Once again it was my honor and pleasure and hard work to jury my fellow artists; this time for the 2012 Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts Mid Atlantic Art Competition in Pennsylvania.
And like I've noted before, even though I’ve juried, organized, curated or otherwise passed judgment on my fellow artists around 300 times in the last few decades, the process of jurying an art show never ceases to amaze me by both how individually difficult each one is and how inspiring each one becomes.
As a juror, and when done properly, the task of selecting artwork is immensely hard; made harder by the fact that a juror must also reject artwork and artists. More often than not, some rejected artwork floats back and forth between acceptance and rejection – there are variables that dictate how many pieces are included and how the downsizing of a show (it is almost always downsizing) tugs at the visual arts heart.
The Hoyt Mid Atlantic jurying process was an especially difficult show to put together. Why? Because there were so many powerful entries competing for limited wall space and because the vast majority of submissions reflected an amazing variety of genres, media, approaches, ideas and processes.
There was mastery in painting; plenty of that and from plenty of diverse approaches! Bruce Erickson subtle and intelligent approach to composition, light and homage to the classics is vastly different from James O’Malley’s brutally hyper-realistic take on our surrounds.
They are both the result of artists flexing very powerful technical skills married to even stronger artistic visions.
Carol Wallace’s breathtaking watercolor takes a mundane subject (Pears) and elevates it to a sublime position as only a refreshing and difficult watercolor can do.
And Ohad Cadji’s lusty photograph is a triumph of the human body’s never-ending ability to engage and warm our mind and body.
For those of you invited to exhibit, I send a well done! It was a tough competition and you should feel pleased and honored. For those artists whose work was rejected, as an artist myself, I your juror shares that experience with you and I know that it is never easy to accept. However, I also pass that as a juror and artist, it is clear to me that one juror’s vision and approach is just that: one juror! Keep on creating!
I have been honored to put my name to this show, and I thank all of you for it.