Juried exhibitions are a mainstay for art associations, galleries and museums, and with good reason. Everyone seems to benefit from them. Artists enter for the recognition, validation and exposure to possible buyers and to the critical eye of their fellow artists. Gallery owners are able to seek out emerging talent as well as established artists for possible representation. Art aficionados and casual visitors alike can follow and compare artists’ work.
Often times, little noted at these shows is the extraordinary effort of the jurors in selecting works for the exhibitions. Not only are they required to winnow down the entries to a fraction of those submitted, but they are regularly required to evaluate works in every possible medium. It’s a highly subjective process. Jurors are experts in their own fields with varying experiences, predilections and prejudices. Often, they are most critical of artists working in the juror’s own medium. But the fundamentals of good art — creative insight, strong design, masterful handling of a medium and a sophisticated sense of color — are valued in whatever medium is presented.
In sponsoring its annual Members’ Juried Exhibition, the Whistler House Museum of Art addresses its mission as the home of the Lowell Art Association, the oldest incorporated art association in the United States. Over 100 member artists submitted entries to the Whistler House Museum juried exhibit. Ninety works were chosen for inclusion in the exhibit by juror Kim S. Theriault, professor of Art History at Dominican University and noted art critic, writer and mentor in art history and museum studies.