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Lesson Plans

Re: juried YAM shows

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
KPRS (kprs)
Fri, 09 Aug 1996 20:20:12 -0700

Sandra L. Eckert wrote:
> Who is doing the jurying? And why does your administration have to decide
> upon what happens with YAM? Doesn't that depend upon your State NAEA board?
> I suppose that on one hand, it is a positive thing, that your administration
> is getting involved. I wonder why they chose this issue? Did they give you
> a reason?

I'd like to relate more experiences with nonjuried "celebratory" art
shows. In New Jersey we hold "Teen Arts" festivals in each county, which
at one point in time culminated with a State Teen Arts Festival.
Initially as it was set up, the local Teen Arts festivals would set up a
show of students' works which were to be submitted by students with no
restrictions. Then local artists and teachers would offer positive
critiques to students on the day of the actual "festival". The first
year my students participated, a volunteer from the festival picked up
about 100 pieces of work to be hung, as this was a celebration and I
wasn't informed of any amount restrictions just encouraged to encourage
student participation. She was told that oh my! that was too much work,
and then they just skimmed the first 25 pieces of work off the top,hung
that, and sent the rest back. (Talk about no judging at all,,,,,,the TMR
classes works were at the bottom of the pile, and were not represented at
all, along with a future architect's, fashion designer and exhibit
designer's). The next year we were all allotted a certain amount of
space. OK who picks what goes in the space???? Isn't that judging? So
is it perhaps a space issue??? The following year, someone in the
organization finally noticed that some schools were handing in work that
was copied, and the restriction went up about copy work. (As there was no
judging, again standards were not necessary). My students are always
incensed at the "positive" critiques, because they KNOW how to critique
and are embarrassed by the forced "niceness". They are at the point
where they feel like handing in crap to see how far the critquer will go
to find something nice to say. When the county Teen Arts Festivals fed
work into the State Teen Arts Festival, someone would have to make a
decision about which pieces would go. There was an obvious effort to
have each school represented, and although that might not be out and out still is. I have noticed over the years that participation
has dipped to an all time low. We used to have over 20 schools
participate, this year we were down to about 1/2 that amount. (If I have
a point, it is probably this....everyone has eyes, and can go through an
art show and tell you which ones will probably "win". It has become a
"sport"--there are few surprises...the real surprise is when you remove
the judging element, the celebration fizzles.)

Jurying/Judging can be done on many levels. Here are some suggestions
that may work on the elementary level. Have the administration or
whoever is judging, have different categories, i.e.

1. purchase award (to be framed and hung permanently in Board Office, or
Principals' office, or in library)
2. teachers' favorite
3. students' favorite
4. PTA (or parents' or public's) favorite

In this way "places" are not the issue, and more people are involved with
the judging, a sort of democratic process. AND the students get involved
in the judging, which may make them empathetic to the judging process.

San D