Monday, 12 November 2018

A juror's perspective

 Hellcat Foos (For Protecting A Space), 2018, Lindsay Montgomery.
One of the aspects I most enjoy about my professional life is its unpredictability.  Assignments, invitations and projects come out of the blue and many of them have last minute deadlines.  Juggling all that can be a challenge, and I confess the older I get the more selfish I get –accepting those tasks I find most educational and enjoyable.  Jurying competitions, whether it be for grants, awards, or exhibitions, is on the top of that list. 

I try and always say "yes" because having to study a number of applications (often dozens of them) is a great crash course on what is being made by some of our most talented artists.  I can spot trends, get inspiration for articles.  Reading letters of recommendation are indicators of who are the power players.  And then there is my favourite– getting to work with my colleagues, who are a well informed and good natured bunch from across the country.  Last but not least, there is the pleasure of giving back to my community.  Given the professional path I have chosen, I will never have enough money to be a benefactor of any significance to an artist or institution.  This is the closest I get to being a cultural Santa Claus.

Most recently, I was involved with the Winnifred Shantz Award, which is a national award with the aim of transforming the career of an emerging ceramics artist–to the tune of $10,000.  The unanimous choice of the jurors, Dr. Rachel Gotlieb, Paul Mathieu and myself, was Lindsay Montgomery of Ontario.  You can read more about it:  http://www.theclayandglass.ca/events/awards/

The award winner will be celebrated at the host venue of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Kitchener on December 1st.


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