- What Lies Behind collage by Bev Bley of Fredericksburg, VA
- The Game oil painting by Sarah Lapp of Fredericksburg, VA
- In the Distance II acrylic painting by Barbara Taylor Hall of Fredericksburg, VA
- Shelf Fungi mixed media by Karen Julihn of Fredericksburg, VA
- Parallel Lines photograph by David Kennedy of Fredericksburg, VA
- Wild Cherry encaustic painting by Jane Forth of Linden, VA
- Shattered Janney Marshall's photograph by Sheila Jones of Fredericksburg, VA
"I can't believe he chose that piece and not mine! What was he thinking?"
I've heard this whispered and sometimes loudly spoken by people who visited exhibits I judged and who submitted works to be considered for those exhibits. Let's face it; there are two constants at work whenever an exhibit is selected: the idea of value in the opinion of artists and that of the juror. Many times these constants are in conflict. Today there are no set standards for what constitutes successful art because there is no set style, idea or school of art that holds pre-eminence. Theoretically, any art effort is justifiable, but not every effort at making art is equally successful. In my many years in the field of making, seeing and understanding art I trust my judgment about detecting an artist's idiom and determining the level of success in conveying it in the art.
I tell my students that there are three inextricably interdependent components in art: concept, composition and craft. That is, there must be an organic connection among the idea, form and technical elements so that the result engages the viewer into a dialogue with the artist's insight. Even the most common of situations that an artist may choose to address must be elevated to the rare and separated from the common. There is no place for dependence on "happy accidents" alone. Art that connects with me makes me think and reconsider.
Again it was a pleasure to serve as juror for an FCCA exhibit as I have served so many times before. The art is exciting, the venue inviting and the staff professional and helpful.