Judging International Shows
Over the years I have been invited to judge many National and International Watercolor Art Shows; often that includes choosing the award winners as well. Recently I have been honored with the judging of the Houston International Watercolor Exhibition.
The changes over the years in judging procedure have been quite remarkable, all because of the computer.
Christl, my associate, and I have reminisced about how we used to receive possibly eight to ten slide trays from an exhibition director, with the expectation upon me to find a suitable viewing space with a slide projector and screen.
Each slide had to be viewed one at a time, and categorized by “yes, no, or maybe”. Then a second and third tier of judging would require whittling the paintings submitted to the final count of 120, for example. This would be out of anywhere from 300-500 (or more) images. Since only one slide could be viewed at a time, comparisons had to be made largely from memory.
With the computer, everything is thankfully online now. With a good judging program, a number of paintings can be brought up on the screen and comparisons are more easily made. The versatility of being able to pull up five images or twenty at a time is a great help— sometimes I need to see a broad overview, other times I need a closer examination.
Quality judging is my main objective here, and I can do that best if I am allowed to move rapidly at my own pace through the images — forwards or backwards. Any distraction other than that — moving slides in and out of trays— can be a real hinderance.
The computer has become a great help in the art judging world.