I just returned home from jurying the 85th Annual Hoosier Salon Exhibition in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was quite the experience! When we arrived at the jurying site, we were welcomed by the site of 15 large crates full of artwork in addition to the large selection of sculpture. This photograph was taken near the end of our jurying process, when there were only a few crates left to go through.
There were nearly 600 entries of art for this competition, and it was a daunting task to go through all of them. Dean Mitchell (the other juror) and I had the physically easy part however. Volunteers were in charge of moving the artwork around into the different categories. We were able to look through every piece of art on the first day and separated them into three "piles" of yes, no, and maybe. The second day we spent going through the maybe pile and deciding yes or no on them. Then we searched through the entire yes category and pulled out pieces that we felt were outstanding. Once we had those all set up so they were easy to see, we assigned awards to the deserving works of art.
It was an exhausting process, but it went well. Dean and I agreed on most pieces that we saw. There were quite a few that we disagreed on and were able to discuss the different qualities or problems that the painting had. In the end, we both agreed upon every piece that was included in the show, and all the pieces that received awards.
This is a photo of Dean and I at the very end of the process, when we had decided on all the pieces to be in the show.
This is a photograph of Dean, three of the wonderful volunteers that came to help with moving artwork around, and me on the end.
This was a wonderful jurying experience. I enjoyed discussing the works with Dean and occasionally bantering back and forth on pieces that we did not agree on. When all was said and done however, we chose the best work - regardless of medium or genre, the best artwork was included in the show. And that is what juried shows are all about, selecting and rewarding the best artwork that is brought out to be judged.