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Old 12-31-2010, 01:12 PM   #1
Julie Deane Julie Deane is offline
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Joined: Sep 2003
Location: Gainesville, GA
Posts: 1,298
Portrait Society of Atlanta's Critique Service: a review

The Portrait Society of Atlanta offers a critique to its members every two years, to allow the opportunity to attain a higher membership level.

I recently applied for such a critique and found it to be a very valuable service, second only to the excellent portrait demonstrations that are given at many PSA meetings. I received Membership of Merit status, but even if I hadn't, this experience was well worth the time and effort.

To apply, one submits up to 10 pieces of art to the Portrait Society of Atlanta, along with a very reasonable fee (one must be a juried member to apply). Three volunteer professional artists judge the work on an 11 point rating system (listed below). The artist's work is judged on his or her own merit and not in competition with other artists. If the overall average score is between 7.0 - 8.9, then the artist is awarded Member of Merit status. To attain Member of Excellence, the score must be between 9.0 - 10.0.

Points 1-10 (10 is highest)
1. Draftsmandship
2. Craftsmanship
3. Overall consistency of work
4. Concept
5. Composition/Design (including placement of figure in relationship to other elements)
6. Values
7. Color Sense
8. Treatment of Edges (lost/found, etc.)
9. Essence of subject
10. Style
11. Professional quality of body of work submitted
(including slide quality)

I received ratings sheets back from each juror, along with comments from two of the artists. Although one artist chose to mark on the rating scale without any explanation, the two other artists wrote comments that I thought very helpful. I found it interesting that there was a fairly wide discrepancy between the artists' ratings, and appreciated the wisdom of taking three artists' scores and averaging their points to award the overall score.

The only criticisms I have ot the experience:
1.The wording of the original flyer was different from the point rating sheets used by the jurors. However, the differences were minor. Hopefully, the Portrait Society of Atlanta will rectify this discrepancy and also remove the words "slide quality" as submissions are now solely digital, accompanied by printed copies in a portfolio.
2. The results were relatively slow to be returned. However, this was out of the control of the Society and dependent upon the jurors.

The positives:
1. Three independent appraisals by professional portrait artists for a very reasonable cost.
2. A point scale to help the artist better appraise his/her strengths and weaknesses.
3. A guideline for future artistic growth.

I highly recommend this service to any artist. One does not need to live in the Atlanta area to become a member of the Portrait Society of Atlanta, but some volunteer work is required to become a juried member. Some volunteer work can be done from a distance. Check it out: www.portraitsocietyofatlanta.org
Julie Deane
Member of Merit, Portrait Society of Atlanta
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