By David Brickman
Last weekend I had the privilege of driving up to Saranac Lake to judge the 17th annual Juried Art Competition at the Adirondack Artists Guild. When I arrived, the Guild’s gallery – a pleasant, functional storefront on Main Street – was crammed with 185 entries in all media. My job was to trim these submissions to about 75 for the show, and to choose prizes to be awarded at the show’s opening reception: Best in Show (which carries with it the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the gallery in November); 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes; and five Honorable Mentions. Needless to say, it was a daunting task.
Here’s a first-person account:
Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the quantity (and overall quality) of the entries, I first sought to get my bearings. My hosts were three members of the Guild, a cooperative business whose 15 or so joint owners share the effort, expense, and rewards of such an enterprise, and they were graciously helpful throughout the process. They remained quietly alert as I worked my way around the room two or three times, occasionally answering questions I had as to certain relevant details. At this point, I had not yet begun to cut.