An Introduction to Entering Art/Sci

The following article is designed to help new Art/Sci entrants understand the process of documentation and entry in an Arts and Science Faire.

 An Introduction to Entering the Arts and Sciences Faire in Trimaris

By Baroness Maol Mide ingen Medra OL, OP

At it's heart, the SCA is an organization dedicated to researching and re-creating pre-17th-century European history. The Arts and Sciences competitions, faires and classes are a huge portion of our society meeting that goal as a group. In the creation of medieval arts and historical sciences, we are able to breathe new life into ancient learning. As artisans we go hands-first into experimental archaeology and come out on the other side of a project with more confidence in ourselves as artists and a better understanding of how medieval life was lived and how crafts and arts were produced in those times.

Arts and Sciences Faires are a system by which we can test ourselves as artisans through asking other members of the society to look at our work and research with a critical eye and make recommendations for improvement. No entry is held up to another and judged against it. In these competitions we compete only against ourselves and each project is judged separately on its own merit.

Depending upon who you ask, entering Art/Sci is often rumored to be an interesting experience, a ton of work or even a terrible experience filled with overwhelming difficulties and cruel judges. Entering Art/Sci can seem daunting due to the wide variety of disciplines and materials included in a project and all the documentation that is required for the entry.

With decent planning, good research, a few good choices, and the right attitude your project can be an excellent learning experience that may even merit some accolades. Take your time deciding what you will enter, the categories and levels at which you will enter your work, and the scope of your project. The more you wish to include, the more you will need to document.

Your attitude is the key. Approach an Art/Sci Competition looking to make a beautiful piece of art, learn a great deal about how it would have been done in period, and receive objective commentary on how well you achieved your goals.

If you are looking for praise without constructive criticism, then the Art/Sci competition may not be the best place for you and you may just be disappointed with the judge’s comments. Art/Sci is a competition in which you will receive comments and scores based upon your work. Not scoring well does not mean the judges do not like you; it just means you have more to learn before your next entry. Try to read your comments in the spirit of how they were meant.

Now, lets cover how to choose your piece, execute your entry, write documentation, set up a display, present your work, and enter an Arts and Sciences Faire in Trimaris.


Inspiration

Inspiration: Choosing a Piece

Choosing your piece is the defining step of your Art/Sci project, so take time when making your decision. Choose a piece within your ability, but something that will exercise your skills and help you to grow as an artist. For example, you can use materials and period techniques that you have not used before and synthesize that learning experience into your documentation.

It is not recommended to take on a gigantic project as your first entry. Try a single page before you commit yourself to creating an entire book or work on cooking a single dish before attempting to present an entire period meal.

Most importantly, choose a piece that interests and inspires you because your passion as an artist is translated into your art. Lastly, select a piece on which you can find information! Your documentation will be just as important as your creation.

Inspiration: Choosing a Piece You can Document

Before you begin your piece, start with a clear photograph or photocopy of the original work. Ask yourself what time period it is from, which culture produced it, what it was used for, and perhaps who created it. This is the beginning of your documentation process. Your documentation should answer all of those above questions and more.

This will save you a lot of time as you create your documentation and may even help in the selection of your piece. Perhaps the first piece you find is very beautiful and inspirational but you cannot find a great deal of information about the methods or materials used to create the piece. Choosing a piece of inspiration with limited information will make it harder for you to know how the piece was rendered and will make it harder to explain the process to others. Choosing a piece that you can document will save you a great deal of time and frustration in the long run.


Execution

Execution: Giving Yourself Ample Time

The most stressful way to enter an Art/Sci is with a project or documentation that you have rushed to finish. Plotting out a timeline for your project can help you set deadlines and make sure that you are ready rather than stressed out.

Example Timeline

  • 4 weeks before competition: Finish your project3 Weeks before competition: Finish your documentation
  • 2 weeks before competition: Get help proofreading your documentation and give yourself enough time to make corrections.
  • 1 week before competition: Collect the items for your display, create labels, print photos, get a table cloth and lay everything out at home as a practice run.
  • 2 days before competition: Fill out your cover sheet.
  • Before you leave for competition: Double check that you have everything you need.


If you don’t get your piece finished in time, don’t worry too much. Another Arts and Science Faire is already on the Kingdom calendar.


