Quote Originally Posted by DWThomas View Post
Maybe it's because I haven't done a lot show submissions, although I am also involved in putting on several general art shows each year, but I'm not convinced that advice is totally reliable. Not to say it's bad, but I have occasionally seen what appeared to be a judge giving short shrift to work similar to his own. Maybe he wanted to avoid accusations of bias, maybe to distance the competition -- who knows?! :rolleyes: I suppose if you can get the opportunity to see previous shows the person has judged, the idea could work, but in my experience many groups try not to repeat judges very often so tracking previous results could be difficult. For my club's open juried art shows we try not to repeat a judge for at least six or seven years. And since we normally have two judges, when we do repeat, we try to pair them with a different person. We hope that's a way to keep things mixed up a bit.

I believe I've seen some indication that judges who are educators -- say art school professors -- may tend to be a bit more diverse in their selections and less anchored to one style. I also like shows juried by more than one person, I think that provides more balance.


I suppose it all depends on the community you're interacting with. My own experience has been primarily with the P.S.A., although I have responded to about a dozen non-P.S.A. calls for entry as well. The judges were other P.S.A. members, or in the other situations, artists of varying experience. The person giving me the advice that I relayed above is a professional artist - that is to say that she has lived solely on her art-derived income for the last 22 years - and all of the shows that she submits work to are judged by other professional artists. That said, I fully recognize that this means nothing more than these are two individual's experiences that may or may not have any relation to how things work in a different area or with different groups. I'm glad that not everyone has had this type of experience.

I seem to go back and forth every couple of years, feeling that it might be interesting to have work shown in contest-type shows from time to time, but my experiences have been enough to leave me with a permanent distaste for the whole process. Honestly speaking, and I'm not trying to be critical in any way of anyone's views here, I get a lot more out of interacting with people viewing work displayed in a group gallery show or by showing prints directly to individuals than I ever got from anything sent to a contest.

- Randy