Today I had the very interesting and satisfying experience of jurying a group exhibition professionally for the first time.CityScape Community Art Space, an attractive gallery run by the North Vancouver Community Arts Council, puts out calls for several themed exhibitions every year. I was invited to jury the upcoming "And When You're Gone":
"This multimedia exhibition is an invitation for artists to research the mapping of their family history, heritage and identity. It will explore the way one's past shapes one's present. It will take a closer look at how photographs, letters and family heirlooms become historical artifacts and pieces of the artist's identity."
Director Linda Feil and I, along with the able assistance of Biliana Velkova, went through about 25 submissions which consisted of slides, photos or printed digital images, even some examples of original works. The artists' statements were read as we viewed the works so we could get some understanding of the artists' thoughts. It was noteworthy how many cultures were represented, the variety of media used, and the range in quality and expertise in the work. The theme is a fascinating one and some of the work was inspiring us to try it ourselves sometime! I think we were able to select a wide variety of artworks, both two-dimensional and three dimensional.
It should be a very exciting show, coming up January 27th to February 19th, 2006. CityScape Community Art Space is located at 335 Lonsdale Avenue in North Vancouver, BC. I'm planning to be there and hope to take photos and tell you more!
If any emerging artists out there are reading this, I'd like to emphasize how important it is to do a very high quality presentation of your work when submitting to a gallery. The slides, photos or prints have to be sharp, with some details included when necessary. Be clear about what is the height and what is the width. A gallery selecting numerous pieces for a large group show has only so much wall space for pieces 4 foot wide by 2 feet wide, versus 4 feet high by 2 feet wide for example. Is your work really about the theme? Is the envelope containing the submission materials large enough for the materials so that they are not folded? When jurors are looking through a large number of submissions, they may lose patience handling poorly presented materials - first impressions do count!