Artisans Center of Virginia

  Jury Process

Thank you for your interest in the Artisans Center of Virginia (ACV) Jury. The ACV is dedicated to assisting Virginia’s artisans in advancing their artisan business endeavors, one way being through the recognition of meeting standards of excellence.

The ACV Jury is available to craft-artisans and is held twice a year (spring and fall). It is comprised of a stringent two-part Jury, or judging process, which reviews the applicant’s works, professional experience and provides a beneficial and constructive critique. This two-part jury ensures that the work is hand-made, reflects technical excellence and is the artisan’s unique vision. The work must be well-conceived illustrating the artisan’s commitment to originality and/or historical merit as well as proficiently executed with integrity, showing the artisan’s competency in skill and material understanding. Applicants must be current members of the Artisans Center of Virginia, residents of the Commonwealth of Virginia (proof may be requested) and all works must be original designs of the applicant.

Virginia Juried Artisan:

Virginia Juried Artisans are featured on the ACV website via an individual artist/business profile page and are eligible to participate in ACV program opportunities –including, but not limited to, the annual ACV Juried Artisan Exhibition. Virginia Juried Artisans are also eligible to be nominated for the Juried Master Artisan designation, which recognizes the highest level of craft achievement and mentorship (specific criteria applies). Member Juried Artisans may utilize the ACV jury distinction/seal (brand usage agreement applies) in their own studio, website and print materials or wherever their work is shown. The ACV seal, found on pieces displayed in galleries, studios, sales venues and during exhibitions, denotes work created by leading Virginia artisans representing the excellence in media.

Once accepted, the artisan is encouraged to schedule a short interview with an ACV program representative regarding eligible opportunities. This process can be accomplished through email or by telephone.

CLICK HERE to download the Jury Application Form. A $65, non-refundable application fee is required.

Virginia Juried Artisan Status and Re-instatement:

New Virginia Juried Artisan members, who continue as members of ACV in good standing, retain ACV Juried Artisan certification for life (in their designated juried category). Virginia Juried Artisans who lapse in their ACV membership and re-join at a later date will incur a simple re-instatement jury review.

CLICK HERE to download a re-instatement form. A $65, non-refundable application fee is required.

Virginia Master Artisan of Distinction:

Having attained a high level of experience and professional recognition, this artisan is eligible to be critiqued on the master level. The works produced by the artisan should demonstrate extreme excellence in both design and craftsmanship and a total competency and control of the medium. Community involvement through education and mentoring define the role of Master Artisan. Nominee must be a current ACV Juried Artisan member in good standing for minimum of 2 years. Nominations for the Virginia Master Artisan distinction must be made by an artisan peer or community representative. An artisan may not nominate him/herself. Professional letters of endorsement will be required. The Master Artisan, in addition to perpetuating their craft to future generations and preserving their stylistically unique contributions to Virginia craft, becomes an ACV endorsed statewide resource for information and technical expertise in their field.

CLICK HERE to email us for information on applying for or nominating a Virginia Master Artisan

Juried Virginia Artisan Eligibility:

• The ACV Jury is available to craft artisans (see “Jury Standards - Accepted Media” for applicable categories)

• Applicant must be a permanent resident of Virginia (proof of residency is required)

• Must be a current ACV member. (if not a current member, applicant may apply for jury and membership concurrently)

• Work submissions must be produced by the artisan applicant.

• One media category and/or sub category per application and fee. (artisans may submit more than one media)

Ineligible Works:

Paintings, digital prints, photographs, graphics (including etchings and web or sheet-fed offset printed, digitally created or manipulated works from copyrighted sources), works that incorporate materials acquired from the killing of endangered species, elephant ivory (fossilized ivory is the exception), dried or silk flower arrangements, bonsai, embellished commercially-made objects (e.g., tee shirts, note cards, etc.), and works assembled (wholly or in part) from commercially available kits or any items that infringe upon a copyright, trademark or patent. (Documentation may be required).


ACV Juries are held twice a year (spring and fall). Jury applicants must submit high resolution, 300 DPI images of their work and applicable documents as the first stage of the Two Stage jury process. If approved at the Stage 1: Image Jury, applicants are invited to submit work for the Stage 2 : Object Jury. All applicants are notified in writing by email of their acceptance status at the completion of each stage of the jury.


Stage One - Digital Image Jury:

Each artisan is asked to submit:

• Completed Application Form- Include specific media category/ sub-category.

