Being a judge is exacting work but I have to admit I kind of relish the challenge. I must do an okay job at it as I keep on getting asked to judge various art events/exhibitions. Either that or else people just can't find anyone else willing to take the heat, er, take on the task! :-D The latest judge gig was last month, when I was asked to judge the end of year art exhibition at PennWood High School. Talk about hard work for the person with the clipboard...so much talent and so few prizes available to give! What's a judge to do? Double the honorable mention list of course! ;-)
I've been in innumerable art exhibitions and other situations where my work has been judged and so I understand how it feels. Sometimes it can really burn, sometimes it's an unexpected delight. I have a lot of compassion for the situation. People's dreams and joys are so trustingly put up for all to see. I hope people realize that the judgment is just one person's opinion on one day, and not a decree from on high guiding the course of the artist's future career for all time!
|Judging at Penn Wood High School May 2014 photo: Alyce Grunt|
Despite any judge's best efforts there is a certain amount of random chance involved: from whose work is next to yours, how it is lit, what order your work is seen in, time of day and the judge's personal tastes (no matter how hard she or he strives for open mindedness!) I always go through a show of work multiple times and in different directions, jotting down notes before I even begin to think about making a selection. But a different judge on a different day might pick an all different roster of winners!
This pdf on what it takes to be a good judge from a Scottish Legal group is pretty excellent, just substituting art expertise for legal expertise: