John Moores juries
John Moores 25 judges: Dinos Chapman, Sacha Craddock, Paul Morrison, Graham Crowley and Jake Chapman. Image © Mike Marshland
The exhibited works and prizewinners are selected by a jury. The jury members are chosen by the exhibition organisers (the Walker Art Gallery in partnership formerly with John Moores and, since 1993, with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust).
The size of juries has varied from three to six people. Members have included artists, writers, art critics, broadcasters, curators and musicians. The appointment to the jury in 1965 of renowned American art critic Clement Greenberg caused considerable excitement. Other well-known selectors include Sir William Coldstream, Ron Kitaj, Patrick Heron, Germaine Greer, Sir Peter Blake and Tracey Emin. John Moores chaired the jury on several occasions, but since 1989 there has been no formal Chairperson. Each jury is left to evolve its own selection criteria.
The selection process is anonymous: the jury is not given artists' names or information explaining the meaning of or intention behind the artworks. Only titles, details of media used and size are made available. The jury's task is to reduce the numerous artworks submitted to create the final exhibition, and finally award the prizes. The number of works entered has always been high: consistently over 1,000, frequently over 2,000 and for John Moores 25 (2008), a record 3,322 entries. The jury's task is therefore a large one, with judging taking several days.
In 2006 Ann Bukantas gave a talk on organising and judging the John Moores 24 competition. You can listen to that talk or read the transcript in our podcasts section.