On March 7, 2018, members and guests were offered another rare insight into a juror’s selection process for art competitions by two prominent figures in the Houston art world: Catherine D. Anspon, Executive Editor at Paper City Magazine; and Cindy Lisica, Ph.D, owner and director of Cindy Lisica Gallery. Both Ms. Anspon and Dr. Lisica are previous jurors for a past VAA exhibition.
When selecting pieces for an exhibition, some of the things these jurors ask themselves are:
- Is it finished?
- Have I seen this before?
- Is there a clear vision?
- Where does this come from?
Some of the constructive criticism and advice offered by the jurors:
- Framing can destroy the work.
- 3D art photographed with a background pulls it away from being an object of art.
- Layers are a bit muddy. Make things more visible. A couple of elements need to rise to the top.
- Precise but approaching “design piece.” Something needs to activate it.
- Feels “sketchbooky”.Too controlled. Take one element and explore.
Other important points:
- It is ok to mirror something you’ve seen, but make it your own.
- Presentation is important. Framing can kill a piece. Also, 3-D work should be presented with no distracting background.
- Original palette choice can add interest, especially for abstracts.
- Surprise the viewer.
- It’s good if the viewer can’t take it all at once – it needs to move the eye around.
- There is a difference between fine art and decor art.
- Embrace what paint can do!