I belong to a calligraphy guild that holds an annual exhibit. We advertise the exhibit to our members as unjuried because we want to encourage all our members, at every level of skill, to participate. However, we actually do jury; just not the artwork itself. We teach our members how to present their work, and tell them that we will reject it if the presentation is poor. Even beginners must mat and frame their work in a professional manner. We do not accept work with misspelled words or smudges or torn and wrinkled paper (unless they are intentionally part of the work itself). Essentially, we limit our definition of aesthetic acceptability to the presentation.
These “unjuried” exhibits have served our purposes well. Calligraphers of all levels who have no practical training in exhibiting art learn that good presentation makes even less skillful work shine. Beginning calligraphers get plenty of encouragement to make finished art pieces, not just throw-away practice sheets, which in turn helps them gain confidence to make more serious, thoughtful, deeper work.
HopeArts has divided exhibits into unjuried and juried. The juried exhibits are the ones associated with the biennial Arts Festival, and they are formally judged by jurors outside the church. One reason we decided to jury these exhibits is that they are seen by many people outside Hope Chapel, Christian and not, and our purpose with the Festivals is outward.
The rotating exhibits throughout the year are not formally juried. They are usually seen mainly by people who attend services at Hope; their focus is inward, toward our own artists and community. But like the calligraphy guild, we do jury these in a limited way. Because our gallery is in the sanctuary, not all subjects and content are appropriate. Go here for more about jurying for different locations.
Hope and the Visual Arts by Kate Van Dyke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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