Art Speaks Juried Exhibition 2020

The Art Speaks Juried Exhibition is excited to enter its 8th year!

This statewide show brings the best of Virginia's contemporary artists to our small-town gallery on the Chesapeake Bay. We welcome two- and three-dimensional artwork from all Virginia artists. The 2020 application deadline is March 1.

The 2020 Exhibition dates are April 25-May 26.

  For detailed artist information click here. 

Apply online here at!!!

 Juror and Judge, 2020 Art Speaks Juried Exhibition   head shot photograph of Nicole M. Santiago

Nicole M. Santiago

Juror Statement

 One of my most challenging jobs as a professional artist is judging the merit of another artist's work. I take my role as a juror seriously and do my best to provide fair and unbiased responses to each artist's work.

 As you may know, judging the merit of an artwork can be a somewhat subjective endeavor; however, a well-seasoned juror can bring objectivity to the process through experience and practice. One develops the ability to recognize artistic merit through years of experience. I come to this exhibition as a seasoned art professional, who has cultivated a critical eye over decades of deep and ongoing efforts in curating, artmaking, and exhibiting. I've further developed my aesthetic keenness by teaching thousands of students how to paint and draw. These experiences form the basis of my artistic sensibilities, which help me bring objectivity into the judging process.

 To provide further insight into my assessment process, I often use some combination of the following simple aesthetic criteria when looking at works:

  • Composition / understanding of pictorial design & compositional harmony
  • Artistic Maturity / transcendence beyond technique & avoidance of clichés
  • Intellectual heft / balance of form and content
  • Creativity / inventiveness and original thought
  • Materials / sensitivity to material handling
  • Artistic Ambition / risk-taking

 It is important to understand that juried competitions can serve as a valuable component of artistic development; this is true even when one receives a rejection. As someone who has been in over 100 exhibitions, and applied to three times that many, I have received my fair number of rejections. I've learned over the years that a thick-skin is important, but perseverance is essential to a successful career in the arts.