The Jury is Out (of its Mind)

16 03 2016

I’m an arty person. I collect things (on my limited budget), I make things, I sell things, and I have served on a number of boards and committees of art and craft organizations, including juries.

When an artisan wants to exhibit in a show or festival, if it’s a good one, the artist must be accepted into the show by a selection committee – a jury.

While there are reasons for juries – curating cohesive exhibitions, mounting interesting and appealing shows, encouraging growth – there is one thing that has no place in the process:

It should NEVER be used as a means for a juror’s self-aggrandizement at the expense of the artist whose work is being reviewed.

Sadly, I have seen this very thing and it has caused me to enter into more than one “spirited discussion” with other jurors. When a process serves to discourage people from making their art, I believe it has overstepped its boundaries.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.     Mark Twain

Not everyone will become a financially or critically successful artist. Not everyone who plays eighteen holes on the weekend will win the Masters, either, but none of their colleagues will criticize them for enjoying playing golf. Those of us who enjoy making things must remember that – it’s good to do something just for the joy of doing it.

As long as we like what we make, we’re doing it right.

This week, I made a pecan pie – it was a work of art and I did not need a jury to confirm.


Sorry for no funnies, this week. This post is in memory of a fine old man who left us a few days ago after a long, happy, spoiled life. Simon, you were a grand guinea pig and we miss you.













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