Monday, February 12, 2007

You be the Judge

I had the priviledge and honor of serving on one of the juries for the East Lansing Art Festival this past Sunday. I have done this many times over the past several years, but this year there were some very pleasant surprises! A major difference is that this year ELAF used Zapplications to facilitate the jury process. From my end this meant that we got to see all four images projected at once, both on a large wall and on our own lapstop screens. Information such as artist statement and the actual size of the item was available. One of the best parts was the opportunity to quickly look at everything, all the peices from all the artists in each category before we got down to the business of judging. Then we could look at each individual artist in High Resolution, zoom in to see detail, and see the booth slide at the same time as the images.

I know in the past I have worried that my criteria may change over the course of seeing the slide images, or I would worry that I was choosing too many of the same type of work. For instance, there might be a lot of different jewelers using handblown glass beads. They are all beautiful. In the past I could be in danger of rankly very highly the first few I saw, just because they were first. This time, having a general idea of what was coming, I could make a more informed judgement. Having said all that, I would like to make sure everyone knows I was one of about 7 judges, and we only were judging jewelry and fiber. The East Lansing Art Festival is one of the best organized events of this kind in the country. Each category gets its own set of informed jurors. I know this new technology will affect how artists present themselves for shows. While many shows still accept slides (East Lansing does, and they scan it into the system) I do believe many venues will go in this direction.

The East Lansing Art Festival is May 20 and 21 this year. I already know that it is going to have some great artists, and lots of things to look at and buy. And did you know that it is also a great outdoor music venue? I can't think of a nicer thing to do in May, than to look at wonderful( and mostly affordable!) art, eat fun food, and listen to terrific music, all outdoors.

What else have I been up to? I have been revisiting Tapestry. Now, my tapestries often take a very long time to weave - like a year maybe. So, I wanted to get through some ideas and issues a little more quickly than that, and I bought myself a tiny handheld tapestry loom from Houkett Would at Convergence. Nice guy - beautiful tools!

This one is small study 1, I am working on diagonals and diamond shapes.

Here is small study 2, on the loom, and sideways. In this one I am working on spheres. Mostly ovals, adn I hope at different angles. I am not happy with the bottom one, except for its education value. One of the greatthings I am finding out with this one is the difference in the yarns. The egg shaped sphere at the bottom is in a paternayan wool. The purple background in Texas, a 50% merino and 50% mohair blend. It has an amazing luster! Mmmmm. The dark brown is a yarn called Crown Colony Wool. I have mostly used it for rugs and tapestries, as it works perfectly for that. It doesn't have much luster - but I can see the advantages of that. So maybe my next small study will hone in on shine.

And what is this? This is the first step along the way of making a coil basket for Gary. He needs a better way to store his change on his dresser. He had been using a coil basket, but it is much too small.

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