This morning I am working to judge an art competition. For some reason I keep falling into this work. While I loooove looking at art and recognizing the artists with ribbons or medals I always ache for those who do not win. Obviously we cannot all be good at everything we do...and many of these competitions have everything from extreme beginners to über professional artists. I wish I could give awards to everyone, like in elementary school.
Here are some of the awards I would give:
1) Rebel award: the winner would get this award for throwing all of the art "rules" out the window and/or never learning them in the first place, but still having the confidence to enter a show with professionals. That is pretty awesome.
2) Sweetest sentiment: this would go to those grandma's who took a painting class and on their first try decided to go all in on a portrait of a grandkid (portraits are hard and kids are challenging so it is not what I would advise for beginners). I love seeing where they put the most focus, usually the eyes.
3) Best depiction of an abandoned building. Living in the west we artists are often inspired by the decrepit beauty of abandoned buildings, but often those paintings/drawings/photos get overlooked by the flashier work.
4) Greatest concept: sometimes I see work that falls a bit short because the idea was simply too big. Grand concepts are difficult to pin down, but I can often see what was intended and it bums me out to not acknowledge a really great idea that maybe didn't quite come to fruition.
5) Most unique: I see work that falls into its own category...maybe it is a dog sculpture made out of spoons or a painting of 200 elbows (I have not seen this painting, but I want to) that just cannot be compared to the other work in the show. I bow down to that kind of work.
6) Total disregard for the rules: often people will enter a show with specific guidelines and their work in no way fits the requirements. Hats off to those folks who are just sharing art even if they cannot win.
7) Most well disguised cheap frame: look, we have all been there, framing can be a huge expense. Sometimes all you can afford is the cheapest possible frame. I am not too much of a framing elitest, but it really does say something to the viewer about how you value your art. Our friend and framer Claire at Goedicke's does an amazing job for Eric and me---we know the artistry of a good framer. Sometimes that simply is not an option, particularly if you have a lot to frame at once. Some people are wizards at presenting their cheap frames in the best possible light and this is an art form that should be acknowledged.
Anyway, I am sure it will be fun to see what others are doing and I hope to be inspired!
Here is a photo of me and the girls sketching.