There’s something really interesting happening on Grey Gallery’s blog. The process of gathering artists for inclusion in a juried show has been made transparent.
5×5 will be a show of five local artists chosen by five non-local jurors. Grey Gallery chose the jurors (artists and curators from California, New York, Miami), and then put a call out for local emerging artists to submit images for review. All 88 of the entries are posted on Grey’s blog, for all to see.
Of all of the juried shows I’ve applied for (I applied for this one), I’ve never been made privy to the pool of applicants. I usually prepare my application and then send it off to be dealt with behind closed doors. Sometimes I get an acceptance letter, often a rejection letter, sometimes I never hear back at all. From start to finish, the process is a mystery with the artist left in the dark. I’ve learned to equate the act of mailing my application (with application fee) to lighting it on fire. Then if I get an acceptance letter, I can enjoy genuine surprise; “Oh, hey! I did apply for this, didn’t I!”
After twelve years of participating in this covert operation, I find Grey’s approach mighty refreshing. I’m enjoying looking at all the artists’ works, reading their bios and statements. It’s fascinating to see art worlds innocently butting up against each other in the format of a blog entry.
Now Grey is asking everyone to join the conversation around this project by commenting on the blog. You can say which artists you would pick for the show! Here are some of my favorites:
I wonder if the gallery is going to make the jury’s decision-making process public on the blog as well. If they do, it will be an exciting and satisfying conclusion to this exercise in transparency.