December 2009 - Ghosts from the Past

Jury duty with a different bent
In October, The Scoop was called up for plant jury duty! The Chair for The Botanical Artists of Canada asked The Scoop to participate in a jury to judge paintings and drawings of trees produced by their members for the exhibit, Trees: from roots to crown. The Scoop felt very honoured and looked forward to playing hookey from work.
Each of the jurists received a CD with images of the submitted artwork and a jury sheet for judging. The Scoop was given a slightly different CD as a test of The Scoop's power of deduction (a mistaken assumption on the part of The Scoop). As the images did not match the descriptions, The Scoop's plant identification skills had to kick in. Put the petal to the nettle! Once the problem with the CD's was solved, The Scoop finished rating all of the artworks. Then, we met at a jurist's house to judge the art collectively and render our decision as to which pieces would hang and to ranking. Final judgement awaited our presence just prior to the November 4th opening, at the Papermill Gallery at Todmorden Mills.
At least we didn't end with a hung jury. We were able to agree upon the first, second, and third place winners and honourable mention. It is amazing how the framing will make or break a piece of art.
At the reception, awards were given out and Dick Rauh, a notable botanical artist, workshop leader, and upcoming President of the American Society of Botanical Artists gave a rousing speech to encourage artists of all skill levels.
The Scoop actively pushes the art of botanical drawing to educate others. Only in the artistic rendering do we see structures not evident to the camera's eye. A good artist is able to reveal these structures and to give botanical specimens a second life, i.e., three-dimensional life rendered aesthetically-pleasing and frozen at a certain point in time.
The opportunity to join a plant jury should be on the life list for the botanically-bent (that is, if you subscribe to the list of to do things before you die). Definitely, way more fun than regular jury duty. Alas, the only public hanging would involve works of art.
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