Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Judge......

Art is amazing to me, sometimes I can't get enough of it.   Oh, not just my art, actually I sometimes feel I'm only touching the outside edge of amazing art.  Yesterday I went to a Jury event for a very nice show that happens in Cincinnati in the fall.  I call this a "jury event" for one reason, you jury in person, before a judge that will decide if she likes your work.  From there, I'm not sure how they decide.  I feel lucky to only live an hour away, others must come much farther, all want to get into this show.  I have done the show three times and been excluded twice. 

Judging someones elses work cannot be easy, everything looked so AMAZING to me.  How do people think of the things they do?  I saw the most beautiful framed art, it was probably a piece that was 20"x26" and it was a street scene, trees, houses, street, and flowers.  It was totally done with the leftovers from a hole punch.  You know that little dot that usually goes in the trash, I'm sure it has a name.  The "painting" was beautiful!

Jewelery was being polished while the artist awaited their turn to be juried.  Big ceremaic vases were carried into a crowed room, with few chairs to sit and wait for your turn before the judge.  Others kept their treasures in boxes and bags.  My friend who makes wonderful wooden bookmarks, carried his samples in his shirt pocket. 

I had a brown bag with three gourds inside.  I wonder if I had choosen the right pieces, do they show the scope of what I can do with a gourd?   Do they make a nice group together?  Are they impressive enough, they are just gourds afterall.........    All these things go through my mind while I wait.  My number is called and I am told to go to the table with the lady wearing black and white.  I go into the small room with many tables and more people waiting.  All the judges are wearing black and white, I'm a little confused, not a good first impression........   Someone in black and white calls my number and I make my way to the little card table.
As I get my gourds out, she asks me the question all gourd artists get ask, "do you grow your own gourds?"  I ponder the answer, will she think less of my work if I don't grow my own gourds.  Then I remember the answer,  "I love to grow gourds, they are amazing to grow.  They don't often grow big enough or with flat bottoms, so I choose to support gourd growers and purchase my gourds in the size and shapes that I need."  (this is all true)  Whew, she seemed to understand, her mother grew some gourds.  Now I explain that all my work has a paper lining, to give them a finished look inside.  She picks up the big oak leaf bowl, talks of the carving.  She then picks up the little inlay gourd with the lid and looks inside, replacing the lid.  Next she pick ups the gourd with the antler handle and coil weaving.  We talk about coil weaving and she knew that pine needle baskets were coil woven.  Then it was over........  I was finished, did I make a good impression?  I don't have a clue, but she at least knew something about gourds and techniques.  My work isn't dramatic or unusual.  It is honest, full of spirit and made with love.... will that judge understand there is more about my work that what the eye can see?

When I came home, I replaced those gourds on my studio shelves.  I look at all of my work and know that I love what I do and I can't wait change my clothes and work on my new projects......  


  1. You wouldn't happen to be talking about Hyde Park are you? I really enjoyed getting to do that show. Not that you need it, I will keep my fingers crossed for you...

  2. Yep Jodi, It was Hyde Park.... :D It's a good show for sure. I like to think of it as the Hyde Park Dog Show..... everyone brings their dogs to this show! Pretty fun and thanks for the crossed fingers. LOL