Yesterday afternoon I received an urgent call from my bff who is an art teacher for Plano ISD. They needed a juror for the Texas Art Education Association Visual Arts Scholastic Event today. Evidently they had a few jurors drop out at the last minute and her whole ‘hook’ for me was being paid $100 to do it.
Suffice to say, I jumped at the chance, firstly because I love art and secondly, because I love our high school students who will one day be the leaders of tomorrow. I teased my friend later on Facebook that I would have done it for free. Imagine my happiness when I received the payment form this morning and it asked how much I wanted to be paid and if I wanted to donate any to the scholastic art fund. True to my word, I donated the whole amount. All in all, a total of 16 jurors did not show up today so we were hopping busy and let me tell you it was hard work. I had long lines in the hallway, some students waiting up to 3 hours to interview with me. I can see why the TAEA pay people to be jurors, but hells I was honored just to be a part of the process and I have to say it was honestly the coolest thing I’ve done in a long time.
I met some absolutely amazing and talented students. I interviewed students from Richardson, Plano, and Lovejoy. I even had 3 from Wylie come to see me though I asked them to go see another juror because I had my, “I Love Wylie” smile on and I wanted to be a fair juror; Wylie Mayor Eric Hogue would be so proud of me because he requires everyone who receives awards at city hall to chant that at photo time. All joking aside, I never wanted to be accused of giving preferential treatment to students from Wylie even though I felt I could have judged them impartially, I did not want to place the students in that situation so it was better to move them elsewhere. I know those three were a bit sad because they had just waited an inordinate amount of time to see me but I made sure the runner got them in to see different jurors right away so they wouldn’t be punished by having an even longer wait.
In the end, the final pieces I was proud to judge were some truly phenomenal works of art. I selected works of art in mediums such as charcoal, graphite, oil, acrylic, watercolor, and even 3-D sculptures, textiles, ceramics, and multi-medium pieces such as pen and ink with colored pencils. I was happy to give my Saturday to a process of selection knowing that ultimately our division headed to State might be well represented by some amazing pieces of art. I left feeling very proud of the students we nurture here in North Texas. There is indeed hope for the future after all.