• Artist Resume- Include all professional experiences. (Click Here for a How-To Resume Guide)

• Artist Statement- 1- 2 paragraphs briefly outlining the artist’ motivation and inspiration, influence, process and goals. (Click Here for an Artist Statement How-To Guide)

• Five (5) high resolution digital images of work that best represents applicant’s skill & design aesthetic. Include: artisan name, image number, title, size of object, techniques, materials, and price. (images should be submitted on CD or Flashdrive (non-returnable) or by email, 300 DPI, JPEG or TIFF.

• Non-refundable Application Fee of $65 per media category/ sub-category to be judged. (Click Here for “Jury Standards - Accepted Media”)

• Supporting Materials- business cards, brochures and postcards (business or exhibitions/shows), published writings, articles, reviews, etc.

Suggestions for Digital Image Jury: Professionally photographed images are most effective. If it is not possible to obtain the services of a professional, (Click Here for a “Digital Imagery” guide).

Stage Two - Object Jury:

After the Stage 1: Digital Image Jury, those who meet the criteria will be invited to submit to the “Object Jury”. Artisans are to submit 3-5 objects (depending on size and value of objects). Objects submitted must be accompanied by a descriptive listing that includes materials, processes employed and retail prices. All work presented to the jury must be in its final form and represent the artisan’s BEST work.

Transportation of Objects:

Objects must be carefully packaged and delivered to the ACV offices by the artisan/applicant or shipped via UPS. Return postage and insurance coverage during transportation is the responsibility of the applicant. Other methods of shipping are accepted on a case by case basis. All works are insured by ACV upon receipt and until the moment the works are return-shipped.

Suggestions for Object Jury: Items submitted for the object jury should present the VERY BEST of the applicant’s work and show a range of expertise in skill and artistry. These items will be evaluated on overall design, originality, technical execution and marketability (see “Jurors and Judging”) as used to produce the final object. The judging involves an objective rubric consisting 96 objective category levels with with a descretionary 4 points allowed for subjective articulation by the juror of subjective as well as objective standards. If possible, artisans should submit the same objects which were presented in the Step 1: Digital Image Jury.


Jurors/Judging Criteria:

Jurors: The object jury panel will include an ACV staff member, one standards committee member, one gallery professional, and one peer juror who has attained ACV Juried Artisan status in their medium. When necessary, a second standards committee member will serve as an alternate. This diverse group of professionals will offer an in-depth and beneficial critique.

Scoring: A judging rubric with a total of 100 attainable points is used by each juror. Averaging the results from all four jurors, a score between 70-100 must be attained in order to become a Virginia Juried Artisan.

Evaluation Categories:

Originality: Innovative approaches that show unique style, self-expression, inventive ideas and where passion for the work is obvious.

Design: An object must be well designed. Consideration will be given to choice of materials appropriate to intended use. Objects should be innovative and strong in composition and the form must meet the function of the piece.

Technical Execution: An object must be handcrafted by the applicant or under the direction of the applicant. Handcrafted objects are so designated when hand tools or hand directed machine tools are used. Issues of durability, assembly, technical execution, and appropriate finishing will be carefully examined. Applicant should list all components of each piece that is not specifically produced by the maker. An object will be classified as handcrafted when at least 80% of the perceived value (excluding raw materials) is handcrafted by the applicant. Examples: handcrafted lamp base with a commercial lampshade, handcrafted jewelry with a commercial clasp, handcrafted weaving with a commercial frame.

Marketability: While issues of design and craftsmanship are prime considerations, the image and object jury’s will also consider marketability. Applicants are asked to list retail prices of objects submitted and include supporting marketing promotion documents/publications for accountability.

Heritage Craft Criteria: Crafts, which may be designated as “heritage” works, could represent exceptions to the guidelines requiring individual creativity and innovation. Many traditional works such as those produced within folk communities (ethnic, tribal, religious, occupational or regional) instead adhere to a group aesthetic, developed over time. If the artisan feels their work is best evaluated within the context of folk criteria, then the application would benefit from supporting documentation.


Stage 1: Initial Application and Digital Image Jury:

• ACV Current Membership (Verified)

• Completed Application Form

• Resume

• Artist Statement

• Five Digital Images of the artisans work (CDs and flashdrives are not returned) . Include: artist name, image number, title, size of object, techniques used, materials used, and price.

• Supporting Materials: For example: press clippings, show brochures or announcements, related published writing, web address, professional materials- business cards, postcards, brochures, etc.

• Non-refundable Application Fee of $65 per media category/ sub-category to be judged

Make check out to: ACV Note: Should the media submitted not be awarded jury status, pending constructive improvements are made, the jury payment includes re-application for a period up to one year from the date of the initial application deadline.

Stage 2: Object Jury:

• 3-5 Objects

• If mailed, return postage, insurance coverage and careful packaging for delivery/ return of objects.


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