As people have learned from watching shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, there’s much more to judging talent than mere subjectivity. And while the public may not perceive of art festivals as competitions, nothing could be further from the truth. The Estero Fine Art Show is a case in point. First, artists had to win over a jury just to get into the show. Then on Saturday, they were judged again to see who would be deemed best in their category and overall Best of Show.
“We use a variation of a judging system originally developed in 2001 by Nancy Musser for the Atlanta Dogwood Festival,” explained judge Les Slesnick at the Estero Fine Art Show on Saturday. “Each artist is given a numerical score in each of three different categories of judging by each judge or juror. At the end of the day, the numbers are added up and the cumulative score determines the winners.”
What Slesnick really likes is that there is no negotiation, no debate, and no bartering between judges for awards. The system is incredibly simple, incredibly brilliant, and incredibly fair and square.
In 2008, the Maitland (Florida) Rotary Art Festival adopted the system. “Festival of the Masters in Downtown Disney [which returns November 9-11, 2012 for its 37th year with 150 award-winning artists, sidewalk chalk art, limited-edition fine art, photography, sculpture, jewelry, glass art, Disney collectibles, live music and more] not only uses the scoring system, it gives the judges iPads so that the scores can be tabulated as they are entered,” reports Slesnick.
Artists are judged on the basis of originality, technique and booth presentation. Requiring that judges consider three separate areas of assessment when making their conclusions about an artist’s work compels them to think more deeply and in more detail about the artist’s entire body of work.
To be sure, there exist nuances like the amount of time a judge can spend in any artist’s booth and what to do in the unlikely event of a tie. But there’s also room for Simon Cowell’s “Wow Factor,” which is actually subsumed within the originality judging category.
Employing these criteria on Saturday, the judges at the Estero Fine Art Show selected:
- Best of Show 2D: encaustic artist Patricia De Leon Alfonso
- Best of Show 3D: Su Griggs Allen, clay
- 1st Place in Sculpture: Mauro Pozzobonelli
- 1st Place in Metal: Kurt Ruby
- 1st Place in Photography: Luciano Duse
- 1st Place in Fiber Art: Herion Park
- 1st Place in Jewelry: Rosario Garcia
While the 10th Bi-Annual Estero Fine Art Show is now in the books, organizer Hot Works, LLC returns to the Miromar Outlet Mall in the winter for the 11th Bi-Annual show on the weekend of January 5 and 6, 2013. The show opens both days at 10 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m., so mark your calendars. This is one show you really don’t want to miss.