Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mindfulness and Jurying?

My monotype Genesis is in fact the genesis of my starting to work abstractly for the first time.  It is a joy when I feel the gestural freedom that is possible with monoprinting.  

At the Main Line Art Center's Members show recently, Genesis was awarded the Square One Award.  The Juror was Robert Cozzolino, Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

A few weeks later, it was rejected by the juror for the Artists Equity Association members' exhibit at West Chester University.  What does this mean?

Mindfulness is accepting. It doesn’t label good or bad, right or wrong, beautiful or ugly. The moment is simply the moment.  A behavior is simply a behavior. No judgment.  

I think that means I can't take either event too personally.  But personally, I'm happy to have the prize.


Elsa said...

Congrats, Susan, on winning that prestigious award but sorry your piece was passed over in the next competition. I think Genesis is stunning!

I see your point, hear your angst and understand your dilemma of wondering 'why'. I wish I knew how the art world could get along without jurying.

Jurying is comprised of a person or a group of people with opinions. The jury is subjective; they or she come with biases. Wouldn't it be great if when the process was done and the votes were in information would be given to us that was perfectly observable, that we could actually touch, feel and smell the reasons for being dismissed, be able to learn from the experience.

One of the things I love about the Phila. Flower Show's juried events is that most of the jurors post their remarks. I, as the observer, sometimes don't agree with them but I feel that the artist was given a really fair shot and could benefit. I have never seen this done at an art show.

On the few occasions I have submitted to this kind of show I have tried to find out ahead of time what kind of work that artist does, FWIW.

I have also been on the other side, i.e. I have been a juror a few times. For me, this job comes with much responsibility because I know what disappointments there will be. The juries I have been on took their charge with extreme seriousness; I hope that is always the case.

What matters most is that in the end you know you did your best, return to your studio with even more passion and continue your work with the voice you want to be heard!

Linda Dubin Garfield said...

Jurors have personal opinions and are not arbiters of fact!! Artists should not be broken hearted when they do not get into a show or think they are not good enough because a particular juror does not favor them. Your example is perfect!! From prize to rejection!!

Susan Richards said...

Thanks for your comments, Linda and Elsa! I totally agree. May the upshot be to return to one's studio with even more passion and continue the work!