Thursday, November 14, 2013

Is it time for juried art shows?

Recently, an arts maven in Saint Pete held an art show as background to the launch of her book (which wasn't even available at the launch party/exhibit). There was a notable amount of bragging about how the show was to be juried (by anonymous jurors), and endless FB advertising.

The judges incestuously chose a work of the author/curator to be in the show, and it was a photograph of someone else's work of art on a  motorcycle! One of the things Mindy Solomon and I spoke about on several occasions was how local "curators" always manage to include their own work in every show they are associated with. If it's your gallery, of course. Otherwise, it is seriously poor form, not to mention an absurd idea to choose oneself over others. 

To shorten a long and boring story, the show was remarkably inconsistent. Other gallerists and artists present told me they thought it was inconsistent, "juried via Ouija board", and "badly hung". It wasn't a bad show by any means, it just did not come remotely close to living up to the hype. But this is not what I am addressing in this blog post.

 One of the artists in the show just happens to be a blogger, and in an amazing coincidence, he wrote a blog titled: "Is it time for juried art shows?", mimicking the author/curator's exact FB posts.

It is as much time for juried shows as it is time for Dr. Pepper, tea and crumpets or a Bucs game. Art is not about marching in unison. Attempting to enjoin the community into a hive mentality with this person as the drum majorette would set the cause of art back several decades. If you want your art show to be juried, by all means make it so. Is it "time for juried art shows"? No.  Lead by example. If others agree with your wisdom, they will follow.

 --- Luis

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