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nicolai
01-18-2008, 05:06 PM
One thing that I haven't seen addressed yet is that by charging entry fees (which I personally feel are horrendous BS), the gallery and submitting artist are entering into a business arrangement for the juror(s) to equitably evaluate the entries in exchange for money. To me, that's the problem here: not that your work wasn't selected, or that there were no landscapes (there is no obligation to represent every or any genre of photography in my opinion, even one as big and classic as landscape), but that your work wasn't given the fair evaluation that you paid for.

(FWIW, I really like what you submitted, too; particularly the last two.)


Just take the high road, don't write any letters, but keep entering shows.

Sorry, eddym, but that sounds a little like "shut up and continue to bend over and take it". IMO it's the gallery that took the low road, and calling them out on it isn't stooping to their level. It's making them aware of a situation so they have an opportunity to fix it in the future.

And telling us who the juror is would be a public service, because I know I certainly don't want to pay to have my work "considered" by them. And by charging entry fees and turning submissions into a business rather than artistic arrangement, both the jurors and galleries have made this sort of frank discussion no different than discussing the service you got at Freestyle, B&H, Calumet, etc., and I don't think anyone feels bad about doing that.

Calling people out on bad behavior isn't rude, it's the bad behavior that's rude in the first place.

I'm sure you've heard a lot of whiny complaints from artists in your time as director, but this sounds completely legitimate to me.

MurrayMinchin
01-18-2008, 07:36 PM
Reminds me of when I submitted my portfolio for art school, which was made up of about twenty 4x5 B&W contact prints. The fine arts instructor who was looking at my portfolio called in the painting instructor, who happened to be into photography, and they let me in based on my compositions but they thought my printing needed work. They were right about the printing because the contacts were from my first sessions attempting to make prints of any kind.

I took the contact prints to the colleges head photography instructor who said my printing was good, but that my compositions were weak.

Lesson learned; some people who should know what they're doing, don't. Let it go...

Murray

rcoda
01-18-2008, 10:22 PM
It is a crap shoot... A couple of things that have been mentioned already...

1. Never enter a "mixed" or "multi" media show. Only enter photography shows so your work can be judged apples to apples.

2. If possible, know as much about the jurors as possible beforehand. Then submit entries based on that knowledge. For example... a long time ago there was a contest with Photo Review. George Tice was the juror. I entered several BW pieces from Mr. Tice's stomping grounds... Paterson, NJ. Took 2nd place and $200.

As said, take the high road, make more great images, and don't let it eat at you. Good luck!

Rich

DWThomas
01-18-2008, 10:50 PM
Perhaps it should be mentioned that this event was at a non-profit community art center and not a commercial gallery. While that still doesn't smooth over or excuse what happened, it's not quite the crass commercial rip-off some are suggesting. Usually in these shows for non-profits, the entry fees cover the prizes, some sort of honorarium for the jurors, and any overhead or publicity for the show. In this case, I believe any funds beyond that go to help the center provide financial assistance for needy students who avail themselves of classes offered there.

Think of it as playing the lottery, but you have to bring pictures. :D

(Back channel communications confirmed that Derek and I were indeed at the same show.)

Scoping out what sort of work the judge does is a common thing to do, but I think a caring judge would try to use his knowledge of technique, composition and style to select diverse works that have shown competence in those areas. Of course, I'd like to see world peace and an end to hunger also ....

DaveT

Vaughn
01-19-2008, 12:29 AM
I have been juried in, I have been juried out, I have been the juror. Stuff happens.

I entered a show in Redding, CA, many years ago -- judged by a man with the last name of Weston (yes, one of the family.) He selected one of the most awful color prints as the top prize winner...and said as he walked out the door -- "That will give people something to talk about." (or something of that nature.)

So ya never know...

Vaughn

PS...I'll have to disagree with Rich -- that doesn't always work. Jurors can be a lot tougher on photos similar to their own speciality...they know it too well (or it could be that you just had photos good enough to over-come that!)

Personally, I say don't worry about who the juror is or what he/she likes or does in her/his personal work. Enter what you feel is your best work and let the work carry itself. Otherwise you are trying to play the same game as a juror who does not accept landscapes because he/she doesn't like them.

eddym
01-19-2008, 06:35 AM
Perhaps it should be mentioned that this event was at a non-profit community art center and not a commercial gallery. While that still doesn't smooth over or excuse what happened, it's not quite the crass commercial rip-off some are suggesting. Usually in these shows for non-profits, the entry fees cover the prizes, some sort of honorarium for the jurors, and any overhead or publicity for the show. In this case, I believe any funds beyond that go to help the center provide financial assistance for needy students who avail themselves of classes offered there.
This is very much the case with our art guild, and I was just about to make that point in a new post. We are certainly not in it for the money. By the time we pay for the reception, the catalogue, invitations, and other miscellaneous expenses, we are lucky to break even.

