Some of the best work being created in figurative painting today is the result of an intensive, systematic, well-planned course of study that could be defined as “academic”. » Read More
Most parents remember these seemingly never ending questions: Why is the sky blue? Why do elephants have trunks? Why is the snow white? Why does it thunder? Why is that policeman pulling us over, Daddy? Why can’t we go to McDonald’s? Why do I have to go to school? Why can’t I stick my finger in the light socket? Why can’t I wear my camouflage cloths to church? Why can’t I go home now?” The questions just keep coming. Sometimes we’d » Read More
If you want to be juried into an art show, or win an award in a show, it’s important that you have “connections”. Knowing the judge or jurors doesn’t hurt, maybe even being involved in the host organization will further your changes of winning something, anything…Right?
Accusations of award winners being preselected or friends being shown favoritism are occasionally leveled against art organizations by disappointed applicants. Oil Painters of America is not immune from such criticism. The question is, is there justification for such accusations?
Recently, within the last three weeks, I was bestowed the honor of seeing how an OPA Selection Committee works…from the inside out. I was one of five judges chosen to select the paintings that will be in the OPA Western Regional Exhibition this October at the Lee Youngman Galleries in Calistoga,
Now that all the selections have been made, I am able to tell you how it works.
First off, you need to know, I still do not know who the other four jurors were…and will probably never know. I asked out of curiosity, after the judging was completed, but received no response. Another thing, only two people knew the identity of the five jurors, the OPA President and the Jury Chairman.
We had four days to rate the 924 entries, grading them on a scale from one to seven. The entries were viewed using the internet and we had no way of knowing how other jurors voted. After all the grades for each painting were compiled we were given an additional three days to reevaluate the top 190 entries scoring them in the same way…one to seven. Those receiving the highest cumulative scores were selected for the show.
I did not enter the competition this year, but if I had, I was instructed to vote for my painting in order to avoid any possible computer processing issues. However, it was the average score of the other jurors that would have been substituted for my vote. So, even in that, the temptation to show favoritism toward one’s own work was eliminated.
Paintings were evaluated based on design and execution. The best works had one dominant value, a dominant color harmony, a clear center of interest, balance, accurate drawing, convincing value relationships, consistent and believable color temperature relationships, appropriate variety of hard and soft edges, and varied and interesting paint application.
Get all those elements right and you ended up with a seven…in the top 1-3 percent of entries.
I have judged many art shows and only once did I sense a little urging to vote a certain way…and that was for an Elementary School art competition.
Oh, you may be wondering if the artist’s signature on a painting has an influence. Well, to be very honest, I make it a matter of personal integrity to avoid looking at the signature. If the focal point of the painting is located in the area of the signature, there’s no need to be concerned about awards.
I’m sure if an advantage can be gained in any art competition, there will be those who will try to get that advantage. But, as for the Oil Painters of America Exhibitions, I was most impressed to see just how unbiased the jury process actually is. This should be an encouragement to many of you. Hey, it all comes down to the quality of the work, not to who you are or whom you know.
Below are website links to those featured in this article:
Each snowflake is made up of from 2 to 200 individual crystals, and each of these crystals come in one of six basic shapes. As snowflakes pile up, all these little ice crystals act as tiny prisims reflecting the light and scattering the color, thereby creating the appearance of white. Snow is not always white however, because the color of the soil carried up into the atmosophere can affect the color.
Most snowflakes are less than one-half inch across, but amazingly, the largest recorded snowflake was 15″ in diameter. The colder it is outside, the smaller snowflakes tend to be and the most beautiful, fluffiest snow occurs around 15 degrees.
A few other interesting facts about snow…averaging 94″ of snow annually, New York City receives more snow than any of the other largest US cities. Practically every location in the US has received snow at some point, even south Florida and Hawaii. A record breaking snowfall for Phoenix occurred in 1933…one inch. Finally, if there is a blizzard in the forecast, run out and load up on cakes, cookies and candy, a lot of other people do.
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