inside the lines for
the Outside The Lines Show
The crowd gathered for the awards ceremon
The Lines 4 opened
at the Bath House Cultural Center June 5, through June 26,
2004. The competitive exhibition
was juried by sculptor and former Texas Sculpture
Terri Stone; writer,
photographer, DallasArtsRevue publisher
and one of the winners of last year's OTL competition JR
Compton; and artist and Humanities instructor
at Richland College Sara Cardona.
selected artists included Jeanet Dreskin-Haig, Tony Collins,
Dean Corbitt, Sheila Cunningham, Dan Hatzenbuehler, Sarah
Hauser, Ann Huey, Sonia King, Laurieann Lepper Dygowski,
Jay Maggio, Clarissa Mapes, Michele Mikesell, Cristina
Nava, Dennis & Ramona Placke, Kate Schatz, Edward
Setina, Ginger Strand, Brooks Tower and Bill White.
Jurying Judging Judicial
We determined the two honorable mentions
and two prize winners by unanimous decision from the actual
work just before the opening. First and second awards were
obvious, to us.
Kate Schatz' Bending
With the Wind (below) looked even better in
real life than it had in jurying slides. It was our
for first place, although some questioned how much
of her art was selecting the piece of wood and how
actually sculpting it. I liked that it was Bois d'arc,
a native Dallas wood, and that it invited fondling,
which I did.
Some of us had difficulty determining from
the slides exactly what the "tape measure" poem
piece would actually look like, although I was already
its biggest fan.
Dennis & Ramona
Placke's poetic She
When we saw it, however, all doubts evaporated,
although we would have preferred sharper lighting or a
gallery floor that didn't absorb all its shadows. I have
still not read the poem, but having its lyrical phrases
floating around that bending, angled, free floating surface
was lovely. Its own, meandering line, outside any need
The two winners seemed predestined by their
superb placement in the big center of the room. It would
almost have been embarassing if they hadn't won.
The Honorable Mentions were more difficult
I favored Dan Hatzenbuehler's Sancho
Panza Y Don Quixote inkjet print on canvas, but
other judges worried it was too easily created (meaning
via fractal software, I suppose — an odd sort of
new media descrimination — like art has to be difficult?).
Inspired placement: Dan Hatzenbuehler's Sancho
Don Quixote and Jeanet Dreskin-Haig's Land
The slide of Laurieann Dygowski's colorful
acrylic landscape monoprint had thrilled us, and we liked
its wild informality and presentation as a torn-out spiral
sketch page. But the actual piece lacked the dense intensity
and excitement — an interesting case of the slide
looking better than the piece.
We also liked Dean Corbitt's graphic drawing
for its sewn and loose threads, although the work itself
lacked the planar dimensionality we thought we'd seen in
Naturally, we thought we would like everything
in the show, since we juried them all in. And it is interesting
to note that four of the five winners are women.
But there were a few disappointments.
Edward Satina - Machanical
As entranced as we were by the notion of
Edward Satina's seemingly mysterious, spinning pencil entry,
none of us cared for that loud, wall shaking, attention-demanding
monster. It was impossible to keep other pieces on that
wall straight with that noisy thing vibrating constantly.
Thankfully, somebody pulled the plug during the awards
A piece that I'd fought for, hoping it would
look as exciting in real life as I thought it did on film,
just didn't do much when I saw it. Another painting that
had excited several of us in the preview, looked like old
hat, 50s style abstraction.
Michele Mikesell - Up
I liked Michele Mikesell's large Up
All Night industrial enamel and oil giraffe painting
well enough. Although it never seemed all that avant,
it was colorful, large and textural. One juror, however,
thought it was fabulous from the first moment she saw
Clarissa Mapes - Mum
The other juror championed this amazing piece.
There was never any doubt that Clarissa Mapes' Mum
for Dad was one strange bird. We all admired its
craftsmanship, oddly gathered media and untraditional,
X-form presentation. No way could we overlook its other-planetary
position, replete of asterisking straight lines, yet far
from any of the usual ones.
always feel silly at awards presentation ceremonies
anyway, so I wandered around the crowd taking a long
series of blurry pictures that don't even approximate
I'd netted one of the Honorable Mentions
last year, and I was disappointed not to get to enter
this year. I have some pieces I think are outside most
lines. But ya just never know what some fool jury will
Jurying and judging the event was fun and
fascinating, and I always expected to write about it,
although I did not get anyone's permission.
