The Portland Art Show is an important fundraiser for various charities through the Rotary Club of Portland, as well as an exhibition to give local artists the opportunity to present and sell their work.

Broadly speaking the underlying goals of the show organisers are:

  • To maintain a consistently high standard of works
  • To present exhibitors’ works in the best possible light
  • To maximise the potential for exhibiting artists to sell their work
  • To maximise the fundraising potential of the show
  • To deliver value to sponsors and supporters
  • To encourage and provide opportunity to local and up-and-coming artists
  • To exhibit as wide a range of artists as possible

These are often competing and can be mutually exclusive, so inevitably some challenging compromises will result.

All submissions for acceptance are considered by a selection panel of two people. Our policy is:

  • The panel should ideally not consist of the same people from one year to the next
  • Members should have an art background and/or experience with previous art shows
  • At least one experienced or professional artist should be part of the panel
  • Panel members are volunteers and are not remunerated
  • The art show judge is not permitted to be on the panel, and cannot view paintings until they are hung at the show

Each panel member votes independently for acceptance. All for and against votes are aggregated, and each entry is provisionally accepted / rejected based on a clear majority of votes.

The selection panel are expected to follow take into account:

  • Artistic merit.
  • Anticipated likelihood that the work will sell in the show.  Factors such as whether the artist is selling well elsewhere, has sold at our show previously and expected visitor demographic are taken into account.
  • Whether the work will enhance and complement the standard of the show.

Some artists might not have completed their painting prior to the closing date for entry. It is important to note that lack of a photograph does not in and of itself preclude acceptance. Members of the selection panel have the ability to look at all other works of the entrant in their Gallery 247 portfolio, and can therefore make a value judgement based on previous work, even where the artist is otherwise unknown.

There is a joint review sitting during which all provisionally accepted works are reviewed at a meeting of all panel members. Factors that are taken into account at that time include:

  • Provisional acceptances that are in breach of Terms and Conditions. Typically these are entries over the maximum number permitted, photographic entries, entries that are too large and the like.
  • Achieving sufficient diversity of works on display in size, medium, subject matter, genre and price
  • Avoiding a preponderance of a particular subject, size, style and so on, whilst bearing in mind market trends for such works

Given that we guarantee to display all accepted works, it is important that the final acceptances do not exceed the capacity of the venue or compromise the overall presentation of the show. Accordingly some works might be rejected simply because there’s not enough room.

The Portland Art Show is a very popular high-calibre show, so there is a lot of competition and the number of entries invariably exceeds the venue’s capacity.

In a perfect world we’d be able to please everybody but realistically that’s not the case. It is important that artists do not take rejection personally or see it as detracting from their work.

For those artists who are accepted, congratulations – we wish you every success in the show.