Art show judging stirs controversy

May 21, 2010 — by Izzy Albert and Cullan McChesney

This year, several students from Saratoga and Los Gatos High Schools were given the opportunity to showcase their art at the annual District Art Show put on by the Los Gatos Museum of Art, which ran through most of the month of May.

The exhibit covers a broad spectrum of many different artistic mediums including ceramics, drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.

“The art show definitely had a lot of variety in terms of artwork, which was really cool to see,” said sophomore Jeffrey Kuo, whose pencil sketch, grid drawing and sand painting were all displayed in the show.

But despite receiving positive feedback about the art itself, the show stirred controversy when the judge, a local Los Gatos artist, announced the winning pieces of art in each category. One major complaint was that the judging was not based on any clear criteria but rather on the judge’s personal tastes, according to sophomore Spencer Perry.

“I enjoyed the show and liked seeing my art on display along with the other art,” said Perry, “but I was disappointed that the judge seemed to be biased.”

Perry noted that it is impossible to please everybody with art due to its subjective nature, but that some students said it was evident that the judge were favoring the art from the Los Gatos students.

Art teacher Stephen McCue felt it was a shame that the judging controversy distracted from what was otherwise a well-run art show that gave many young artists an opportunity to show what they had accomplished throughout the year.

“The art in this year’s art show reflects originality, creativity, and a great deal of craftsmanship,” said McCue. “The artwork created doesn’t imitate anyone else’s; it’s original.”

Students from Saratoga High who placed include: Hannah Brown, 1st place in photography; Ally Doles, 2nd place in photography; Wesley Tai, 3rd place in drawing; Chris Cha, Honorable Mention in painting; Alicia Lee, 1st place in ceramics; June Kwon, 1st place in sculpture and Dillan Pak, Honorable Mention in ceramics