More on the Student Art competition nude scandal

A better image of the should-be winner – Nancy “beth” Reid’s nude.

In a followup to the recent story about robbing two young artists of a competition win and prize money for daring to enter nudes, several Virginian columnists have had their say about their feelings on the matter. These two articles particularly stuck in my mind as excellently worded chastisements on a very badly handled and badly executed debacle. Tamara Dietrich from The Daily Press had this to say:

No nudity? Say it right out. And don’t pre-screen 600-plus entries down to the 62 that De Groft was given to choose from, leave in “inappropriate” art, then call for a do-over when your juror makes his choice.

And next year? Good luck landing jurors with the stature of De Groft or Howe. Art experts tend to not take it well when their judgment gets publicly disrespected. When they’re assured they have absolute final say in selecting a winner … except not really.

In fact, why not leave art experts out of the equation entirely from now on and just hand the decision-making over to advertising and marketing.

[From Censoring winner of student art show is in poor taste — Arts and Culture, Virginia, College of William and Mary —]

And you know you may have made a bad decision when an employee columnist from the newspaper that started it all has this to say:

We in the news business go to great lengths to shield minors. Slapping a blue ribbon on a picture of a naked high school senior, perhaps reprinting the work in the paper and using it in a slide show, goes against our protective instincts.

The first judge departed and a second was summoned.

Enter Scott Howe, director of education and public programs at the Chrysler. He studied the works and selected a sculpture of a nude pregnant torso as best in the show.

The representatives of the paper groaned. No nudes, they said.

“I was told I wasn’t allowed to honor either girl in any way,” Howe said.

If that was the case, Howe said he told the organizers, they should remove those off-limit items from the judging. They refused. So he, too, walked o

[From What exactly was on display in student art competition? | |]

Both Reid and Childs, the artists who were censored out of their rightful winnings have received checks from the community for the same amount as the prize money by way of saying sorry. It’s so nice to hear that the community has rallied to support these talented young artists.

2 thoughts on “More on the Student Art competition nude scandal

  1. I noticed your link to Naked Chocolate from my blog and this is an interesting post. The Exposed: Nudes in Art show was organized by Sculptor, Jim Fatata of Litmus Studios and Gallery in Raleigh and a requirement for entry is that there be nudity in the work.

    We are up front about the requirement for nudity and disclose to anyone trying to enter work that may not be nude enough because we don’t want them to waste an entry fee on a show their work isn’t appropriate for. We, as jurors, have turned down work that wasn’t nude enough. This is a bit of an answer back to all those shows that take the money and waste the time of struggling artists and don’t disclose up front that they choose to discriminate against nude art.

  2. however…sorry, I didn’t realize the image of the nude in question was a painting *of* a minor. Seniors in High School are often 18 or older. a nude painted *by* a minor is different and I’m sure we would accept such a painting, but if the nude subject is a minor that would require more debate.

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