I was, however, the only juror to stay
through opening reception to the ceremony. I had hoped
some artists would be brave enough to come talk with
me. I would have enjoyed talking with the artists who
got in, did not get in, who won and didn't.
I was there, available and eager. But not
a single artist I did not already know approached me
during all that time. And Enrique had pointed me out
during the awarding.
I know artists have much to learn about
competitive shows, even from the mediocre ones (jurors,
artists or shows), which is part of why I wrote this
I have learned from jurors I've asked questions
of — in shows my work got in and those where I
was rejected — er, "declined." But nobody
learns when nobody asks or thinks they can.
Perhaps the Bath House, being such a great
little community art crossroads, should build some sort
of juror feedback into the process. But only if artists
me with your opinions. Thanks. -JRC
Jurors Terri, Sara and I sat in the front
row of the center's auditorium on May 18, as gallery director
Enrique Cervantes operated the slide projector on a table
directly in front of us. The screen was about ten feet
in front of that. Behind us sat two gallery assistants.
The process was scheduled for 7-9 pm. We
started about ten minutes late but finished ten minutes
early. Each juror had a list of all submitted pieces, listed
by title, medium and size. The house lights were dimmed,
We were subdued for our first run through,
as Enrique clipped through all 170+ slides to familiarize
us with all the work submitted for the annual show, and
we began to formulate our opinions.
During the second go-through, we got more
engaged. I probably annoyed the other two by piping up
whenever I recognized an artist's work or I'd had business
dealings with submitting artists. I wanted my prejudices
to be obvious. Although gradually all of ours became more
so. If I recognized a piece, I'd hold back judgement till
the other two voiced their opinions.
I'll have to admit, however, that I was startled
by some of the names on the list of accepted
artists. I think I should have been able to recognize
work by more of those artists, and I flat did not.
We had differnent ideas about what was important.
Some jurors were keen to have a representative percentage
of different media, and some of us flat didn't care. We
were remarkably apart on some selections and of one mind
about others. It was a fascinating two-hour process.
My choices were often negated by both other
jurors, and we just went on to the next slide — although
at other junctures we extensively discussed individual
pieces or pairings. As a group, we seemed to especially
like pairs of work, although not always.
I had raised the possibility of each of us
reserving one wild card choice, but neither of the other
If none of us spoke up for a piece, it did
not advance to the final round.
There was much yaying and naying and disappointment
about the quality of the submitted slides and wondering
out loud what those pieces might really look like. Sculpture
especially suffered. Often we simply could not make sense
of the slides, and those pieces did not make the cut.
Kate Shatz - Bending
with the Wind
Sometimes Enrique had seen the work and was
able to answer our questions. I remember one piece I championed
that was shot indoors with outdoor film, and looked reddish
and dark, but Enrique confirmed that it was actually white.
Apparently he had seen a lot of the work we had questions
The final round took the longest, and there
was a lot of give and take among the jurors. Some 'I'll
go for this one, if you'll go for that one,' and much polite
arguing, cajoling and discussion of aesthetic merits. We
were cordial throughout.
In the end, and not at all because the show
space would be limited by the museum construction that
would block use of the hallway or back galleries, we agreed
on 25 pieces to be hung in the main gallery — less
than a 15% acceptance rate.
Much of the work we declined was probably
good enough but not outside enough lines.
Others were so far beyond, we had difficulty
figuring out what was going on. We declined all work we
recognized from previous Bath House exhibitions.
A zoom lens on the projectior would have
been helpful to see some slide details. As it was, we'd
just get up and go stand in front of the screen, which
seemed like a good idea at the time, but it didn't help
Many of the slides were shot at odd angles,
and one was completely out of focus — can you imagine
the frustration that led to sending that slide? As an old
deadline-smudger, I sure can.
The Mapes and Mikesell photographs
originated on the
Bath House web site,
but I hope to get by the Bath House soon
to take more photographs for this story.