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Art Shows

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Juried Art Shows

A juried art show is a special show of artwork selected by a jury using specific criteria. It is often held at the end of the year. Each school team should decide whether they want to participate in a juried show.

Reasons for a juried show:

  • Students are proud of their hard work. Selection recognizes their talent and effort. This recognition is especially valuable for children who are not recognized in other ways.
  • Juried shows provide an opportunity for schools to share the best work of their students and to show the school's excellence to the larger community.
  • Parents and the community will become more interested in the importance of art in children’s education when they see the high quality of selected art.

Who will be the jury?

A jury is usually a small team of educators and artists chosen by school officials, including the School Coordinator, to select the art. The team might include:

  • Docents, Curators, and School Coordinators
  • Teachers, Administrators, PTA leaders
  • Local artists, art teachers, gallery owners, illustrators, museum curators

Criteria for selecting art:

The jury and School Coordinator will decide the criteria for picking the art. The members of the jury should individually evaluate each work, then work together to come to a consensus on which pieces will be selected. Some criteria might be:
  • Quality of work
  • Special achievement by a particular student
  • Original ideas
  • Excellent use of the key terms of the lesson

Places to display art:

Select as many works as can be shown in the venue(s) you have arranged. They need not all be juried. Students are always proud to see their work on display.
  • Classrooms, Hallways, Multipurpose room
  • School office, District Office, County Office of Education
  • Local coffee shop, bank, store, or other small business
  • Enter student work in contests. Check the e-magination newsletter for art contests, including the PTA Reflections Contest

Note: Businesses that participate with art shows might also support your school art program with an annual donation.

How to set up a juried show for your school:

A Curator should take the lead in planning and organizing the art shows with the help of docents, teachers and other volunteers.
  • Contact your local public library, local business, or other venue to arrange for an art show. Decide how many works can be shown. If possible, arrange to display selected work in multiple locations so more students can be recognized.
  • Select a jury and define judging criteria to choose artwork for the show. Many schools select the artwork for this show during an all-school show at the end of the year. Teachers may identify special projects that should be recognized. One method to identify selected work is to give each judge a certain number of stickers to place near a piece of art they have chosen. Artwork with the most stickers will be selected. Another way is for each judge to keep a list by grade or classroom, then compare notes.
  • Mount and label the artwork that will be in the show. Find guidelines on the Display Art page.
  • Work with the library or other venue and the School Coordinator to set a date for hanging the art. If you want to host a reception, arrange it with the librarian at this time. Set a date for taking down the work, and make plans for returning the artwork to students, especially for summer shows.
  • Advertise the art shows in the school newsletter, website, and local newspapers. Announce the winners in an all-school bulletin or individually. Send home a note to the families of children whose artwork has been selected and inform them of the dates and locations of the shows. Print postcards to send home and posters to hang in store windows. You can download templates for a postcard and poster from the Art in Action website.
  • Oversee the installation of the artwork. Display information about your school, Art in Action, and the programs represented. Lesson Description handouts, school name signs, and Art in Action information can be downloaded from the Art in Action website.
  • Plan a reception to recognize student artists with certificates or other prizes. If possible, recognize teachers and docents who helped teach the program. Talk to the librarian or other official to set a date and time for a reception. Consider whether you will serve light refreshments, invite a local artist to speak, or have a school official present certificates. Certificates can be downloaded from the Art in Action website.
  • Take down the artwork and return it to the classrooms.

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