A week ago Monday I juried the "Summer Sizzle" show for the Littleton Art Guild that opened Friday July 13th. I am relatively new to being a juror. This is my third or fourth time being asked to jury a local show. I do enjoy it although I won't say it is easy. Some decisions are easier than others, of course. Each venue I have been asked to jury has a different process. I am not sure if I am just getting more used to it or that the people I worked with for this show were just easier to work with, but it seemed to go very smoothly and for that, I am grateful. I was also asked to give a few words for each of the pieces I rejected when I juried the show. I wasn't sure what that was about until I went into the room where they were all gathered and then it made sense. Of course those not accepted would like to know why. It is a good study in how to be gentle yet firm in your reasoning. The woman writing the comments down on a sticky note thought I was fair and succinct.
At the reception for the opening I was asked to come and give the awards and a few words about my choices. This wasn't difficult except for the fact that seeing the work hung on the walls gives one a whole new perspective versus jurying them as the line the floor along the walls! I saw some of the pieces I gave consideration to but then put aside; I began to second guess myself. Luckily, a number of members came up to me right away to thank me for such a great show. That it looked wonderful and they were pleased with my choices. Phew!
|summer sizzle from two different perspectives|
I was in a very equitable mood when I juried this show. I could have been a lot more harsh in my decisions to make a tighter show overall. But I instead asked how much room did they have to hang the show. IE about how many pieces could they hang in the space. I then asked how many roughly had been submitted. I then took out the the ones that I felt were not as good as they could be or did not fit the theme well enough. If there were obviously multiple pieces submitted by any one person I tried to keep at least one for the show even if the artist wasn't particularly up to snuff. I did reject more than the number I needed to, but not as many as I would normally have.
Picking "best of show" is so relative. The piece I thought was best of show really did not fit the theme of the show well in my opinion so I had to let it go. I could not even give it honorable mention and be fair to those whose work did fit the theme. In my words on my choices I made a point of saying why I thought it fit the theme and then said a few words as to why I picked it specifically for an award. Rarely is there an artist except the one who wins, who thinks the Best of Show is really that. I picked the painting above for the following reasons: It was well done perspective wise; It fit the show theme; it had a unique perspective and subject matter; it was fun and did not take itself too seriously. And it has good movement to it.
|What a delightful portrait of a datura in sun-baked earth|