trick of the process… is to have a longer column of acceptances than rejections.  In that way, you can see if you are improving and or going in the direction that you want to go.  Another thing to bear in mind…enter juried shows that suit your work, or have categories for your type of work.  No sense in trying to compare your apples to another’s oranges!
If you want to see this year’s entires of the Arts Without Borders Juried show, they will be on the website ( www.artswithoutborders.ca ) shortly; or you can go to my facebook page, where they are already posted.
Every year we try to get jurors with National and International standing.  They are sent the art images that have signature erased.  They pick the placing images, as well as a Best In Show with a prize of $1000, and we also have a public choice of People’s Choice award of $500.  Deadline for entry is always April 15th, and the Festival is always the 2nd or 3rd week in June.  Entry forms are on the website or can be requested from me.  Give it a try!  We take the without borders thing to heart!
Till next time…

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