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Rommel John Miller wrote:

>It is precisely this type of "Power" in the Book Arts community
>which intimidates me.

>Why can't we just make books ... for the sake of making them
> and making them beautifully?  Why must we compete?  Judge or be

I love bookbinding that is useful and beautifully done. Everybody who has
books should learn how to do it. It's a wonderful craft. It's refreshing to
be called an elitist. Usually I'm accused of being too inclusive. ;>)

No one is forced to compete. Artists exhibit their work. That is our act of
publication, particularly for unique works.

I understand the intimidation and fear of rejection. When I was younger and
sent my slides in to competitive or juried shows it made me nauseus.
Literally. I got butterflies in my stomach every time. For one thing, my
work was so peculiar compared to what was going on in bookbinding that it
was often rejected. That didn't stop me from making it. It made me start a
new organization.

I must judge because it's my job. To select work that will be presented to
the public, or to choose an artist that gets the award. That selection will
represent the organization that is mounting the exhibit. And those who pay
expect me to do as good a job as can be done, to have a reason for the
choices, and to write a catalog introduction that explains the curatorial
framework. It's made more difficult because sometimes you have to say no to
your friends. I'm still getting flak from people whom I didn't include in an
exhibition over a decade ago.

When one submits work to be judged it is a growth process. What it is one
learns is the point of this discussion.


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