Acting as a Juror

The art quilt world is discussing the jury process on these two blogs:
http://jeannewilliamson.blogspot.com/2008/08/juror-comments.html

http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/archives/904

I have been on both sides as juror and as accepted and not accepted ( I hate the word rejected) I can tell every juror I know of takes this job on with a little or a lot of trepidation.

Some people who are asked to jury say no because of how hard it is. One year when I was on the SAQA committee we decided we would love to see what Hilary Fletcher ( from QN) would pick if she got to make the selections. All those years as director of QN and never the one to choose.

SO we asked her to do a jury selection for a SAQA show. She didn’t even hesitate to say no. Turned us down flat with out hesitation. Her reaction was “But all those people who would enter are my friends!”

And that is what just about every art quilter who acts as a juror faces. Unless she has had her head in the sand she will recognize some of the work.

But when you are in the dark making selections you feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to be objective, to be on your top game and notice the little details that make something subtle shine, to pay attention to each slide and keep your energy up through out the process. It is exhausting.

If the promoters have done a good job, you have a great field to choose from. At the end the process gets really difficult with say 10 quilts vying for 3 or so spots. It gets to be a little like pulling off bandaids. Each one you have to let go stings a little.

Then the round of looking through those not selected one last time, just to make sure, is a little sad. Some of those in that set are wonderful and just got beat out by 100th of a second <G> On occassion, sure enough, a gem that got missed somehow….bummer back to those selected to see what happens now !

Then you are all done, and you get to see who made what, to match the names up to the work. Of course being me, I have to go back and see the names on the slides of the almost chosen.

Then there is a sense of accomplishment and pride. And more trepidation because you know that some people will be hurt by your selections and others will be crowing and happy dancing.

4 Responses to “Acting as a Juror”

  1. PaMdora Says:

    Oh wow, if I had read this yesterday, maybe I wouldn’t have said yes to jurying a show that I agree to do.

  2. Kay Cox Says:

    Well, I am glad you said yes. It is a tough job and as prior exhibition chair for the Galveston Art League, I have watched many jurors in action and have been on both sides of the process. I can understand why jurors are frequently reluctant to come to the opening but I was always pleased when they did as many artists welcome the feedback especially if it is objective.

  3. Kimberly Mason Says:

    Without suffering, there is no joy. And although I much prefer joy and acceptance, I try and be at least a little grateful for the suffering and rejection.
    Thank you for the work you do.

  4. Diane Says:

    Saw your email to someone on QA and am really bummed to hear about your studio, stuff and the art car. I got power on Monday and have been at work at the office since. Many are not so lucky. A friend came over to shower last night and have some hot homemade soup. Glad you are at least in a functioning hotel room.