Photo courtesy of RedLine in Denver, Colorado
I recently had the honor of serving as a judge on the Fine Arts Ministry jury for the next exhibition titled “All God’s Creatures” at Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, Colorado. As a juror, I was asked to judge the submissions on creativity and originality, composition and design, and presentation and skill.
I find it interesting that I can usually be so quick to judge other artists’ work when visiting museums, galleries, and websites; I can immediately formulate an opinion and decided whether or not I think a piece of work has artistic merit. But as a judge I felt like the fate of another artist’s career – or at least the next chapter – was in my hands.
I know what it’s like to pour my heart and soul into my creations – to go through a labor of sorts – and to give birth to something that started as a mere idea in my head and is now a living, breathing (okay, maybe not literally) piece of art work, and to send it out into the world with bated breath, only to be told that my creation – my baby – is ugly. And this knowing weighed heavily on my heart this afternoon as I scrutinized each painting, photograph, and drawing.
I struggled the most over the pieces that were strong creatively and had great composition, but were lacking in their presentation. Why would an artist invest so much time on a detailed pastel drawing, only to seemly throw it into a predictable, sometimes damaged, matte and frame? And then there were the submissions that perhaps weren’t very original, and the composition and design were just sort of average, but the attention to detail in the overall presentation made the piece speak to me. In the end I chose to judge the art work – and the way it was presented – as a cohesive unit, but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was grateful to have a pencil in my hand so that I could erase my scores again and again until I felt satisfied that I’d give each piece an adequate amount of my time and a fair judging.
The exhibition dates of “All God’s Creatures” are August 23 through October 29, 2009 at Mile Hi Church at 9077 W. Alameda Ave, Lakewood, Colorado 80226. The pieces selected for this juried art show will be on display in the sanctuary lobby and open to the public before, during, and after services. Service times on Sundays are at 8 am, 10 am, and 12 noon. Service times on Wednesdays are at 7 pm.