To ‘judge’ or not to ‘judge’

Art portfolio- my work

Not so long ago I was asked to be one of the four judges for the Hessequa Art route Children’s art competition.

from left to right: Louwena Kotze, Yours truly, Christiaan de Swardt and Annette Fell

As some of you know, I adore the series Masterchef Australia and I find it fascinating to see how the judges pass their judgement/critique on the variety of dishes produced by the amateur chefs in the program. They make it look so easy. But I was petrified.

“The critic has to educate the public; the artist has to educate the critic.” -Oscar Wilde

I salute anyone – young and old- who attempt to put pencil and paint to paper to express their creativity, and find it very hard to pass judgement. Yes, sure, in art school we were taught to be able to voice our critique, but judging-trying to choose 4 ‘winners’ that is another matter.

The children between 11 and 13 were asked to portray what they think makes their town (in the Hessequa area) special. A lot of landscapes were produced. It was also clearly noticeable which children had more time in school, with more help and materials to use. Somehow I think that it would have been much easier to make a decision seeing the children doing the actual work too-

“Don’t judge people for the choices they make when you don’t know the options they had to choose from.” – quote from the internet

some of the things we looked for were:

  1. Interpretation and clarity of the theme.
  2. Creativity and originality of the depicted theme.
  3. Quality of artistic composition and overall design based on the theme
  4. Overall impression of the artworks.

I cannot share the ‘winning’ works yet, since it is not public as we speak, but I salute each and every child who took the time and entered an artwork.

And for those who want to pursue a career in art, I will leave you with this advice found in an article by Jerry Saltz on “How to be an artist”:

Happy reading and creating- whether it is with paint, pencil, paper, sewing, cooking, photographing or even gardening . May the muse visit you during the upcoming holiday season!

Moi as a child on holiday 😉

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