July 25, 2011

Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Judging

Festival of the Arts_The Mall
I was in State College, PA, on July 14 - 16, to serve on the Juror’s panel for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Sidewalk Sale.  I wrote previously about the initial jurying process here; now the jurors reassembled to visit each of the artist’s booths, score them, and award prizes.  Luckily, the weather was practically perfect, which made visiting the approximately 350 booths a bit less of a daunting enterprise.  Pictured above are some of the booths on the Mall on campus; others were on Allen and adjacent streets nearby.
It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to vend at a show like this--the artist needs to first conceptualize and then produce the work, at various price points and in sufficient quality, put together a coherent and workable booth design, take images and submit them for jurying, then transport it all to the site, set it up, and staff the booth for long hours in all kinds of weather conditions. So scoring the booths was an assignment all the jurors took very seriously.  We had an aide to guide us and make sure we got to each one, and at each booth I made an effort to introduce myself and speak a few words with the craftsperson/artist where possible. (I did not interrupt an artist in the midst of a sale!)   I felt that the quality of the works exhibited was consistently high, and was careful in my deliberations.  After my initial round of scoring, I went back the next day and reviewed the booths and my decisions.
Festival of the Arts_Jurors
Pictured above is the juror panel, l-r Karla Prickett, myself, Pam Lautsh (Sidewalk Sale coordinator), Jimmy Clark, Sharon Massey, and Ron Thurston. We worked well together, and while were impressed with much of the work, in the end it was clear which  was the most deserving. We were all very pleased with the choices we made.  We were even more pleased to be able to sit on the stage and see the looks on the artist’s faces as the winners were announced.  It was a distinct pleasure to be able to award recognition--and cash--to such deserving individuals.
Festival of the Arts_Best Of Show
Best of Show went to ceramicist Luis Enrique Gutierrez, from Zebulon, NC. The Best of Show award comes with a $2,500 cash prize. You can see the other prize winners on the Festival Blog.

Festival of the Arts_Sue Reno, Anni Matsick
Here I am with my friend, and Festival volunteer extraordinaire, Anni Matsick, next to the mister.  My thanks again to all those involved in running the Festival and allowing me to have a part in it. I had a wonderful time!


Kim Hambric said...

Glad to hear about your behinds the scenes details. I thought this year's show was fantastic and not just for the weather. I'm thrilled to hear that Luis Enrique Gutierrez won best in show. He was the favorite of both mine and my husband's. Excellent job!

Anni Matsick said...

My job is fun since it involves getting to meet and spend time with our five jurors every year! You should return next year as a Juror Escort, make the rounds again!