Rigor Vitae: Life Unyielding

Friday, May 16, 2008


In the last post I talked about the subjectivity of jurying a show, but I shouldn't leave the impression that it's always so. A few years back, I was one of three jurors for a show in Vermont. We didn't agree about much, except that "Best of Show" should go to an amazing drawing by Cole Johnson. Sometimes there is but one possible answer to a question. So it was today. I just juried a show of animal art from middle and high school students of the Salt Lake City Public School District. There were some wonderful pieces, both two- and three-dimensional, but there was no doubt in my mind about who deserved the overall "Best of Show" rosette. It went to Oliver Morgan, a middle-school student who created the scratchboard above. It wasn't the most creative piece in the show--it had obviously been copied from a photograph of a fat old zoo Orang-Utan, but I was amazed that a kid yet unable to drive legally might be capable of such mastery of the use of value. And scratchboard is a difficult medium, since we learn to draw with dark onto light--working in reverse is extremely confusing at first. Congratulations, Oliver, on an incredibly mature piece of art. Keep at it--I'm not turning my back on you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an old scratchboard artist, (between 1984 and 1991 I did the illustrations for 7 books in scratchboard), please tell Oliver what a great job I think he did. You're absolutely correct Carel.

9:39 PM  

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