Every once in a while we will have an artist ask us to explain the judging criteria that we use for our art competitions. I will try to explain here what we are looking for when we judge an artist’s submissions for one of our online themed art competitions.

First, let me say that our ultimate objective is to have an “entertaining” and interesting art exhibition for our viewers. The exhibition will be based on a theme and the art that is selected and shown will be representative of that particular theme. Within that competition’s theme, of those artworks selected, we try to show the best of as many different genres and varied media as possible.

There are times, based on the theme, the number of entries received and the quality of the response to the “call for art” that we can or cannot show a variety of artistic forms. Otherwise, we try to display a broad representation of artistic form, style, and media in the hope that this will provide the viewer an enjoyable experience.

Based on the artwork submitted to our competitions, they will be judged based on the following elements of artistic expression:

1. Interpretation and the clarity of the theme to the viewer.

2. Creativity and originality of the depicted theme.

3. Quality of artistic composition and overall design based on the theme.

4. Overall impression of the art. What is the effect of the artwork in general and as a whole? Overall, does the artwork stand on its own as a complete and outstanding work of art?

Here are some reasons for not being selected for one of our exhibitions;

1. Poor color or image quality. Sometimes we receive what we believe is an exceptional piece of art, but it is obvious to us that the colors are not balanced, are washed out and are not representative of the original colors of the art. These images will be passed over quickly as they will not show well on the site and the artist should remember that we are trying to put on a good show for the viewers.

2. Sloppiness. We will not take images that are framed, are crooked, show backgrounds, watermarks or large and over-sized artist signatures. Yet, knowing this information, we still receive images with these issues. Even though the art is exceptional, we do not consider them for the exhibition and they are quickly rejected.

3. Incomplete or poorly written submission materials. If we receive submission forms that are incomplete, poorly written or need to updated or summarized, generally these submissions will not be used as well. We have roughly 48 hours from the deadline, to judging and then uploading and making the exhibition live. We really do not have any time to waste chasing down artists for additional detailed information and this is another reason to have your art rejected.

I cannot say that our judging criteria and our additional reasons for rejections are normal, reasonable or universally acceptable in the art world. But these are our gallery submission rules and I honestly believe that if an artist were to follow these suggestions for any art competition, they would help themselves and would get into more art exhibitions.

When entering art competitions, read and reread the theme, rules and judging criteria closely and thoroughly. If the artist cannot honestly meet the competition rules and judging criteria, they should not waste their entry fees until they can conform to that competition’s governing conditions.

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