Judges General Instructions


The following general information and guidance is provided to those judging the competitive art shows at the Atrium Gallery.  Specific details are provided for each show

 ANONYMITY – Unless the judge wishes to be publicly acknowledged, we do not reveal the Judge’s name.

GALLERY LOCATION – Atrium Gallery located in the Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Administration (HOA) bldg.; 800 S. Victoria Ave. Ventura, CA 93009.

A map to the gallery is attached.  3 Hr. parking is available near the gallery, but do not overstay the limit and get a ticket.

ABOUT THE ATRIUM GALLERY – The Ventura County Arts Council (VCAC) has managed the gallery since 2001 and expanded it to its present size.  There are normally at least 15 separate shows a year.  Usually eight shows are competitive with the remaining ones being curated and focused on a certain style of work, collection of artists, etc. as a complement to the competitive shows.

PARTICIPANTS – Artists from Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties are typically in each show.  Many are repeat exhibitors, while others are showing for the first time.

PRIZES AND AWARDS – Prize money for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, place winners allocated from a pool of $300 of the entry fees collected.  If the show has fewer than normal numbers of entries, the pool of prize money may be reduced.  Honorable Mention awards also given at the judge’s discretion, and these artists are usually awarded a free entry into a future art show.

JUDGING TIMEFRAME – Judging needs to occur between the time the show opens and the Reception when awards are announced. Temporary paper labels are on all the works until we are able to mount the permanent labels. We would like your determinations at least two days before the reception date.

JUDGES COMMENTS – If you have comments on the show as a whole or any specific work, please include them with the award information so we can pass your comments along.

GALLERY GOALS & PHILOSOPHY – The exhibition space is NOT a formal art gallery; it is a work place and government office serving the public.  Consequently, the nature of the shows (e.g. generally a-political), type of work exhibited (e.g. no nudes or violence), display conditions (e.g. limited lighting, hanging cables vs. nails in the walls), etc. are not what would be found in the ideal “gallery environment”.

The audience is typically people who do not go to art galleries, but nevertheless greatly appreciative of the artwork in the building.  We therefore try to expose them to accessible artwork while also expanding their understanding of what constitutes art; the variety of artistic mediums; and the diversity of responses to a given show theme.

New or emerging artists testing their talents need a starting point, and the VCAC believes the gallery should provide this opportunity.  We strive to be an inviting, casual place to exhibit art, rather than a demanding commercial gallery.

JUDGING GUIDELINES – Every judge brings his/her own perspective and experience to the show, but we ask that you strongly consider the following guidelines when making your choices.

Consistency With Show Theme – While the show theme suggests some obvious artwork, artists are creative in their responses to the Show Theme.  Judges should look beyond the obvious responses to the Show Theme and consider the off-beat responses as well.  Reviewing the Artists’ Statements in the show catalog (located in a binder in the seating area) may help explain the less obvious pieces.

Allocate Awards Across Mediums – We have an array of mediums – assemblage, oil, prints, acrylic, photographs, etc.  If you find suitable quality work it would be “nice” to spread awards among the mediums.

Quality of the Work – Obviously, the quality of the work should be a consideration for an award.

Novelty and Inventiveness – Unique uses of a medium(s) and response to the show theme should be a factor, if only for an Honorable Mention.