Execution: Materials and Authenticity

Selecting and gathering materials is an important part of your process. Consider that the authenticity of your materials is part of the points awarded as your later Art/Sci Score. Look for materials that are as close as possible to the materials from which your source of inspiration was created.

As a scribe, there is nothing cooler than working with vellum, 23K gold leaf, mineral pigments but sometimes you just don’t have the cash on hand to purchase those materials. Each tailor or seamstress would like to work with the most costly of fabrics, but sometimes the prices can put those fabrics out of reach.

Many substitutions may be available or other artisans might know where you can go to find a deal on your supplies. Before purchasing your most expensive materials, ask around with other artisans as to where they get their supplies and make sure to shop around before making a big purchase.

If you are making substitutions based on monetary concerns, look for materials that if not authentic, will work in ways similar to authentic materials.

 

For example:

C      If replacing 23K gold leaf due to cost, consider using a faux gold leaf rather than gold paint. This gives you experience with the process of gilding and is actually quite similar to the real thing.

C      If replacing linen fabric due to cost, look for a linen blend fabric that is less expensive rather than a cotton fabric which might handle differently.

 

Execution: Methods and Techniques

After you have obtained your materials, work on understanding the processes and techniques of their use in the Middle Ages. The ‘how-it-was-done’ of a project is just as important as the stuff from which your project is composed.

Practice your techniques and if you encounter any difficulties then work on further research about those methods of production. Asking around for help or consulting with an expert in the SCA or even in the modern world can be a great way to learn or hone skills that you will use in the production of your art.


Execution: Creating Your Piece

Once your materials have been gathered it is time to start work on your project

Take your time! Good art rarely comes from rushing yourself. Work through your piece step by step just as it was done in the Middle Ages and if you need to take a break from it, do so.

If a deadline for Art/Sci is creeping up on you and you will need a week of all-nighters to finish your piece… stop! Remember, there is an Art/Sci every six months and nothing says that this particular piece has to go in this particular Art/Sci.

Work through each step of your piece completely, and give yourself a few hours, or perhaps even days before taking on the next step of your project. By taking a little extra time you will allow yourself to be calm and collected as you work on your art, you will provide ample time for research, and you might just have a better experience working on your Art/Sci project.

Make it your mantra when the deadline is looming: There will be another Art/Sci competition in a year. There will be regional competitions even sooner than that.

 

Execution: Record Your Process

Recording your progress is akin to showing your work in a math class. There are hundreds of ways to arrive at the same final point, but judges really want to know which one you used. As you are executing your piece, take photographs of your progress at every step. Keep a journal if you are so inclined.

For example:

C      If you use a practice sheet for you calligraphy, keep it for your documentation.

C      If you make color charts to best match pigment or dye colors, keep them for your documentation.

C      If you test out some stitches for embroidery, keep them all on a small sampler.

C      If you have a first and second draft of a poem you have written, use those to help show the process of refining your work.

C      If your first meat pie comes out horribly burnt then take some photos and record what went wrong.

An Art/Sci entry is not just about your final piece, it is about the process, the research,the materials, the presentation, and the final product. Work your pictures and practice sheets into your documentation or add them as an appendix. Remember, this is a record of your progress as an artist. Keep it and be proud of it!

 

Execution: Complexity

Judges look for complexity in an entry to show how much effort and how many steps the artisan took to achieve their final project. If you go to a store and buy tubes of gouache, squirt them in a plastic pallet, draw with a mechanical pencil, and paint with a store-bought brush you may still make a beautiful piece of art, but where is the complexity?

Complexity lies in taking extra steps.

For example:

C      A scribe can collect oak galls and cook up their own ink, mix pigments and binders with water to make their own paint, or cut their own quill.

C      A leatherworker can talk to a friendly blacksmith and work with them to make a few simple tools like a leather punch and even research and make a period stain for the leather.

C      A cook can research the herbs in a dish they would like to cook and even try growing some at home in a pot or in the garden. Using these fresh herbs may enhance the flavor of your dish.

C      A woodworker can make a simple period glue or varnish and use that rather than a commercial product.

 The creation of the tools for your project is indeed part of your project and it certainly adds layers of complexity and difficulty. Amazingly, many artisans begin these complexity adding steps grudgingly but end up with fantastic results and feeling pretty good about all that extra work. It isn’t required, but it sure does add to your entry.


