The News of Art What’s happening in the arts
Douglas L. Nelson and Julie S. Rivers were elected to the School of Advanced Research’s board of directors on Feb. 27. Nelson brings experience as a local CPA and is a nationally recognized investment advisor. His résumé in the arts includes working as current treasurer for New Mexico Lawyers for the Arts, and he is former treasurer of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. Nelson is also the author of the book Art, Artists, and Money. Rivers is a local attorney with the firm of Gerber and Bateman with expertise in estate planning, mediation, litigation, and collaborative services. Rivers, who holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma law school, where she is an adjunct professor in family law, serves on the Minimum Continuing Legal Education Commission Board of the New Mexico Bar Association and is on the board of the Santa Fe Estate Planning Council. She is also a guest lecturer at Santa Fe Community College.
Transparency and equity are two of the motivating factors behind the updated jurying process for Indian Market. In past years, artwork was judged on a set of three criteria, and artists could be awarded points depending on how well they met the criteria. “Each judge — typically three judges — would give a score based on these three criteria and then they would take the median score — an average of all three judges’ scores — with a perfect score of 15,” Dallin Maybee of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts told Pasatiempo in August 2015. But a greater number of artists typically apply to categories such as pottery and jewelry than other categories, so SWAIA ended up with more artists with qualifying scores than there were available booths. For a more diverse selection of artwork, SWAIA now identifies target percentages for each category, so that those with a potentially large number of applicants can be capped to allow room to grow other categories. Under the new model, artists are selected in a blind process by a panel of curators, museum directors, artists, and other arts professionals — experts in their chosen fields. An artist’s past awards and accolades are not considered. Scores up to 25 points can be given in each criteria for a total of 100 possible points. Judging is based on technical execution, concept, design and creativity, aesthetics, and whether or not an object meets Indian Market standards. “Is it a piece that’s reflective of a fine art piece or is it more of a craft piece — which is a very difficult thing to define sometimes with Native art, because a lot of our objects were utilitarian in nature but have now been elevated to extremely high-level art forms,” Maybee told Pasatiempo in February. “Hopefully, we’re picking jurors who are going to find a median across the board.” An artwork may score low aesthetically for one juror but higher on technical execution. “The greater criteria that we now have will allow some of those differences of subjective opinion to even themselves out,” he said.
Julie S. Rivers
Douglas L. Nelson