search  current discussion  categories  events - adjudicating 

competitions and shows..update (longish)

updated tue 30 apr 96


Jonathan Kaplan on wed 3 apr 96

Hi Doug Gray:

I've taken the liberty of not reposting your post to me because of its length.

Thanks for your lengthy post and your thoughts as one who is in the middle
of this. I plan to apply to Ceramics USA 1996 as I think if accepted, the
exposure can only help me and I feel that your juror, Don Reitz has the
credibility and the expertise to put together a fine exhibition for you.
Whether I am accepted or not, I know that my work will be looked at with an
experience eye. And I also feel that the entry fee is fair and as mentioned
in my previous post, this kind of venue is not one that I have difficulty

But many of us need also to be out there on the street selling our work.
And it is precisely the "juried" street fairs that should be under fire. I
know that many of them are well done and that the playing field is "level"
from the beginning. But I have heard some horror stories about some of the
politics and nepotism that goes on with some of the major street shows and
the playing field is NOT level. So there is no chance that I as well as
many of my gifted colleagues will even get the chance to be there.

I also realize that along with most of what you mentioned in your excellent
post, the world is not fair and as artists, we do indeed take some heavy
hits so that we can continue to make our stuff. And I don't blame anyone or
any organization from making money in these strange times. What I do fault
is those of us who don't do the research and necesary footwork before
sending in the application and then whining afterwards. We all need to show
some responsibility and take whatever steps necessary to make a situation
better for ourselves, our communities, our art, what ever.

And thats right, every piece you make and submit to a show might not be the
one for that particular show. If I faulted my work because it didn't fit a
jurors parameters of a specific show, I would be a basket case. But that
doesn't mean that it is not hurtful when that rejection/returned slides
come back to me.

But, we all need to start from the same place, that level playing field,
and have the competition fair. Any deviation from it is both unethical and
unprofessional. And for me to register my protest with a specific show is
to not give them the benefit of viewing my work as well as not giving them
my hard earned money for a jury fee. I have better things to do and work
to make.

Thanks for your post, again.


fellow rejected entrant (Cherry Creek for 5 years, Phila for 20 or so etc.etc.)
fellow very determined and focused artist
fellow potter and promoter, whatever

Jonathan Kaplan

(aka "Scooter)
Ceramic Design Group/Production Services Voice:
303-879-9139 POB 775112
FAXmodem: same
Steamboat Springs, Colorado 80477, USA CALL before faxing

"No matter where you go, there your are!"

Indianapolis Art Center on wed 3 apr 96

What I do fault
>is those of us who don't do the research and necesary footwork before
>sending in the application and then whining afterwards. We all need to show
>some responsibility and take whatever steps necessary to make a situation
>better for ourselves, our communities, our art, what ever.

Jonathan, as usual you raise thoughtful points.

HOMEWORK IS IMPORTANT! You can always call the promoter, non-profit
organization, or whoever is sponsoring the show and find out some key
information about your medium, such as...

How many people generally enter overall and in your medium, and what is the
acceptance %?

What is the scoring system and how high a score do you generally need to get
in? What is the median score? (this will tell you how tough the jurors are)

Who was in last year? (ask for a show program to be sent to you)

What kind of work generally gets good scores? (this is a chancy one...some
won't tell you)

Most shows do a scoring breakdown by media for their own information (I
do!), and they will be glad to send it to you. Also, certain fairs are
known for selling certain types of work. Use your resources--Sunshine
Artist, Art Fair Sourcebook, etc.--and talk to friends. There was one tough
show to get into and my husband got waitlisted for it one year after being
rejected repeatedly. The organizers don't tell you this, but if you are
waitlisted for this one fair you can show up the day of the fair with a
loaded truck and a booth fee check and they will squeeze you in somewhere.
He got the information from a friend and did it, got a space right away (a
really good one), and has had the same space at the same show ever since
(it's a good seller for him). So get inside information any time, place,
and source you can.

Julia Moore
Indianapolis Art Center

P.S. Thanks for the good info on the EZ-UP--we almost bought one and now
I'm glad we didn't. I'll pass it on to those who ask me.