The judging was held over at the Kemp Museum which is where ArtFeast is being held. I met the other judges, Don Wiegand (sculptor) and Dan Younger (photographer). We are all pretty easy going so it wasn't too hard to come up with choices. We started individually and then eventually worked together discussing the top pieces. We relied on each other's area of expertise for guidance and that helped us to pick a well rounded group of award winners.
On the Photography in particular, it was very interesting to me to learn why one photo was better than another and I appreciated Dan's patience in that regard. Coincidentally, my naive eye also selected a photo that he ranked at the top.
Don is hard at work on a sculpture for UMSL which is where Dan is a Professor so he invited Dan for a studio visit after the judging. I happened to be standing there at the time and also snared an invite because Don is really polite like that.
Oh. my. God. To say it rocked my world is an understatement. Geez, I don't even know where to start. First of all, please check out his website to see the work.......Wiegand Studios and then check Wiegand Foundation to learn more about his mission. Simply amazing sculptures. His house/studio is absolutely the coolest place ever and ding dong me didn't have a camera with me. He built it himself out of rough-hewn wood, enormous windows and steps leading to the various levels within the house. You can ramble around and explore Don's hat collection, enjoy the historical artifacts he maintains, or simply bask in his indoor garden area. The place is magical with the feel of a tree house although it is on the ground of course.
And the sculpture. Oh my. Don talked about his process and I was fascinated by the steps involved in creation of these masterpieces. Experiencing the tour with Dan (Professor of Photography) made it even better as he asked intelligent questions, unlike me who stood there with her mouth hanging open as I was so much in awe. For instance, Dan asked about the lighting and it opened up a dialogue about the importance of shadow in the work. Then we moved into a 3D vs. 2D discussion and Don said it is difficult for him to see things in 2D anymore. I remembered back to the one time I worked in 3D which was the Marathon project 2 years ago when I made Leapin' St. Louie, the 6 foot tall running tree frog. And yeah, I get it.
What a great day though. I love that kind of artistic/intellectual/visual stimulation.