There are upcoming deadlines for the Cooperstown Art Association’s Regional Juried Art Exhibition and National Juried Art Exhibition, with submissions for the regional show due tomorrow and Saturday.

“A juried show is open to the public. Anyone can enter but not everybody can get in,” said Janet Erway, director of the CAA.

The Regional Juried Art Exhibition, also known as Essential Art, is in its 23rd year. The National Juried Art Exhibition, formerly known as the Annual Art Show, will be going into its 79th.

The jurors for this year’s regional show are Charles Bremer and Edmond Rinnooy-Kan, while the juror for the national show is Sondra Freckelton. All three are professional artists who have had their work exhibited widely.

A key element in the jurying for both the CAA’s regional and national show is that the pieces are evaluated with their creators remaining anonymous.

“The jurors do not have access to the names of the people,” said Erway.

The shows have other commonalities as submissions to either show must be no more than two-years old, must be from an artist 18-years old or older and must be for sale. The CAA takes a 30 percent commission on sales made at either show.

Despite this, the processes by which entries are submitted and evaluated for the two shows are different.

For the Regional Juried Art Exhibition, entrants can submit only one piece of art. This piece may be submitted in the painting, graphics, mixed media or sculpture categories. All entries must be delivered in-person to the Cooperstown Art Association Galleries at 22 Main St. within a two-day time frame. Those days are tomorrow and Saturday, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. on each day. The entry fee is $10 for non-members and $9 for members of the CAA.

“We get anywhere from 150 and 200 entries,” said Erway.

Erway says that all the entries are then set up in Cooperstown Art Association Gallery A, where the show will be held, before determining which pieces make it in. In this endeavor, space is a very real issue.

“That room can mainly handle 80 ... (or) 90 pieces of artwork,” said Erway.

She also said that the jurors, typically two for the regional show, evaluate the pieces not just on their own merits, but also on how they interact with one another. She described how, as a work of art is eliminated, it is typically turned towards the wall, often revealing the name of its creator, before being taken from the space.

“They’re looking at the whole body of work,” said Erway. “Each juror has in their mind what would be a wonderful show.”

Erway said there is not always agreement between the jurors on what should make it into the show. She also said that, even though she has been asked to break ties, she never does, and does not give the jurors strict guidelines as to what may be selected.

“There inadvertently has to be compromise,” said Erway.

The regional show will be on display from May 2 to 30.

For the National Juried Art Exhibition, there will be only one juror this year, although this has not always been the case.

“We’ve done any number of different combinations,” said Erway, who says that the national show has had one, two or more than two jurors in the past.

The biggest development for the national show this year, however, is in the entry process.

“As of this year we’re going to an all-online process,” said Erway.

Entrants, who can reside anywhere in the United States, must submit high-quality digital images of their work for consideration. Erway said that this process would make it easier to process the entries, as the CAA used to have to enter them all by hand. She also said that she hoped the new entry system would make the contest more accessible.

“We have a link (to upload images) right on our website,” said Erway. “The hope is we can reach even more artists.”

She also said that the new system might make it easier for the show to have multiple jurors, something that is made more difficult by the volume of entries. According to Erway, the national show has had between 400 and 500 entries a year for the last 15 years. 

“I usually see quite a number of people who are repeat entrants,” said Erway, “as well as new entrants.”

Of the entries received she said that between 100 to 150 make it into the show, after which their creators are asked to ship them to the CAA for display.

The volume of entries that need to be evaluated is partially alleviated, however, by the pieces of art not being processed in-person.

“The initial juried selection for the national show is done via images,” said Erway.

She also said that they’ve never had an issue fitting every piece selected for the show into the gallery space, despite the pieces not being examined in-person until after they’ve been included.

“We fit the work in no matter what,” said Erway.

This year the show will be hung in Cooperstown Art Association Galleries A and C. While the show normally utilizes Gallery B as well, Erway said that gallery is being used for another show, but that not using Gallery B this year will not significantly impact the size of the national show, which will be hung from July 11 to Aug. 15.

The national show has three categories: painting; drawing, printmaking, photography, digital art or mixed media; and sculpture. Unlike in the regional show, however, an artist may submit to all three categories. The entry fee for submitting to the national show is $20 per category for non-CAA members and $18 per category for members. Entering a category entitles an artist to submit up to two pieces of work in that category. The deadline for submitting entries is May 15.

“Rarely do I see (people enter) three categories,” said Erway, although she said that artists entering two categories is not uncommon.

Something that Erway says that she sees quite a bit of is people submitting to both the national and regional show.

“Oh yes, and many people do,” said Erway. “Sometimes if they don’t get into the regional they can take that same piece and enter it into the national.”

The regional show has $2,000 in potential prizes while the national show has $3,500 in potential prizes.

“Some of them are very specific,” said Erway, giving a $350 prize for a work of art depicting rural life as an example.

The grand prize for the National Juried Art Exhibition is $500. The grand prize for the Regional Juried Art Exhibition is a solo show at the CAA next year. All prizes for each show will be given out at their respective opening receptions. The opening reception for the regional show will be May 2 while the opening reception for the national show will be July 11.

“It should be diverse, hopefully,” said Erway, when asked what attendees should expect to see at both shows.

For information about, or to learn how to enter either the Regional Juried Art Exhibition or the National Juried Art Exhibition, visit www.cooperstownart.com or call 607-547-9777.

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