I would first like to thank the Florida Watercolor Society for asking me to jury this show. I’d also to thank all of the people behind the scenes for such a flawless process. Organizing 618 entries is no small feat. They made it quite easy for me to jury.
It is also quite an honor to be tasked with curating such a highly regarded exhibition. After reviewing the entries for the first time, it became obvious that my job was going to be very difficult. The high caliber of the entries was a cornucopia of riches that rewarded me with many days of looking at beautiful work.
The counterpoint is that many beautiful paintings aren’t in the show. To those who didn’t get in you have no reason to doubt yourselves. I can assure you that many deserving paintings had to be excluded. When you have to limit a show to 100 out of 618 entries the math means that 518 entries weren’t included. Amongst that number there were hundreds of outstanding paintings.
That said, the 100 artists who were selected for the show should be very pleased with their accomplishment. Even after I narrowed it down to the final 100, I reviewed each and every one of the paintings to be sure they merited inclusion. I was both a bit stunned and gratified by the high quality of all of the pieces. It truly is a stellar show.
Selecting the award winners was even more daunting. Most of the final 100 were worthy of an award. To make my final choices I used a few filters. First, since my taste is quite eclectic, I didn’t let genre or approach my decision. Second, a painting must be done well. I realize this is subjective, but a selected painting had to have impeccable technique, a strong composition, and tell a compelling story. Not surprisingly many, many paintings met these standards. So the final bar is that a painting had to have some emotional resonance. Ultimately it was the paintings that spoke to me that were honored as award winners. I hope you enjoy the show.
– Michael Reardon, 2020 FWS Annual Show Judge