Why are some works selected for an art show, and others are not? What is the juror responding to?
I enjoy reading juror’s statements. I recently read one that was so spot on, that I have memorized the key points. This juror cites just three, which makes it easy to remember!
- Grabs my attention
- Keeps my attention – surprise me
- Communicates an emotional connection
I believe that even when your viewer is very young, or knows nothing about art, these three points will still apply! They also carry over into all forms of art.
Grab my attention. How does the piece stand up as art? Think about composition, center of interest, value contrast, use of color, and repetition of shape. In last month’s blog post I talked about editing. Depending on the nature of the artwork, are adjustments needed to the combination and balance of notes? words? flavors? flowers?
Keep my attention. Is there something unexpected? Surprise me with juxtapositions, choice of subject, perspectives, sizes, shapes, use of the medium.
Communicate an emotional connection. Does something universal come into play? An emotion, a sense of mystery, humor, the comfort of familiarity, awe. Even an abstract piece of art can suggest something that viewers respond to. A combination of tastes in a recipe can transport us to a time and place. The way music or dance is performed can make us cry. A phrase can make us laugh.
What is the juror looking for?
Is the artwork strong artistically, does it keep my attention, and does it have something to say?
The juror, the child, and the buyer all want the same three things.
Here are a few more examples.
The recipe this month is simple and yummy. Open face melted cheese sandwich: Warm griddle to 350 degrees. Put slices of bread on a dry griddle. Drizzle each slice of bread with a tiny bit of olive oil. After the bread is toasted on one side, flip it over and add slices of cheddar cheese. When melted add raisins and slices of dill pickle.
Is this combination of flavors unexpected? Is it breaking a culinary rule?
I am reminded of rules in general, and how often they come and go. There was a time when wearing green and blue together or having your bra strap showing was frowned upon! For the time being, that is no longer the case. Whew! When creating artwork, it is useful to know the rules (making it artistically wonderful) and to be comfortable breaking the rules (creating surprise).