Derek Jecxz
01-19-2008, 08:56 PM
Dave is correct; I should also mention that I think they spent quite a bit of money on a mailing that advertised the exhibition (in addition to the other costs mentioned).

I apologize for any misrepresentation on whether it was a gallery or an art center, again, I did not want to reveal who it was and I used the term “gallery” generically.

Also if I understand eddym’s point, if the juror doesn’t want landscapes in his/her exhibition (which I agree is the right (and job) of the juror), then if he/she thinks the photograph is a landscape, it can be skipped. If this is the case, perhaps the gallery or art center putting on the Photography Exhibition, should be more forthcoming about the genre that will be selected. Anything less, sorry eddym, is dishonest and unethical. Plain and simple, if you’re only going to accept contemporary portraiture, say so in the Prospectus; don’t take artist’s money when you know their art won’t be selected.

But I don’t want to digress from the core point: eddym, they didn’t review my art work and I am sure you’ll agree that was not right.

One more thing: I have no problem with not getting selected, as I said, it has happened before and will happen in the future, to all of us. This is not a thread about not being selected for an exhibition.

eddym
01-20-2008, 07:46 AM
Also if I understand eddymís point, if the juror doesnít want landscapes in his/her exhibition (which I agree is the right (and job) of the juror), then if he/she thinks the photograph is a landscape, it can be skipped. If this is the case, perhaps the gallery or art center putting on the Photography Exhibition, should be more forthcoming about the genre that will be selected. Anything less, sorry eddym, is dishonest and unethical. Plain and simple, if youíre only going to accept contemporary portraiture, say so in the Prospectus; donít take artistís money when you know their art wonít be selected.

But I donít want to digress from the core point: eddym, they didnít review my art work and I am sure youíll agree that was not right.

Derek, I'm not sure I understand why you are so sure that the organizers of the show knew that the juror would not accept anything but portraiture. Maybe they did, and maybe the show was misrepresented, as you allege. This could be the case, or it could just be that they did not know their juror well enough to realize that his prejudices were such that he would accept nothing that was not portraiture. If they did know that, then you are correct, they should have advertised the show as a portraiture show.

The point of my posting was just to present the issue from a different perspective, from the other side of the coin, so to speak. Sometimes what you expect from a juror is not what you get. It has happened to us. One reason I was very glad to retire from being president of our guild was that I would no longer have to listen to complaints about jurors and their decisions. Last year several of our members were rejected because the panel of three jurors did not believe that their works were "fine art," but came too close to being "crafts." These same members had been accepted into previous shows, and had won awards for their work. Had we known that these three jurors were going to reject the works that they did, of course we would have stated in the prospectus that they should not be entered into the show. But we didn't know. Artists were disappointed, but they came back to enter this year's show, and they were accepted. If we knew exactly what the jurors were going to choose, we wouldn't need them. We would just do it ourselves.

Your "core point" was that the juror did not review your work, and if that is true, then I do agree that it was "not right," in the sense that the show was not as advertised and promoted, not an "open category" show. But I am not so sure that it is true.

What do you expect to gain from your letter of complaint? The show is over, so you can't be accepted now. You will be able to vent your anger and disappointment, and if that makes you feel better, then go ahead. Me, I'm ready to write a flaming letter to Sears because the washing machine repairman didn't show up Thursday as he was scheduled. I just can't find the right address! :)

So write your letter if it makes you feel better. But don't expect it to change anything.

Derek Jecxz
01-20-2008, 08:29 AM
Derek, I'm not sure I understand why you are so sure that the organizers of the show knew that the juror would not accept anything but portraiture. Maybe they did, and maybe the show was misrepresented, as you allege. This could be the case, or it could just be that they did not know their juror well enough to realize that his prejudices were such that he would accept nothing that was not portraiture. If they did know that, then you are correct, they should have advertised the show as a portraiture show..

I agree, if they did not know, you're right. But they are responsible for selecing the juror and I am not ready to throw in the towel as fellow Americans are more commonly doing now-a-days by saying, "It's not my job," or "It's not my fault," or "It's not my responsibility." Ultimately the gallery should have done better in selecting a more ethical/honest juror--who should have been up front about his criteria.



