Wednesday, January 20, 2010
First time juror; slow start; Old Deerfield and some other stuff
I was honored to be asked and to serve as a juror for an annual exhibition at Artspace in Greenfield, Massachusetts which runs through mid-February. A first for me! Yesterday (1/19/2010) I reviewed the work of many talented young artists, students at local private boarding and public schools whose work had been nominated by art faculty at their respective institutions. What a challenge it was! So much well executed work! The exercise challenged my notions of what I think is "exceptional". Couldn't remove the I from the equation; I guess I don't think there is an objective formula for quantifying the "pull" of a particular work.....I just had to try to be open to interpreting the execution and content of each piece without regard to the medium, subject or technique employed. I looked for evidence of a process in assembly and execution.....that was the best I could do. One work was a technical masterpiece (chosen as best in show by a majority of the "judges"). It was beyond competent and deserved all the recognition it received but for me its "artistic" merit was diminished by the weight of its precision and the calculus of its formation. So, with "judging" you get mass quantities of subjectivity!?! Pity the artist who puts his/her work in the matrix of "evaluation"! I toss my own work into the "show" business from time to time but in the future I'll have insights from my recent experience; feeling rewarded or ignored by the "evaluations" will be tempered with those insights!
My painting pace hasn't yet matched my plan of four per month....as January comes to an end I've got two canvases started! I'll take some pictures and post them next week.