Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Art Shows - behind the scenes

On the surface an art show looks like it's easy to put on - but I tell you there are so many people behind the scenes and people are scrambling. This year registering art pieces for consideration in the juried show was done online. A first for our group. A bit confusing and some of the older people had a lot of trouble. First there is getting a good photo of art work without glares. Then converting it to a size and format for the entry. Then establishing a presence on the website to pay entry fees and to add photos. Once everyone is done with that, the judges make decisions on what art is accepted and what is not. Everyone has to be notified of their status, and not everyone has a computer.

At this point art has to be delivered and registered as received and placed into the appropriate categories for judging. More volunteers to do all this. (Bobbi and I worked on that the first day.) For two days. Then the big judging day, when panel of three judges look at the art. Everything in each category is set up so they can see it all. In this case, they put sticky notes on those that might be prize winners. Then those pieces are moved to a location where they can see them together and debate their merits. Finally a decision is made as to first place, second, third, 1st honorable mention and other honorable mentions. All this is recorded by a volunteer (Phyllis) and the show chair. Then temporary ribbon markers are placed on the winners (this was my job). The first place winner is moved to another location where it will be in the running for best of show. Then the judges move to another room where another category is set up for their viewing. The same steps take place for each category. In the background however, volunteers (my two grown grandsons and a buddy were among the volunteers doing this) have cleared the first room and set up a new category there, so when they finish the second category, they can move on to the third. As judges finish with the second category and move on to the third, the volunteers whisk the art away and start setting up another category there. It was like a beehive, with everyone either working, or waiting for their next assignment. It's actually a lot of fun for everyone as we are viewing the work and making our own predictions. Being in the room with the judges and the show chair is a really fun job - it's my fav. I love hearing the judges comments and debates. We try to blend into the background so as not to be a distraction and not to apply any pressure to hurry them. It is a great educational opportunity to learn what criteria they use and how they often do not agree, so it is either by wearing the others down, or by putting u p a convincing rationale for giving one piece a prize over another one favored by another judge. Very interesting. As the last step, all the first prize winning entries are placed side by side and they pick best of show. That one gets $1,000 as a prize. Woo hoo. If you want to see who wins, google Lodi Community Art Center Spring Art Show. My favorite piece did not win best of show, but it was immediately purchased by one of the judges. It will stay in the show, she will pick it up at the end.

My next duty is to prepare the printable program for the event. We list each artist, each category, the medium used, winners, where they are located, etc. These are handed out to everyone at the show. I will use part of the collage I did for the cover. The tickets for the gala were made with the post cards, and the name tags will also use a cut down version of this art piece. It's getting a lot of use.....

Other volunteers will load up the artwork in trucks and vans and move them to the winery which is about 10 miles away from the gallery. Then they will be hanging the show. They hang them on the wine barrels. It always looks wonderful. You can see last years' on the website.

These are just a few of the volunteer opportunities (jobs) that are done to get ready. A group put together beautiful gift baskets which are up for raffle prizes. Catering the gala event is done by an outside group, but during the two day show, food is provided by the membership.

So much work for the two day event. It is our biggest fundraiser for the year. This year the funds made by ticket sales for the gala will go to support the art programs at the local high schools. They had severe cutbacks in funding for supplies and art materials. We are hoping to make a sizeable donation to help them. Wish us luck. I wish you could be here to see the amazingly wonderful art!

these photos were taken last year.

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