Your "core point" was that the juror did not review your work, and if that is true, then I do agree that it was "not right," in the sense that the show was not as advertised and promoted, not an "open category" show. But I am not so sure that it is true.

Not sure why you're doubting my words, have I given any indication that I am lying or being dishonest?



What do you expect to gain from your letter of complaint? The show is over, so you can't be accepted now. You will be able to vent your anger and disappointment, and if that makes you feel better, then go ahead. Me, I'm ready to write a flaming letter to Sears because the washing machine repairman didn't show up Thursday as he was scheduled. I just can't find the right address! :)

Please read the thread, I have already said, days ago, that I will not write a letter or demand money back! Why have you missed that? I know this is a long thread, sorry for that, but you are posting as well, aren't you reading? By the way, same here with Sears Home Service---very bad experiences---in the end we demanded our money bad and got it.



So write your letter if it makes you feel better. But don't expect it to change anything

You must have had some really bad experiences. I'm not going to waste my time, which is far more precious than the gallery's time, on complaining to people who, in the end, won't care.

On a separate note, I saw your website links to the Animal Rescue Site... we're of the same mind there. Be well and your "other side perspective" is certainly appreciated--just not sure why this thread has made you so defensive?

Monophoto
01-20-2008, 08:54 AM
The world of juried shows is indeed strange.

The job of the juror is to select a cohesive set of work. In that sense, I can understand why a juror might reject some work with little or no consideration based on the subject, or style, or technique, or even trivialities like the color or size of the frame. And frankly, it may be possible for the juror to make that decision without carefully studying the work. One of the challenges we have as artists is that we generally don't know what the juror is going to look for - even when we know who the juror is going to be (and in the vast majority of instances, that information is included in the Call), we don't know what kind of selection criteria will be applied. As a result, even though rejection is always painful, it may not mean that our work is not good.

So the thing that I find most upsetting about this instance is not with the juror, but rather with the gallery - they lied to Derek. To tell him that his work had been examined just as closely as the other submitted work and then rejected sent the message that the juror found his work to be inferior. Because that was not necessarily the case, it was unthinking and cruel.

But artists have to have rather thick skin to enable them to continue in spite of rejection. Rejection happens - for many reasons, some valid and some bogus. Deal with it.

I enter a couple of shows in our area each year, one of which is juried, and I've been fortunate to have work selected for the juried show in two of the three times I entered. And I have to agree with the juror that the piece that was rejected wasn't all that good - I almost didn't enter it. My greatest frustration, however, is not with the selection process, but rather with how the final show is hung. Its a mixed show, and it seems to me that the photography always ends up in a dimly-lit back corner.

On the other hand, I've also submitted work (on CD) in response to calls from other galleries. Rejection is one thing, but it really irritates me when they don't even have the courtesy to tell you that they aren't interested, and you simply get no response at all.

jnanian
01-20-2008, 03:36 PM
i have submitted photographs to juried shows ...
and while i never was "chosen" to be in the show
i just shrugged my shoulders and realized
that sometimes the judges need eveything to be
homogenized and pasteurized ...

i have read that it is best to learn about the judges
and submit what they are looking for,
as if you were at interview for a job.

while this wasn't a good experience for you,
don't sweat it, and enter your photographs into
a show where it is a "better fit" ...

(nice stuff btw)

john

DWThomas
01-20-2008, 04:24 PM
I'm not sure I completely agree with the "cohesive show" idea -- but maybe, like so many things in life, it depends on your definition of "cohesive."

For some further insight, I edit and publish a newsletter and maintain a website (at my expense) for a local art club I belong to. That puts me on the board and I have been entangled in this dubious business of mounting shows for a dozen years. Our organization, like many, has about 110 members, of whom about 9 do most of the work. It's like pulling teeth to get people to actually start the process far enough ahead of time to pull it off without last minute panics. As such, we frequently are left with accepting judges who are available and willing to do it for a fairly meager stipend, rather than any fancy interview and selection process. We try to have different judges every year and not repeat a previous judge for eight or ten years. Often we are left with getting recommendations from previous judges or other art groups. With that sort of approach, I could hardly say we grill the candidates about their philosophies.

In my experience, some of the best judges are those who teach art, especially at the college/art school level. Though they may personally specialize in one area, their career requires a broader understanding of the art world. Our annual open show is divided into five major categories -- oils, watercolors, "graphics" (prints, drawings, pastels) sculpture amd photography. The general intent is to exhibit the best work in each of those categories. So for us, I guess "cohesive" is the best of a diverse selection of subjects, media and styles. There are special awards that can go to any piece, but we have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category to make sure there is some spread. (We do have a disclaimer that only a 1st may be given if there are too few entries in a category.) There are always results at the end that others may question, but no matter how objective anyone tries to be, it's still a crap shoot.

