The Jury and How to Survive One

What is a Jury?
Each semester, Ivy Tech’s Visual Communication Department invites three professional creatives to critique student work. Students must present their work as they would to a real world client or employer. In doing so, students not only gain the experience of presenting in front of a group (the judges as well as their peers), they gain the insight provided by those who are working every day in the field of design.

Students wear professional attire and present their portfolio-destined work to the panel by explaining the project’s requirements and then discuss how they arrived at their design decisions, such as concept, image selection and creation, color choices, typefaces used, and audience consideration. Jurors then comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Why is Jury Important?
The Visual Communications program is portfolio-driven. In the final term of your two-year studies, you must pass a portfolio review which determines if your portfolio is ready to be presented to prospective employers. So, the jury experience could be the only opportunity you will have for direct comments and dialogue from industry professionals before employee interviews.

When you land a job in industry, you will be constantly meeting with clients, and spending considerable time communicating about their needs and your creative solutions; jury is a chance to practice that vital skill. You must be able to generate enthusiasm for your visual solutions and be able to argue intelligently to defend your creative decisions.

It comes down to this: if you are serious about getting a job, you must be serious about jury.

When are Juries Held?
They are normally held the last Thursday of the semester, and typically run from 9:00 to 4:00, with a lunch break. There is no jury during summer semester.

What is the Process to Show Work at Jury ?
Certain course projects will be earmarked by your instructors to show at jury. Those projects must first be presented in critiques held in the individual classes; work not critiqued in the classroom may not be shown at jury, without exception. Reaction from fellow students and instructors are evaluated and necessary improvements are made before the student presents the work at Jury.

Is Attendance at Jury Mandatory?
Attendance at jury is required for all full-time students in the program. Presenting at jury is required for all full-time students starting with your second semester. Missing a jury will cost you the loss of one grade for that class (final grade of “B” becomes a final grade of “C”). Projects need to be approved (in its final format) by the instructor before students present. Craftsmanship is required (no rubber cement residue, crooked mounting or generally sloppy work will be allowed to be presented). Part-time students are highly encouraged to attend and present.

Students are expected to make every possible effort to attend for the entire duration (juries usually last until around 5:00). Even if you show your work early in the day, you are encouraged to remain for the entire jury. This may mean making arrangements with employers, and plans should be made accordingly early in the semester.

Jury After Party
After jury, Visual Communication students, instructors, and staff have gathered together to celebrate the end of the semester and all that entails. Location varies and is determined by students showing interest. Look for a sign-up sheet in the cutting room if you’re interested in celebrating with us.

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