A rumination

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December 3, 2012 by smithartonline

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A jury is always a daunting prospect. In art, oftentimes one needs to submit work for viewing by a “jury of one’s peers,” or at least by people who got caught and found themselves on a show jury. Having passed into what one might kindly call my golden years, it might be concluded that juries have become a thing of the past. Here is a fun fact: they never seem to go away. Juried presentation is simply part of the territory for artists wishing to exhibit their work.

Often I had to help my students work through the rejection of their art. It was always important for them to understand that a jury is not necessarily positing an opinion on how worthy or unworthy an individual piece of art is. It is a question of fitting a disparate grouping of various works of art into some sort of a unified presentation. Sometimes a particular work of art just does not fit with the rest of the chosen pieces.

In my first dealings with juried shows, I was elated when included and enraged when not. With time, I became more comfortable with who I am and the artistic statement I was putting forth. Pats on the back do help, of course. Even now I face rejections, the difference at this point in life is I think my work is just too cutting edge. (My fantasy world is a wonderful place).

A jury will not stop an artist creating. I am always amazed that the muse will come pounding on my door just when I decide to put everything away and give up on the art making. The vision is there though, and it needs an artist to make it manifest. The artist is the vehicle to give the work form.

Perhaps it is true when artists say they must create…no choice in the matter. When I listen to the news on the radio or read the papers, there seems to be so much focus on the negative that I wonder how one can truly find joy in this life. Then I paint.

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