Some final thoughts on Juried Shows and Competition: 


One of my WSI friends, an excellent artist, enters many juried shows and usually/often wins an award.  He mentioned to me that he didn’t view juried shows as competitions–and I’m sure he doesn’t because he’s THAT good.  However, I believe that juried shows ARE competitions because when one places oneself in a position where he/she is being judged against the work/accomplishments of another person–that’s competing. 

Many years ago, a teacher colleague opined that schools should eliminate all athletic competitions in all sports because athletics teaches people to be competitive.  As the mother of an athlete, I certainly didn’t agree with him, but I mostly didn’t agree with him because LIFE is a competition, and if we want to win, so to speak, then we have to be able always to put forth our best effort–without exception. 

Another WSI good friend–an excellent teacher and artist–shared with me that after acceptances to this year’s WSI Juried Show had been made, her students began calling and commenting/complaining that they didn’t get into the show.  It’s a competition, folks, and if you didn’t get into the show it’s because–at least in the opinion of the juror–your work wasn’t good enough in comparison to the other entries.  I didn’t get in this year, either, and it’s because my work wasn’t good enough in comparison to the other entries. It’s as simple as that.

I think the work entered into our juried show gets better every year.  I’ve been present for the judging for the last six or seven (or eight) years, and I know how much thought each of our jurors has put into his/her selections for the show and for the awards to our artists.  I ask the jurors to share their thoughts with me about the choices once the awards are decided, and each year I have no trouble understanding how and why the jurors made their decisions. 

So, here’s my take-away from this year’s show:  Work harder.  Paint more often.  Always submit your best work.  Rejoice in an acceptance and Resolve to do better if an entry doesn’t get in.  It’s as simple and difficult as that.  But that’s just my opinion. 

Happy painting.