Eye, The Jury




If you pay an art professional a certain fee, which is called an honorarium, he or as often as not she will leave all professional tasks behind and adjudicate your art exhibition. Because you require your artists to pay a fee of twenty or forty dollars for the privilege of being considered, the honorarium can be, say, five hundred dollars. This will procure you the services of a gallery director, an art critic, an artist or a museum curator, who will examine the photographic slides that artists have submitted with their fees, select a number appropriate to your exhibition space, and even award prizes, which are either in-kind donations from art supply companies, or cash divvied out from the entry fees, or both. This juror will also, if called upon, compose a note to appear in your exhibition brochure, or deliver remarks (impromptu or otherwise) at your opening.

Notwithstanding all this, your juror is in no way expected to mingle his professional responsibilities with his jurying capacity. He or as often as not she is to consider the art submitted as a form of bric--brac, which may or may not have any commercial utility whatsoever; the stuff, in short, which is displayed in the booths at what are called Art Fairs. Kitsch is the only mode of expression given credence at such events, and though works of art which have merit may in fact obtrude, they are not to be recognized in any way. There are channels for that.

One's remarks are to be confined to generalities, as, for instance, "Beauty is subject to change, according to our social values, the community," etc. It is well to justify one's adjudication with recourse to system, "The Four C's," or "ABCD": "I look for Authenticity, Beauty, Clarity and Discipline, when asked," etc.