Art show jury goes high-tech

May 1 is the last day for artists to apply for a position in the 30th Annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival. And those who apply for the coveted spots on the town’s boardwalk come time for the art festival, and for the judges who pick from among them, life just got a little simpler and a lot more high-tech. For the first time, the Bethany Fenwick Chamber of Commerce is using the Web site at for all artist applications.

“The online application is similar to the one we’ve always used,” said Karen McGrath, executive director of the Chamber. “There is a place for their registration information and also there is a place for artists to write a little bit about themselves and their work.”

In addition to offering higher quality of images and ease of use for the artist, the online service allows jurors to simply click a link and input their password to view the applications.

“In the past, the jurors came here, but this allows them to judge them at their leisure,” said McGrath from the Chamber’s headquarters near Fenwick Island. “It’s easier for us, the jurors and the artists.”

The company, suggested by some of the artists already using it, has an added bonus. Artists can set up a profile on the site and have images ready to apply for any show.

“If you want to apply for a show,” explained McGrath, “your stuff is already there, ready to go.”

McGrath added that there is a tutorial for first-time users and that all entries will be submitted online this year.

“If someone is not comfortable doing it, they can still send their slides or pictures here, and our staff will do it,” she said. “We don’t want to disqualify anyone just because they are not comfortable. But they will all be submitted online.”

“It benefits the artists, because we’ve seen in the past people not chosen because of scratched or old slides, and their artwork didn’t show that well. The quality is so much better, and they also have an opportunity to write that bit about themselves or their work, why they do what they do, and that is a great benefit to them,” explained McGrath.

According to the Chamber, participants are still being accepted through a blind jury process, based solely on review of the images provided. The jury is made up of objective art professionals from the Delmarva region.

The 30th annual Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival is set for Sept. 6, 2008. May 1, 2008 is the last day to apply to be part of the show. For more information, visit online.