Friday, May 20, 2011

Judging Apples and Oranges

I had the pleasure and honor of judging an art exhibit this morning.  It is always a challenge to judge art.  But this exhibit was a extra challenge.
The exhibit was a group of talented artists of various mediums, including wood turning, jewelry, pottery, stone sculpture, watercolor, and oil paintings. There were 13 artists set up with booths of their work for an exhibition and sale.  Each artist chose one work that would be judged for 4 awards, Best of Show, First, Second, and Third.  Now my challenge was to structure my criteria to judge apples to oranges, so to speak.  I came up with a point system.  I created my list of criteria categories  with :
1.  WOW factor..........meaning catching my eye, bringing me in and making me want to take a closer look.
2.  Technique/ well did the pieces demonstrate mastery of the medium.
3.  Creativity/Originality..............I was looking for thought provoking, or handled in a new or unusual way,
 or different approach than the common.
4. Design....................good composition and design principles.

Each category would get points judged from 1 to 5  with 5 being perfection.
It worked very well for me and I felt like I was able to judge each piece on its on merits and not against each other.
It is always hard to only give a few awards when there are so many good pieces in a show.  This was a very small show and I must say that they all get a "job well done" from me.
Congratulations to the awards winners!


  1. Judy

    I have just discovered your website and blog having searched for advice about judging art shows. I live in Australia and have just been asked to judge my first art show. After some hesitation and then encouragement from a couple of colleagues, I have accepted. I find your comments and criteria most helpful in beginning to get my thoughts together. Many thanks!


  2. Tim,
    So happy my post about judging helped in some way.
    Best wishes in judging the show. You might also like the post titled Criteria for Judging Art. You will now found it listed here on the right sidebar under popular post.