Chaparral Artists hopes to stay interesting, active, and supportive within the arts community, and to do so we want to hear from you! It becomes challenging to maintain excitement and engagement within an organization without the active sharing of ideas. We understand that not everyone will offer up recommendations while sitting in a room of people, and because of that, we want to remind everyone that you can share your thoughts, recommendations or suggestions with an officer, or you can email ChaparralArtists@gmail.com.
In 2019, we have implemented several changes that we hope are streamlining processes, opening up opportunities for discovery, and increasing collaboration, and all have stemmed from your suggestions.
Some of the following are in full swing, and we hope that others will work their way into our events in 2020.
Demonstrations leading into workshops
Chaparral Artists have enjoyed countless demonstrations, discussions, and even a few workshops. Still, we would like to offer more opportunities for exciting and well-attended group workshops. Julianne Koza, 2019 and 2020 president of Chaparral Artists, hopes that a ‘sneak preview’ in the form of general meeting demonstrations might lead to such workshops. If members enjoyed a specific presentation, expressing an interest in seeing more, a workshop could be arranged.
Judged show categories
Chaparral Artists have always provided categories for their judged shows. These categories might merge or split depending on the number of entries received, but in general, there have been seven judged grouping we have worked with (Landscapes, People, Animals, Flowers, Plants/Trees, Manmade, and Other). Over the years, we have experienced fewer entries per show, and retaining a large number of groups while collecting a smaller number of art entries have resulted in limited competition and minimal prizes. Several members requested that something changes so that larger prizes might be provided to those that placed within a category. We responded by drastically limiting the themed categories to three. This experiment was first initiated during the 2019 Fall Fine Art show using the groups of "Landscapes", "Plants", and "Animals". We continued to use this three-category division during the 2019 Fall Photography show, this time using the categories “Hand of Man,” Nature’s Kaleidoscope,” and “Beautiful Creatures.” We understand that the limit to three categories is drastic, and we can employ a fourth category for entries that cannot fit into the above. We also require that a category have a minimum of six entries before a judge can review it. These changes have both increased competition within a single category, and increased prize money.
People’s Choice award
The People’s Choice ribbon has always been a voted placement, conducted on the day of the reception. It was brought to the attention of the Board that due to limited reception attendance during some months, the vote is not an adequate representation of the ‘People.’ A recommendation to leave the voting box out for the entire month was offered, with the plan that the winner would be announced during the following General Meeting. As a note, this means that Rainbow Stew must help Chaparral in the voting collection process. Rainbow Stew has agreed to help us in this endeavor and we greatly appreciate their commitment. We will continue to determine the People's Choice award for as long as we have the support of Rainbow Stew.
Same but Different themes
A complaint was shared with the Board that the Same but Different topics are not open or known to all Chaparral members. The Board did not realize that this was a problem since the categories or themes had always been organic, created by members coordinating with other members, throughout the year. One suggestion was to offer several recommendations to the membership so that a member could simply bring in art that fits a few general themes. We will be experimenting with this idea during the last show of the 2019 year. Members are invited to continue to work together to create their own themes as well!
Chaparral Artists have never divulged a judge’s name to show entrants, prior to the hanging of the show, so as not to give an unfair advantage to any artist that personally knows the judge and their preferences. It has been shared that this practice might actually limit the educational aspect of a judged show.
For example, if an artist understood that a judge preferred a ‘story’ in the work they reviewed, then an artist might gear their entries to the two-dimensional representation of a story. If a judge placed extra importance on ‘action’ or ‘serenity,’ then an artist might challenge themselves to capture or represent those qualities in their art. Ultimately, knowing what a judge uses as criteria for an 'excellent' capture or art creation might actually challenge an artist more. The knowledge of a judge's expectations might help to improve an artist’s eye, once they evaluate the remarks on the winning entries. Chaparral is willing to plan for and provide a judge's criteria on the next judged shows come spring 2020, but we will continue to keep the name of the judge unknown until a show has been hung.