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2015 Members Exhibit: Reflections of Jurying Day

Hello! My name is Virginia and I’m a college student who is interning here at ACA for a few weeks to learn about community arts and gallery work. On my first day at ACA I watched Erin Becker, the Director of the Cambridge Art Association, jury the 2015 Members Exhibit.

When Erin first walked into the room, there was art everywhere you looked, leaning against the walls and covering all the tables and pedestals. Just scanning the room you could see the wealth of talent and mass of hard work each artist put into each submission.

After walking around the room slowly, Erin began to pull art– taking a few pieces here, a few there. Occasionally she would ask if two pieces, works that had a similar style, were made by the same artist. I think she did not want one voice or perspective to be over-represented. Most of the time though she worked quietly, going with her gut on what felt right and what didn’t quite fit. Several works she would pick up carry to the other side of the room only to be moved again a few minutes later.

Despite the constant changes, there was a method to her decisions. As Erin continued to pull works, groups began to appear. She placed pieces with similar color schemes and textures closer together to see how they talked to one another. There was a mix of media represented in any given group: a photograph next to a pastel drawing, next to a sculpture and yet it made sense.

As Erin chose work and grouped them together, she sometimes thought aloud. She would ask Pam about the configuration of the room, whether some works would be too crowded in a corner. By the time she finished the hundred-plus works were reduced to fifty-two. What was left was a great collection of work with no extraneous pieces, the jurying was complete.

Speaking as an artist who often gets caught-up in my own work, I found it really beneficial to witness the consolidation and placement decisions. I got to see how a show incorporates one artist’s work and actually enhances it by juxtaposing it with the work of others. Overall, I am really happy with how the show turned out and look forward to seeing everyone’s reactions this Friday!

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