Documentation

 

Documentation: Sources

All entries require documentation that supports the materials, methods, and techniques used. Judging requires at least one primary source or at least three secondary sources of documentation.

A "primary source" of documentation is defined as something that was written (books, documents, sermons, etc.) or created (artwork, crafts, clothing, etc.) during the specific period of time and in the specific place under study by someone who knew firsthand. An analysis of an extant item (a book about an archaeological dig, archaeological drawings…) can also be a primary source.

A" secondary source" of documentation can be written anytime, either in period or after, by someone who did not know firsthand. These are works written by someone who has not experienced the process or event himself or herself, but is relying on information from people who did know first hand.

A "tertiary source" is a work written after the period under study, and is based on secondary sources

 

Documentation: What to Document

Entrants will need to document all materials, methods and techniques used to create a work in period.

For example:

C      For scribes this includes illumination styles, drawing, calligraphy, ink, pigments, vellum, quills, brushes, tools, gilding, and mordents.

C      For costumers this includes fabrics, patterns, notions, construction, stitches, fasteners as well as when, why, how and where the clothing would have been worn.

Try to consider every aspect of what would have been included to create your piece in period and bring that information to the judging table.

For instance:

C      If you enter a piece of calligraphy, you will need to document the calligraphy hand, what it would have been written on (vellum), what it could have been written with (ink), what tools it would have been written with (quills) and how those items were made and used.

C      If you enter a baked meat pie you should know what ingredients went into a pie, which seasonings and spices were used, what it would have been cooked in (cook ware), how long it would have been cooked, and how and where it might have been served.

You don’t have to go crazy and document every pigment that ever existed or every spice that was ever used in cooking as the judges will mark you down for useless information. Try finding out which ones would have been available in the time period and location of your piece and which pigments were actually used on the page or which spices were used in a particular type of pie. This may seem like a lot of work, but this kind of research can be used again and again for future projects.

 

Documentation: That Sounds Like a Lot of Work

If you don’t want to “jump through the hoops” of documentation and presentation, or you really just don’t think you are up for the critique…then don’t enter Art/Sci just yet. There is nothing wrong with waiting a while or not even entering at all.

There are plenty of opportunities for feedback without entering a Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition.

C      Enter a Novice Faire that requires less documentation. Sit with your piece and listen to what the judges have to say and what questions they might have.

C      Attend a special interest group meeting like a Scribal Social or a Textile Tea and talk to other artisans and ask for feedback. They will be happy to sit down with you and give you commentary, but they will answer you honestly when you ask where your work needs improvement.

C      Enter an Art/Sci Faire as commentary only. This means you won’t receive a score but you will get feedback on your piece and documentation that might help you refine your work.

C      Head down to Artisans Row at a Kingdom event and talk to other working artisans there.

Please do remember, it is ok to enter or not enter your work and there are lots of people to help you either way.  Find a Laurel, a local Art/Sci officer, or a friend who has entered Art/Sci and ask for assistance. Don’t be put off by someone else’s bad experience from 10 years ago. Have your own experience, but be ready to give it some effort.

 

Documentation: Layout

Table of Contents: The table of contents should list all of the subsections of your documentation and the page numbers for them. Using tabs and section dividers to separate your subsections will make the documentation easy to use for judges.

For example:

C      Original Piece and Use

C      Calligraphy Hand

C      Drawing

C      Vellum

C      Pigments

C      Ink

C      Gilding

C      Tools

 

Body: The body of your documentation should include your research divided into subsections. For example: Your section on gilding should talk about gold, types of gilding, materials and tools. By keeping your information clearly laid out, judges can find it with ease and your score will reflect that.

 

Appendix and Bibliography:

An appendix can contain the bulk of your information on various topics rather than covering them in the body of your documentation. When using this method, make sure to reference your appendix in your documentation. Always include a bibliography at the end of your documentation that lists all of your sources and references.


Presentation

Binders are a great way to keep your documentation well presented. Use a clean 3 ring binder that is well-marked with the project name. A picture of your project can also appear on the front cover.

 

Documentation: What They Did and What You Did

Documentation is your way to show judges how and with what materials your piece would have been made in period and that you understand this research. It is also how you tell judges how you made your piece, what materials and techniques you used, and share your process.

Good and effective documentation shows:

C      What was done in the Middle Ages- the materials, techniques and reasons for the piece that is your inspiration.

