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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

"From These Hills" — The Jurying Process

One of the artists selected for the 2007 show, Lee Coburn, paints in his Glade Spring studio.
One of the artists selected for the 2007 show, Lee Coburn, paints in his Glade Spring studio.
Additional photos below »

It's Not An Easy Task

June 27, 2007

Dr. Risatti said, "It is always an honor to be invited to jury an exhibition. However, this is not to say that jurying is an easy task. Jurying means deciding; it means picking and choosing which works shall be in an exhibition and which shall not. Doing this ultimately involves peoples' feelings; after all, judgments are being made by the juror about things over which artists have labored long and hard, things in which they have invested a great deal of both physical and psychic energy. This is simply the nature of the jurying process."

He continued, "If another person had juried this exhibition, in all likelihood, a somewhat different exhibition would have resulted. This is not to imply that jurying is a capricious process; rather, that it is a process involving a measure of personal taste and personal preference on the part of the juror. For those artists not included in this version of 'From These Hills,' this is something important to keep in mind."

Risatti admitted, "In the case of this exhibition, I found the jurying process especially difficult because there was so much good work submitted and, of course, only so much gallery space available to accommodate it. The large quantity of good work, which came from the broader geographic region, explains why this version of 'From These Hills' is the largest in about a decade."

Quality & Quantity

He added, "However, I was not surprised by either the quality or the quantity of work I saw. I have lived in Virginia long enough to know that there are many terrific artists in this state. What did surprise me were all the new names I encountered, artists with whom I was not familiar, and the diversity of their work. Subject matter ranged from abstraction, to social commentary on consumer culture and politics, to nature and the land, to issues of identity and the self. Considering quality and content, clearly there is nothing parochial about this work or these artists. In short, geography is not destiny! Much of this work would be as comfortable in a New York gallery as it is in Abingdon, Virginia. This, it seems to me, is saying a lot."

Land and Nature

Dr. Risatti noted, "While I have said that geography is not destiny, this does not mean that none of the artists in 'From These Hills' are concerned with the land and nature...In one way or another, issues concerning humans as individuals and as sentient beings are a special concern of several artists in the exhibition."

Risatti concluded, "The works in this exhibition, regardless of medium, are serious, beautifully executed, and wide-ranging in the ideas and issues they engage. My hope is that visitors will take the time necessary to fully appreciate them, for it will be a rewarding experience. These works are a testament to the vibrancy of the cultural life of this region, something that should not be taken for granted. For without the efforts and achievements of these artists, which are considerable indeed, the quality of life in this region would be greatly diminished."

Suggestions for Submitting Slides for Juried Shows

? Don't use elaborate frames that overpower your paintings.
? If your artwork is difficult to portray with one slide (examples: sculpture, porcelain), submit several slides depicting different views.

Related Stories:

? Exhibit Opens

Curator's Comments about the Selected Art (more pictures)

Topics: Art

Lee Coburn

Lou Haney discusses her work in a previous exhibit.

Adam Justice, left, curator of contemporary art at WKRAC, and Dr. Howard Risatti, guest curator for the "From These Hills" exhibition.