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Adjudicating a Youth Art Showing
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Three days after judging the Grays Harbor Shorebirds Festival Youth Art Exhibition,  Carol found herself again in the position of adjudicator, this time for a Christian school art competition.  Northwest Christian High School had asked her to be one of three judges for their ACSI Art Festival..  Chairperson of the event, Administrative Assistant,  Jeanne Montgomery had sent information and judging criteria to Carol several weeks in advance of the date, April 19th, 2002. Carol with Jeanne MontgomeryCarol had familiarized herself with the Art Festival guidelines and eagerly looked forward to the challenge.  She was warmly welcomed at the door of the school and directed to the table where pencils, erasers, and a clip board were prepared for her (and the other two judges).  All the artworks were laid out on long tables in the large room.  They were arranged by grade level and separated by High School from Grade School. Carol and her fellow judges were assigned the High School entries.  The art was a pleasing mix of different media, from pastel to scratch board, even two pieces of "sculpture" (three dimensional work) in the form of decorated large eggs.  After being introduced to the other judges, Carol began the serious and difficult job of rating the art.  Each piece was rated on a scale of 0 to 10,  (O being the lowest and 10 the highest possible) in each of five critiquing considerations:  1: Design/Composition, 2:  Value/Color and/or Contrast of Values/Color, 3: Form/Balance,  4: Craftsmanship, and 5:Creativity/Originality.  (A rating of Superior, got total points 44-50, etc).  A comments line was provided at the bottom of the judging sheet for the judge to jot down a positive line or two that could be a huge boost for the student and may prove quite inspiring and/or helpful to the young artist.

Carol adjudicatingNot having adjudicated in this manner before, Carol was intrigued by the solitary nature of the process.  There was no conference between judges as she had been accustomed to.  In fact, the three each went in a different direction, to keep from bumping into each other.  This turned out to be a good thing, since there was no distraction from the decisions at hand.  Carol's strategy was to find the top quality pieces and rate them immediately, then go on to the rest.  Interestingly, when the entire judging was completed, the three judges had arrived at the same conclusions regarding the Best of the Show, and etc,. on down through red ribbons et al. 

At break time the judges and Carol's husband, Ed, who always accompanies her on these occasions, were treated to coffee, tea and cookies.  It was a welcome break, for the task was not easy. " There are many talented youngsters in our area schools, which speaks well for the dedicated teachers who guide them.",  Carol observed.  The judging was completed in the time alloted, and Carol had time to relax and look at the rest of the show, the Grade School art.  It, too was quite impressive although the judging criteria was somewhat different and more lenient in its requirements.  She came away from the entire experience with  a good feeling concerning the quality of art and most especially the originality and variety of work produced by the artists who will shape our future.

Carol wants to thank Jeanne Montgomery and the staff, students and parents of  Northwest Christian High School for their hospitality and professionalism..  "It was a delightful experience", she said, "Maybe they will invite me back next year."

Visit the website for Northwest Christian High School at:  www.nchs-olympia.org  or phone: (360) 491-2966

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© 2001 Carol Thompson