Bias in judging art prizes

Posted 4 June 2020 10:46 AM

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People often complain of biases in judges but what about biases in galleries or collectors. Recently someone said to me that a certain artist who was a judge was known for only giving awards to students from their teaching college. This made me really question why art prizes don't discuss this topic more openly.

Consider the following benefits: to entering ar prizes:

  • the judge's name is out there and typically today they judge from anonymous entries to try to remove bias
  • judges are typically professional artists and/or curators 
  • bias does exist in art galleries as well with both the decision to take an artist on as well as their client's biases - you know, things like "how much will this object be worth in 5 years?" or "is she in a book?" questions
  • being a finalist in a prize is a prize in itself to many artists judging by modern cvs - with galleries closing in regional centres art prizes offer a great sense of community and offer an opportunity to sell and be seen.