C      What you did- the materials, techniques and reasons for the piece you have created.

C      The differences between the two- any substitutions in materials or differences in techniques that you used rather than the period materials or processes.

C      Why the differences exist- your explanation of the reasons for the differences like a very costly material that you couldn’t afford or an herb that can cause miscarriage being left out of a recipe for the sake of safety.

For example: Ink. Your documentation should show what type of ink would have been used in the middle ages, and how it would have been made. This may include a period recipe. This should be paired with what type of ink you used, what recipe you followed to create it (if applicable), or what you used as a substitution for the period material and your reason for the substitution.

The same goes for any topic as you demonstrate your knowledge of period materials and methods and show your materials and processes used in the creation of your item.

 

Documentation: Substitutions and Conclusions

A substitution is any difference in material or method from what would have been used in period. Substitutions should always include your reasons for the change and your considerations on choosing a different material or method.

For example, you chose not to use vellum due to the expense associated with it. Instead you searched for an alternative. Perhaps you chose Pergamenta, a modern vegetable parchment that works and feels much like vellum but is much less expensive.

This information tells the judges that you know what would have been used in period, how it was made, and because of that you were able to decide upon a less costly, safer or more available alternative that worked much like the original material.

Also make sure to state any difficulties you encountered and if you had to make any changes in your planned progress. This shows your ability to surmount problems and finish your piece.


Documentation: Do I Have to Write a Thesis?

No, you don’t have to write a thesis.

However, you may want to consider arranging your documentation and sources into a single document rather than referencing a pile of photocopies. Why? It looks better and it certainly makes it easier for the judges to understand. A simple 4 to 20 page document can be composed mainly of direct quotes, photographs, and other source material and include very little of your own writing.

For example, a section concerning vellum can include a primary resource of a period description of vellum making (several exist), what type of vellum or paper you used, any preparations you made to the page, and reasons for substitution if applicable.

Remember that your judges may have to judge several pieces in one day which means their time is limited. By condensing your source material into a single document it becomes easier to browse and reduces the time needed for judges to read it. The more effort you put into your documentation, the more it will reflect in your score.

Yes, it is more work to synthesize your research into a cohesive paper; however this method better highlights your understanding of the material and shows your efforts. Remember that the information often does not change from one entry to another and an entire section on vellum can be reused (with minor changes to the section on your materials) for your next project. As most people enter Art/Sci more than once, this versatility of documentation can be quite helpful.


Documentation: Photocopies

Some people use photocopies of every reference that they have cited in their documentation. It can be a very cumbersome task for judges to find information by sifting through stacks of photocopies. When presenting photocopies, try presenting these pages in a binder, dividing them by source, and highlighting any passages or sections that you want the judges to see.

Personally, I recommend presenting photocopies in a separate binder rather than with the main part of your documentation. Some judges prefer photocopies; others do not. Many judges are quite happy with photocopies or pictures of primary sources and just quotes of others.

 

Documentation: References

Throughout the body of your documentation, cite your references. When you use a direct quotation, give the source for of that quotation at the end of the passage. You can use numeric notation which refers to your bibliography or include the entire bibliographical entry in a small script beneath the quotation.

You can also use end notes or footnotes. Citing your references shows the work you went through to locate source materials, exhibits a solid understanding of those materials, gives proper credit to the authors, and is actually asked for in the judging rubric!

References that are not cited make for difficult judging and less functional documentation. Always end your documentation with a bibliography that lists all of your sources in some sort of approved format. Many approved citation formats, such as MLA or APA, are explained in great detail on the internet and software based word processors have an easy wizard program to help you through the process.


Documentation: The Editorial Process

Editing your documentation allows you to fix small mistakes, tweak things that made sense when you wrote it at 3am (but don’t at 4pm when you re-read it), and repair a host of layout issues to increase the functionality of your documentation.

The best suggestion is to find a friend to help you out and have them look over your documentation. Ask them to look for spelling errors, odd sentences, the ease of the layout, and if you are actually getting your point across. Remember that when you ask someone to help, their answers may not make you happy. Your friend may tell you that you have lots of things to fix, but remember that you asked them to help you improve your work. Listen to their suggestions and take them to heart. Your friend is seeing your documentation for the first time, just like your judges will. They are your first line of defense for spotting glaring issues.

