From the Juror,
In a way, I hate being a juror because
1) you make a few people happy, and everybody else is unhappy and hates you, and because
2)you’re judging a person’s whole career, in effect, on the basis of one or two or three pieces, and because
3)winning competitions is not what art is about. It’s not why we look at art, or why we create it.
However, I had a job to do.
First of all, why seven first prizes, and five honorable mentions? This exhibition really is very good, with a high level of quality throughout, and, at the same time, the range of styles and media is so great that, given these two factors, it seemed almost absurd to say, for example, that this very realistic landscape or still life watercolor was “better” than that completely abstract painting or construction in wood or metal or wax, hanging right next to it.
So I tried to respect each genre and style and choose those works that pushed that particular style or genre and found a new potential in them.
Obviously, my judgements were still, in the end, subjective, and I can’t explain or justify that.
However, I can say that this is a terrific show – not only is the quality high, but that range of style and medium make it continually interesting and surprising. And that kind of diversity and quality is typical of State of the Art, a wonderful institution.