Guidelines on Original Art and Procedures to Follow for Handling Complaints
(Approved by the FSWS Board November 15, 2012)
The following guidelines are intended to assist artists who enter FSWS juried shows understand and follow the Bylaws requirement that all submitted entries must be your original work.
FSWS relies on your personal integrity and judgment to determine whether your work qualifies or not. FSWS will also use these guidelines when evaluating a painting that is challenged for a lack of originality in a FSWS juried show.
1. If a photo reference is used, you must have either taken and composed the image yourself, or have received written permission to use it.
2. The idea or concept for the painting must be predominantly your own. Although the subject, the idea or the concept for a painting may have been done before, such as a still life, a landscape, and such, original entries in FSWS shows must be based on your own ideas, colors, composition, viewpoint and personal style. As long as the painting isn’t a direct copy of another artist’s work, and as long as your own personal style and viewpoint are expressed in the painting, it is most likely that your entry will be fine.
3. Paintings that are done under step by step instruction in a class or workshop setting are not considered your original work. These paintings often rely on the professional guidance of the instructor, who sometimes provides the image itself, and thus does not reflect your own exclusive personal and original work.
4. If you have submitted your work for critiques and you may or may not have followed the comments and suggestions of others, you may enter your painting into FSWS juried shows – as long as you consider the painting to be predominantly your own work.
Procedures for responding to a complaint when a painting in a FSWS show is challenged about its originality.
The President is responsible for reviewing immediately all complaints of this nature.
The President must consult with the 1st Vice President who serves as Exhibition Chair, and the Compliance Committee Chair, who is not a Board member, and must keep the Board informed of such complaints and their resolution.
The complainant must provide the President with documentation supporting their complaint, such as a photo or a link to a similar painting or photograph done by another artist. The name of the complainant remains confidential.
The President must immediately contact the artist whose work is challenged and request sufficient documentation, including reference photos and drawings, and any other support materials.
The President, 1st Vice President and Compliance Committee Chair meet and review all documentation from the complainant and the artist. Their decision is final and must be reported to the FSWS Board in Executive Session to protect all parties.
If a painting is deemed a copied work lacking sufficient originality, it must be removed from the FSWS show; if an award was given for it, the award is forfeited; the artist must be informed in writing and warned that a second offense will result in forfeiting their right to exhibit in FSWS shows in the future.