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2008 Montauk Art Festival ZAPP Monitor Jury
Comments from a Gallery Owner

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The Booth
I was deducting a point off the total score for a bad booth. My family has been in this business for years, and after I finished, they told me that the norm for a bad booth is between 20 to 40% of the total score. It struck me, when I looked at these images, that the work was there but the emphasis was just not on presentation. I was really shocked to realize that a good product can have such a crappy presentation and probably still sell. And the upshot of it is that you really donít want these people to show up at a really good show with a flea market looking booth. Itís one of those things that make a show look really good.
Iíve won awards for my booth for the past 25 years. I had someone contact me just last week that wanted to use a picture of my booth in a newsletter as an example of what a booth should look like. I know itís taken a lot of energy for us to put together a really good booth with sound and good lighting.
Another alarming thing was that there were actually digital time signatures on some of these booth images, bad lighting, other booths in the background, and people in the photograph. All of this was shocking especially given that a lot of these people were supposed to be real pros. It was interesting to see that the artists seemed to think that presentation was not important if the art was good. In other words, ďmy art is so good I can hang it on anything and itíll look beautifulĒ, but it didnít translate that way.
Looking at the Images and Suggestions on Improving the System
With monitor jurying we could only see one enlarged image at a time. It was a little disconcerting because you always tend to favor things that show continuity from one image to another showing one style of work. And I also saw images where I thought that these people were borrowing slides from other people because it couldnít be coming from the same mind.
Another thing about the way we were jurying is that there is no zoom function. I wanted to see some of the solder joints on the jewelry. I saw several paintings that I couldnít tell if they were executed well. The composition may have been a little strange and I thought that if I could zoom in, maybe I could give them a different score if I knew how well it was executed. But I couldnít come in close enough to see the details in some of these paintings. I saw rings that might have had flashing (left over metal from the casting) left there. But I needed to look at it close up because itís nearly an unforgivable sin in terms of jewelry to not getting off all the sharp edges from the casting. At one point I saw something in mixed media but the statement didnít describe what the technique was. I would have liked to zoom in to see more of how the piece was done. Several times I ran into a situation where I could have given a more accurate score.
I had to scroll down to see the bottoms of the images and it took me a long time to realize that there was a description of the work underneath even further down on the page. ZAPP should use the space at the top for the description. I hate the artist statement because you canít describe an intricate technique in 100 characters. Some people were so minimal in their description that it practically did no good.
Listing Awards
I noticed that for most ZAPP shows, there is no way to list your credits and awards, though this show let you. I prefer to see them because in general, you learn a lot about a person from the company he keeps. I think that if you get into the Disney Masterís it should mean something because Iíve never seen any crap in that show. Itís like birds of a feather tend to flock together. I would like to see a list of shows that the artists have done because it lets the juror know that theyíre in the ballpark.
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The juror who let me do this interview prefers to remain anonymous

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