Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oprah Says, "There are no Coincidences."

I'm not so sure. Things seem to come together at the oddest times. What do you think: coincidence or something else?

Last week, Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Letters addressed which was more important in Judging -- "Mastery or Spark". I replied to his letter with the formula I have developed over 25 years of judging art. http://www.painterskeys.com/clickbacks/mastery-or-spark.asp The timing seemed coincidental since on Labor Day, for the third time in 15 years, I will be returning to judge the Powers Crossroads Festival near Atlanta. I began to think about my judging and this question of excellent technique vs. inspired creativity. I began to hope there would be many works which would include both.

Then, over the weekend, my long time friend, Joanna Ellington, called from Florida to say that she would be the second judge and would share the judging duties with me. Were there judging vibes in the air or simply another coincidence? Oh, dear.

Joanna and I have paid our dues as festival exhibitors, so we will be sure every exhibit gets a good look - we remember the snooty judges who just passed by. We are painters, but our art purchases have most often been from the potter or wood carver or metal sculptor or quilter -- we learned the difference between excellent work and the work of a friend. We honed our skills by preparing slides for watercolor society exhibitions, 'selected our own shows' before sending the entries off to the real juror, and often argued later with each other and the absent juror when comparing lists -- we understand the place of both the traditional and the avant-garde.

In spite of our similar backgrounds, we bring different styles, tastes and experiences to the job. I expect some differences of opinion as we select the winners and I wonder which will affect our choices for the 20 awards in the wide range of categories: Mastery, Spark or Compromise. I'll post the winners in September.


Walker said...

Annette - If I submitted work to a show which you were judging I would be assured of having a fair decision. You truly have the breadth of experience to be a great judge.

Annette said...

Breadth of experience, huh? Thanks, Robin.
I have worked on my judging skills almost as much as my painting skills and I have learned from the best -- particularly that I should be able to say (not defend or excuse, just state) why I selected or rejected a piece. Really makes a difference in how I approach the job. AAB