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Open Call Judging Criteria

Outlined below are questions to consider when making and submitting work for review. Our curators review your work submissions using this guideline. Be sure to review the questions presented here and reflect upon your answers.

Principles and Elements of Art and Design 

(Balance, Emphasis, Movement, Rhythm, Unit/Harmony, Variety, Proportion, Repetition, Pattern, Color, Line, Point, Shape, Texture, Space, Form)

Are the Principles and Elements of Art and Design employed in this piece? If so, how are they used? Are they used in unique, creative, or inventive ways? Are they used in traditional or conventional ways? Are they expertly used and masterfully handled?


Is the work balanced? How is it balanced? What are the devices (principles/elements) used to create the composition? Are there any tangents (places where lines meet to create tension, discomfort, or unbalance)? If yes, should the tangents be adjusted to create balance? Does the composition support the concept of the work? Is there a visual hierarchy?

Use of Value

Is value used? How is it used? Is it used to create a life-like representation or as a device of design? Is there a range of values used or is the emphasis placed on a few values to create focal points? Does this use of value create balance or emphasis in the composition or design of the work? Does the use of value support the concept of the work?

Use of Color

How is color used – is it used to create representational imagery, is color used symbolically (example: blue as a metaphor for sadness, red as a metaphor for passion), or is color used as a device of design (to create balance, emphasis, variety and possibly detached from representation or metaphor)? Does the application of color suit the goal or concept of the work?

Techniques and Material Handling

What techniques are used? How are they used? What is the support surface of the material (canvas, paper, etc.)? Is the support surface conceptually aligned with the materials of the work? Are the materials that are used handled masterfully and with care? Are the techniques and materials used conceptually intertwined and aligned to support an intention or goal of the work? Are the techniques used creative, unique, or innovative?


What is the concept, goal, or intention of this work? Does the work achieve this goal? How does it achieve this? What devices are used to convey the concept/intention? Is the concept conveyed easily and with clarity or is it difficult and requires thoughtful reflection from the audience? If it is difficult or more ambiguous, how does that affect the viewer/audience of the work? Is this concept suited to a large or specialized audience? Who is the audience of this work, (public, corporate, fine arts, private client)?


Is this work properly documented? If the work is a physical object and it has been photographed, is the lighting of the piece (in the photograph) even across the surface, and does it accurately reflect the surface texture or other characteristics of the piece? Does the temperature(color) of the light affect the work in any way that is not accurate to the physical object (example: The lighting is too orange, too blue, or too much shadow, or shows too many highlights)? Can the lighting be adjusted? What is the resolution of the documentation, is there any pixelation that interferes with the clarity of the image? Does the photo(documentation) of the work accurately represent the work?

Artist Statement

Is the goal or intention of the work clearly articulated and outlined? How is the goal/intention of the work achieved? What techniques, principles, elements, or materials are used to achieve this goal/intention?


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