Elected Artist Jurors’ Commentary

Marcy S. Cohen (EA 2020)

Preparing your body of work for submission to Art League RI’s Elected Artist Selection Jury requires a thoughtful and considered approach as you choose which artwork to include.

To further guide Elected Artist applicants in preparing for presentation of their work, below are comments from past jurors during the Jury process.

  • When appreciating other’s art, I look for consistency of vision, respect for the “craft” of the medium and a sense of the soul of each artist.
  • I look for a unique voice. A strong portfolio. Exploring creative space. I want to be inspired.
  • I look for something in the pieces that interests me, that grabs me, that surprises me; in the subject matter, the design quality, the color, or the technique. Then I look for professional presentation, which I only notice when it isn’t there. I then want to feel that the pieces comprise a body of work, not individual images.
  • A consistent body of work that communicates a clear vision and voice of the artist, as well as technical proficiency.
  • I’m inspired by artists who demonstrate a mastery of their medium, reveal a visual intelligence, present a distinct and pervasive voice, and have something to say.

Comments reflecting positive impressions also included:

  • Enjoyed the storytelling aspect of this portfolio.
  • Really strong photo and had a strong narrative to it. A skilled eye.
  • Organized the portfolio in a good way.
  • Clear vision.
  • Looks as if the surface of the work is lively and interesting; gesturally, they are well thought through and consistent.

Comments reflecting constructive advice also included:

  • The maturity of a painter is always revealed in the way they fill up their canvas or paper. If there is going to be open space, the eye has to be intrigued by it.
  • A couple of the works were stylistically inconsistent.
  • Feel that this artist has potential, but the inconsistencies make it mediocre.
  • The artist’s work is not yet matching the power of the written statement.
  • The work seems to be focusing more on the paint than the composition.
  • The artist needs to work through what their true expression is, what their true statement is. Not seeing this in the broad range of offerings in the body of work.
  • Felt like the artist is in transition. The vision felt incomplete.
  • In many of the paintings the artist wasn’t using the size of a canvas that would best articulate what they were trying to say.
  • If submitting two distinctive ways of working, the artist needs to go out of their way to explain that it’s two portfolios. All 10 images need to carry one idea and the concept should be consistent throughout.
  • I want to be moved when I’m looking at work. And I wasn’t moved. This was very technically competent but seemed academic.