Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Proper cropping for entry to juried exhibits

The entry period for the National Watercolor Society's Member Exhibition is in full swing, and as the Exhibition Director I see all the entries - both the good and the bad. Some entries won't proceed past the initial vetting process and are culled for various reasons, such as being outdated, concerns over originality, or the payment of fees. The most common problem that is encountered is the insufficient cropping of the photograph. It is absolutely imperative that the photo shows only the painting, with no background, frame, mat, or other distractions. 

I've posted a few examples here to help other artists understand the difference between what is acceptable, and what is not. 

This first photo needs cropping on the right side - you can see a sliver of background on the top right. Although it's small, the juror will see it and will score this painting lower. The sliver of background is dark and this will show terribly if it is printed in an exhibit catalog. This image is unacceptable as an entry, and will declined if entered into a juried exhibit.  

Needs cropping, upper right

The next photo is cropped correctly, and ready to enter.  

properly cropped and ready to enter

Another example: This photo below needs to be cropped on the top edge. It is lighter, and might not be noticeable against a light page, but it will be glaringly obvious against a dark background. Again, this photo can not be accepted for entry to any art exhibit.  

needs cropping on top edge

The bottom photo is cropped correctly, and ready to enter.  

properly cropped and ready to enter

Proper cropping of images is a screen-out element for almost every juried exhibit. It is the most common reason for entries being declined. An imperfect edge might not be that noticeable, but curators and jurors will notice it and decline the entry. 

posted by Annie Strack @ 12:31 PM   0 Comments


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All images and content copyright Annie Strack 2023. Although I occasionally receive compensation for some posts, I always give my honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.