Entering your work in open exhibitions: what judges are looking for…

With the deadline of April 3 fast approaching for our Prize Exhibition we thought we’d give you an exclusive interview with one of the judges.

How do judges approach selecting work for exhibition? And how can you get noticed?

Jay Taylor, founder of Odox, an exciting new art gallery, artist studios and project space based in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, tells us more…

What do you look for in an artist you feel is ready to exhibit at this level?

The artwork that will catch my eye will almost certainly be the pieces that are taking risks, both conceptually and technically. Work that is playing by the individuals own rules and is full of personality, energy and passion.

Dedication to your craft and or cause is always evident in a strong piece of art and that has to come across to really engage me in a piece.

I’m a fan of most art forms, so my tastes are eclectic, but I do have a particular soft spot for outsider art. There is something about people making art for the pure sake of making art, rather than following the standard rhetoric, that keeps me in awe of the importance of an artistic life.

What are some of the reasons you turn work down?

Direct paintings of photographs usually fail to engage me. I want art in my life that transforms my perception of the norm and shows me things I haven’t seen before.

It could be a new way to depict the human figure, an abstract that is unexplainably beautiful, concepts that make me consider broader subjects, or a piece of art using materials I’ve never contemplated before.

Also, a lack of care in the presentation of your art is a big turn-off.

If an artist can’t be bothered to display their work in the best possible way, why should an audience bother to spend the time appreciating it?

Mark Finch, Circean Poisons – winner of the People’s Choice Award, RBSA Prize Exhibition 2018

What themes do you find emerging in contemporary British art at present?

I’m extremely excited by the potential of all areas of art and design and this is one of the key reasons I co-founded Odox.

The digital age has allowed artists to curate their own communities around their practice, negating the need to pursue traditional forms of dissemination of their work.

The lines between disciplines are becoming increasingly blurred as young artists have access to a wider range of inspiration and are merging these findings in exciting cross-disciplinary ways.

Enter our Prize Exhibition!

Artists have until 4pm on Wednesday April 3 to enter our Prize Exhibition – an open exhibition across a range of media, but please, no photography or video on this occasion.

For full details of how to enter download the exhibition application pack, and call 0121 236 4353 if you have any queries. Good luck!

More about Jay…

Following a degree in Illustration, Jay Taylor launched a hugely successful career in the creative sector as a professional illustrator. Clients include the Guardian, Virgin, Channel 4, Ted Baker and Marmite.

Whilst working in industry, Jay always made paintings. Today, these appear at the cross-section of fine art, illustration and graphics, with complex, multi-layered environments.

He has exhibited across the globe, with shows at major galleries, including Soho Gallery and Coningsby Gallery in London and Van Der Plass Gallery in New York.

He is the Course Director for Fine Art & Illustration at Coventry University and in 2019 co-founded Odox Art-space in Birmingham. 

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