Date
Volume 18, Number 1
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Matthew
Craven

Each year, nearly 100 SVA students apply for slots in the juried student exhibitions that take place throughout the year in the College’s exhibition spaces. It is a competitive selection process and one that is based entirely on peer review. To apply for consideration, applicants submit an exhibition proposal that is evaluated by a group of student jurors recommended by the department chairs. These jurors determine which artists will be selected and then Richard Brooks, assistant director of the Office of Student Galleries, develops and curates the exhibitions drawn from that pool of selected artists.

Recent juror Matthew Craven, a current student in the MFA Fine Arts Department, sat down with Visual Arts Journal to talk about the student jury process.

How does the student jury choose works for exhibition?
I worked with six other students from different departments. We were all asked to bring our perspectives and experience to the process and to use our own individual instincts and judgment when evaluating the work, which comes from many disciplines. We spent a lot of time looking at slides, reading artist statements and figuring out the ins and outs of what we were looking at. There is a set of criteria and a ranking system and the voting is done anonymously, so everyone can be as honest as possible.

What was the most interesting part of the experience?
For me, it was particularly gratifying to see the whole process come full circle—from seeing slides as part of the jury to having the work installed in the gallery and result in really strong, good-looking shows. It’s great to go to a reception and see the actual works on the wall and meet the artists in person. Being a juror has given me a chance to see more of SVA, to feel more connected to the school and learn about what my peers in other disciplines are doing. 

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