The show that started this thread I view as fairly prestigious and established, so I would expect it to be well run. But my own group has been doing their open show for fifty-one years and I know what it's like from behind the scenes, and one is optimistic to expect too much formal organization. What appears to have happened might have gone a little better if they had multiple judges, but of course that increases the expense. Some juried shows use separate people for selection and awards too.

Every year some of us scratch our heads about what we could do better or more efficiently, but in the end I'd say there's not a whole lot of difference from "what we did last year."

As eddym alluded to, some of us begin to experience burn-out!

In the end ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

DaveT

eddym
01-21-2008, 06:41 AM
On a separate note, I saw your website links to the Animal Rescue Site... we're of the same mind there. Be well and your "other side perspective" is certainly appreciated--just not sure why this thread has made you so defensive?

Hi Derek,
I am defending no one (except abandoned animals...), because I don't have enough information to either defend nor condemn. I was only trying to present an alternative viewpoint that might explain what happened to you. And yes, I have read the entire thread.

I have nothing more to say except to offer best wishes to you, and I hope that next time you enter a juried exhibition, you win Best in Show. Your work is certainly good enough. Good luck!

eddym
01-21-2008, 06:51 AM
I'm not sure I completely agree with the "cohesive show" idea -- but maybe, like so many things in life, it depends on your definition of "cohesive."

For some further insight, I edit and publish a newsletter and maintain a website (at my expense) for a local art club I belong to. That puts me on the board and I have been entangled in this dubious business of mounting shows for a dozen years. Our organization, like many, has about 110 members, of whom about 9 do most of the work. It's like pulling teeth to get people to actually start the process far enough ahead of time to pull it off without last minute panics. As such, we frequently are left with accepting judges who are available and willing to do it for a fairly meager stipend, rather than any fancy interview and selection process. We try to have different judges every year and not repeat a previous judge for eight or ten years. Often we are left with getting recommendations from previous judges or other art groups. With that sort of approach, I could hardly say we grill the candidates about their philosophies.

In my experience, some of the best judges are those who teach art, especially at the college/art school level. Though they may personally specialize in one area, their career requires a broader understanding of the art world. Our annual open show is divided into five major categories -- oils, watercolors, "graphics" (prints, drawings, pastels) sculpture amd photography. The general intent is to exhibit the best work in each of those categories. So for us, I guess "cohesive" is the best of a diverse selection of subjects, media and styles. There are special awards that can go to any piece, but we have a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each category to make sure there is some spread. (We do have a disclaimer that only a 1st may be given if there are too few entries in a category.) There are always results at the end that others may question, but no matter how objective anyone tries to be, it's still a crap shoot.

The show that started this thread I view as fairly prestigious and established, so I would expect it to be well run. But my own group has been doing their open show for fifty-one years and I know what it's like from behind the scenes, and one is optimistic to expect too much formal organization. What appears to have happened might have gone a little better if they had multiple judges, but of course that increases the expense. Some juried shows use separate people for selection and awards too.

Every year some of us scratch our heads about what we could do better or more efficiently, but in the end I'd say there's not a whole lot of difference from "what we did last year."

As eddym alluded to, some of us begin to experience burn-out!

In the end ya pays yer money and ya takes yer chances.

DaveT

Heyyyy...... Are you a member of our Art Guild? You have described our organization, membership, policies, and experiences perfectly! Why haven't I seen you at our meetings? ;)
Drop in:
http://www.eeag.org/

DWThomas
01-21-2008, 03:25 PM
Why haven't I seen you at our meetings?


You know, I really tried, but when I started driving southeast from Cape May, NJ, it started to seem awfully wet ... :D

DaveT
http:/www.perkvalleyart.org (http://www.perkvalleyart.org)

Doug Smith
01-22-2008, 05:07 PM
Reiterating what others have said, I've been entering shows consistently for the past 2-3 years and have learned the hard way to first research the juror or jurors on the web, look at their stuff and make an informed judgement as to whether my material would fit into their photographic "view." If it doesn't, I just skip the competition. i don't want to waste my time, just like your juror apparently didn't waste his time even opening the plastic on your submissions. Now that was tacky and just plain rude.

Your shots are beautiful, btw. Good luck!

Doug