Sometimes, when working on documentation, it becomes easy to overlook big holes in your information or layout problems because you are so close to the project. Ask for help and listen to the responses you get. It can only help you later.


Documentation: How your Documentation will be Judged

A rubric is used by Art/Sci judges to score each piece. Each level of entry has a different rubric with different values of points for each topic. Understanding the rubric is the key to knowing how judges will judge and score your piece.

C      Novice: Judged on a 40 point scale:  40% (16 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 20% (8 pts) for documentation, and 40% (16 pts) for workmanship. 

C      Journeyman: Judged on a 60 point scale:  25% (15 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 20% (12 pts) for documentation, 15% (9 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (9 pts) for the authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (15 pts) for workmanship.

C      Artificer: Judged on an 80 point scale:  20% (16 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 5% (4 pts) for the complexity of the entry, 5% (4 pts) for creativity, 15% (12 pts) for documentation, 15% (12 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (12 pts) for the authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (20 pts) for workmanship.

C      Masterwork: Judged on a 100 point scale:  20% (20 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 5% (5 pts) for complexity, 5% (5 pts) for creativity, 15% (15 pts) for documentation, 15% (15 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (15 pts) for authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (25 pts) for workmanship. 

Before entering your piece, figure out at what level you will enter your piece and take a good look at the rubric for that level. This is the entirety of the criteria upon which the judges will base their scores. Each topic asks for very specific accomplishments that are already paired with a score. If you are honest with your work then you and friends can read through the rubric and pre-score your documentation.

Use this guide to find holes in your information and fill them before you enter your piece in the Art/Sci Faire. Rubrics can be found on the Trimaris Arts and Sciences website under the Arts and Science Faire Information section in the category entitles ‘Forms’.

 

Entering Art/Sci

 

Entering Art/Sci: Presentation

Your presentation is your first chance to wow your judges. Remember that Art/Sci halls often have old tables that aren’t very attractive, so bring a tablecloth. Pick a cloth that complements the time period and colors of your work. A bright green and orange plaid cloth may not best compliment your 14th century French illumination.

You worked very hard on your entry, so help protect it from damage and display it in the best way possible! Paper objects are safer in a frame of some sort and incredibly delicate items can be displayed inside a glass box.

Add a few tools of the trade!

C      For a scribe: maybe some vials of pigments or tears of gum Arabic on the table and then you have a lovely table reminiscent of a scribes workplace. A few brushes and quills can help round out the look.

C      For a costumer you can show off a few sample scraps of fabric to be handled rather than your garment and even demonstrate some stitches you used in the project.

C      For a cook you can use some spices on your display table and displayed your food item on something that looks like a passably period serving dish.

One last note: don’t leave toxic materials accessible in your display. Always make sure that toxic materials are clearly labeled as such and are secured in a way where they cannot be mishandled.

 

Entering Art/Sci: Educational Displays

Educational displays sometimes include a backboard displaying photographs of the work process, quotations, or small items and tools. They may also recreate an artisans workspace or how the finished item may have been displayed in period.

Also, all of the craftsman tools and materials on your table should be clearly labeled so that anyone walking by can pick up information at a glance. If you are working on an educational display, consider how you want your final piece to look. Visit a local museum and see what kind of displays they have behind their artifacts, and feel free to borrow your ideas from their displays. A museum-quality display looks much more impressive than a display reminiscent of a 5th grade science fair.

Also, you may want to include more than one copy of your documentation as you may have more than one judge.

 

Entering Art/Sci: The Day of the Art/Sci Faire

On the day of the Art/Sci competition show up with plenty of time or possibly arrive the night before). Get a good night of sleep before and relax, because your work is already done.

Bring your Entry form, your entry, your documentation, and your presentation items to the hall with plenty of time allowed for setup. Remember to bring along assistance if you will need help setting up your entry. There may not be anyone in the hall available to help you otherwise.

Make sure to report to the Art/Sci hall at the appointed time for registration. Registering your entry only takes a few minutes and now entries can even be pre-registered with the Minister of Arts and Sciences so they will know to expect you. After registration, proceed to the table location you have been given and begin setting up. Lay out your presentation, display your item prominently, and make sure your documentation is easy to locate. If you have a problem with the location (like bad lighting or a leaky ceiling), don’t just choose a new location for your setup. Go talk to the people who are running registration. Be polite, and you will most likely get a great deal of help. Once your display is set up, go have a seat somewhere and relax. You earned it.

