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Howard A. Jacobs Art Blog

Whose art gets chosen

by hajco , April 20, 2008—04:09 PM

Topics: art shows, show entry

I've always wondered why a particular painting gets accepted at a show. I look at the winners and think, I wouldn't have chosen that. How are the paintings picked? Each show seems to have a title. When you enter a painting that seems to be perfect for the title, it doesn't get in. However, another entry gets selected. Why have a show title and choose something that has nothing to do with the title topic? Sometimes the topic is hard to figure out. What painting should I enter? Has anyone out there figured it out?




  Annie Steiner ( homepage )

06/04/2008 * 11:50:23

A few years ago, I used to enter a lot of juried shows in Florida. The entries came from all over the country. The judges were extremely strict about having the theme of the show respected, and the entries that did not qualify for the theme were automatically rejected. The type of framing you had was also important: they did not want it to interfere with the artwork, they wanted very plain frames. I remember sometimes hearing the comment that "The rejection romm was better than the show". The judges were looking for some unity in the show. I was surprised, when I moved up North, that most of the shows did not take any notice of the required theme. Back then , lots of us who entered those shows wondered why a particular piece had been chosen, and that has not changed. I guess we will never understand what motivates judges!


  Howard A. Jacobs ( homepage )

06/04/2008 * 07:43:22

Here in Illinois, one person runs most of the art shows. I have had better luck entering shows that are not run by Amy Amdur. Last fall my art was in an International show at the Northbrook Public Library. My entry didn't seem to go with the theme of the show. I presently have two paintings on exhibit in the Barnsite Gallery in Kewaunee, WI. It is a national show and I feel quite pleased to be in it. Both paintings were done specifically for this show. I have one oil in the Art Walk in Highland Park. You can see about it at I have also done the cover for the booklet for the show. It runs all thru June.


  Caroline Henry ( homepage )

04/20/2008 * 17:44:04

This is based on limited experience --I've entered shows onlyin Northern California, but I would pay no attention to the title of the show. I would pay attention if the show stated a specific theme, or if it had divisions with particular themes. An example would be the "Carriage Show" which has a category devoted to the horse and buggy days.

I know no sure fire way to get into any show. I've had several paintings accepted into some shows and totally bombed on others.

Some artists study the judges for the selections featured previous shows judged by that person. This is probably as good a strategy as any.

Have you noticed there seem to be trends in judging? There seem to be spells during which florals, portraits, abstracts, or some other category disappear from shows, as if they were as out of style as Nehru jackets.

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