Cindy Lerick speaks to the 2015 Saint Louis Jury
Cindy Lerick instructs jurors at the start of the jury for the 2015 Saint Louis Art Fair

The jury process for art events of all sizes requires a great deal of time and energy in order to be successful. Event administrators are tasked with finding experienced, thoughtful, and professional jurors to evaluate artists’ submissions, in addition to managing the logistics of an in-person or online jury process.

For artists, one of the most difficult parts of the jury process can be the waiting—waiting to learn the results of the jury, waiting to accept or decline an invitation to another festival, waiting to buy a booth, or just waiting to see how a new body of work was received by jurors.

As jury season is upon us once again, we’ve put together a few tips for administrators running juries and included some information to illuminate the process for artists.

The Jury Process

Just as art fairs and festivals vary in size, location, resources, etc., so do the juries for these events. Of all the juries we’ve seen, no two are exactly alike!

Here are some of the most common types of juries the ZAPP team has encountered:

In addition to these types of juries, there are also other ways to categorize jury types, such as an in-person jury vs. remote jury.

Best Practices

Administrators frequently contact the ZAPP team with questions about the jury—and not just questions about the system! Often, administrators are curious to know how other events handle specific situations, run their jury processes, or what artists are looking for. Here are some of the most common themes that come up:

Transparency. The more transparent you are about your jury process, the more faith artists will have in your festival! It’s recommended that shows clearly outline how their jury process will work, from the number of rounds and jurors to the type of scoring. This can easily be done by using the Jury Details feature in ZAPP. While these details are optional, artists will appreciate having all of this information.

Transparency is also a factor when determining if, when, and how to share jury results. Sometimes a show may simply not have enough time or resources to share juror scores and comments with applicants. It’s also true that some jurors may not have enough time to provide feedback for every application; however, if administrators want to provide jury scores and comments to artists, this can be easily done in ZAPP with the click of a button!

Jury scores and comments can be easily sent to applicants through the Communication tool. Go to Event>Communication, select the status(es) of the applicants that you have chosen to receive scores and comments, compose the email, and check the box under Add Merged Data that reads “Show Anonymous Jury Scores & Comments.”

Keep in mind that artists will never see this information unless show administrators explicitly choose to share it.

Clarity. If a show’s jury has more than one jury process, conducts a “rolling” jury, or has other unique components to it, it’s best to clearly communicate any nuances or important information in any communications to artists. This can be done on a show’s event prospectus, website, and by emailing artists who have applied. Many shows also choose to highlight their jurors and their backgrounds so artists understand who will be evaluating their work.

Timeliness. Artists rely on jury notifications to help them plan their show seasons. As much as possible, stick to your posted jury results notification dates. If something happens—because we know sometimes things come up!—we recommend emailing your artists to let them know about the delay and when they can expect to see the results.

When your Hide Current Artist Status setting is set to “Yes,” artists will not be able to see what status they have been placed in or buy products for your show. This setting can be found in your Jury Set-Up.

Jury Checklist

If your eyes are spinning and the jury process seems more daunting than ever, don’t fret! We’ve developed a quick checklist for administrators using ZAPP that you can view below:

Event > Management
Pre-Jury preparation

Jury > Administration
Setting up your jury

Images of the add juror steps on the Jury Administration page

Removing Artists

Remove Artists image with the remove artists button circled in red
An image of the threshold page in Jury Administration with Discipline Names circled in red
An image of the artists to be removed page showing the option to change their status

Inviting Artists

Image of the Invite Artist section on Jury Administration with Invite Artists button circled in red

Event > Management
Post-Jury management

Event > Communication
Contact your Invited, Not Invited, and Wait Listed artists with next steps

Have a question about your jury or something to add to this post? Email us at