 

The Judging Process

 

The Judging Process: How it Works

During judging, one or more judges will be in front of your piece, scrutinizing your work, and reading your documentation. Your judges may visit you piece all together or at different times.

Your presentation will be the first part of your entry they encounter, and it gives them their first overall impression. The workmanship of your item and your documentation will be their focus for the next half to several hours. Do not be alarmed if they finish quickly, seem to take forever, or use your entry as a class discussion for new judges.

If you are very nervous about the judging process, don’t sit and stare while you slowly chew your fingernails to the quick. Leave the Art/Sci hall, don’t peek through the windows, and go enjoy your friends and the event.

You can also be present at your own judging, but if you choose to be present, understand that you will be hearing all of the commentary... for good and bad. Answer questions that are asked of you, but do not become upset or angry. A good attitude will get better results.

 

The Judging Process: Judge for Yourself

If you are planning to enter and Art/Sci at some point in the future then go to an Art/Sci Faire and take a judging class. This will show you how judges are trained and what they look for when judging entries.

A rubric is used by Art/Sci judges to score each piece. Each level of entry has a different rubric with different values of points for each topic. Understanding the rubric is the key to knowing how judges will judge and score your piece.

C      Novice: Judged on a 40 point scale:  40% (16 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 20% (8 pts) for documentation, and 40% (16 pts) for workmanship. 

C      Journeyman: Judged on a 60 point scale:  25% (15 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 20% (12 pts) for documentation, 15% (9 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (9 pts) for the authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (15 pts) for workmanship.

C      Artificer: Judged on an 80 point scale:  20% (16 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 5% (4 pts) for the complexity of the entry, 5% (4 pts) for creativity, 15% (12 pts) for documentation, 15% (12 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (12 pts) for the authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (20 pts) for workmanship.

C      Masterwork: Judged on a 100 point scale:  20% (20 pts) for the overall authenticity of the item, 5% (5 pts) for complexity, 5% (5 pts) for creativity, 15% (15 pts) for documentation, 15% (15 pts) for the authenticity of the materials used (including reasonable substitutions), 15% (15 pts) for authenticity of the methods used, and 25% (25 pts) for workmanship. 

Before entering your piece, figure out at what level you will enter your piece and take a good look at the rubric for that level. This is the entirety of the criteria upon which the judges will base their scores. Each topic asks for very specific accomplishments that are already paired with a score. If you are honest with your work then you and friends can read through the rubric and pre-score your documentation.

Use this guide to find holes in your information and fill them before you enter your piece in the Art/Sci Faire. Rubrics can be found on the Trimaris Arts and Sciences website under the Arts and Science Faire Information section in the category entitles ‘Forms’.

 

The Judging Process: Scores and Expectations

Your score will directly reflect the amount of work you put into your display, documentation, materials and workmanship. It will not reflect how good or bad you should feel about your piece.

You may feel that your entry was the best work you have ever done, but that does not mean it is the best work you will ever do. If your score is not perfect, take the time to read the commentary from the judges and learn how to improve for next time. We all still have things to learn.

Perfect scores are rare. Don’t expect them. Those kind of marks tend to only be awarded to masterwork projects with masterwork documentation that are so close to period that they would not seem out of place if dropped into the middle ages.

Scores that hover in the middle ranges of possible are still good scores, and they will help you understand where to improve for the next time.


The Judging Process: Being Professional

Professionalism is key in both judging and entering the Art/Sci competition.

Judges are expected to be fair and impartial when judging all entries. They will give you an objective and unbiased opinion of how you achieved the goals of Art/Sci as laid out in the Rubric.

Judges should be at least business polite in all of their commentary to entrants, however they are not to be overly generous with points so that feelings are not bruised. Judges should be clear and concise in their commentary so that entrants have a real idea of how to improve for next time.

If you have what you consider to be a problem with the scores or commentary you received, then go talk to the people who are organizing the competition. They may be able to help you find answers.

As an entrant you must also be professional. You have chosen to put your work out there for judging, so be ready to accept the critique and commentary that will be given. Try to separate your love of the piece (because most all artists feeling strongly about their creations) from your intellectual understanding that we all have room to grow and that none of us knows everything.

Professionalism helps the competition run smoother and keeps it in the spirit of a learning experience