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Arts & Culture
VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

Emerald Art Center National Juried Show

Best of Show
Terry Way

VizCity talks with juror Ruth Armatage  about the Emerald Art Center National Juried Show in Springfield.

Ruth Armitage
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen
Ruth Armitage was the sole juror for the national Juried Show at the Emerald Art Center, 2017


The Emerald Spring Exhibition is a national juried show at Springfield’s Emerald Art Center. I caught up with Ruth Armitage, who juried the show. Ruth commented, "I was just looking through the show and going, 'How am I ever going to decide on the Best of Show?'

She was in the middle of teaching a watercolor class at the Art Center and was all smiles and encouragement as students leaned over large, colorful paintings with rare Oregon sun pouring in the studio windows.


Watercolor class EAC
Credit Sandy Brown Jensen
Students painting in the classroom at the Emerald Art Center. Ruth Armitage gave a watercolor workshop at the Emerald Art Center while she was in Lane County judging the National Juried Show.

I asked Ruth what the scope of the media represented was in the show, and she replied. "Pastels, water media, acrylic, oil, collage--everything!"

The show was open nationally--anyone could enter, as long as they were adults. With so many kinds of art, I asked her what she looking for as the only judge. Ruth looked thoughtful and replied, "I look for work that has an original voice, that is not something that I’ve necessarily seen before. I look for artists who are exploring an idea with their own viewpoint, using design elements--color, line, and shape in a unique way--something I haven’t seen before. I look for work that has unity."

With almost $6000 in prize money at stake, being a judge carries a lot of responsibility. Armitage agreed and added, "That is one of the best things about being a judge is to be able to include everything that I really like. "

I asked her if the judging process kept her up at night, which got a laugh from her students, but she answered more seriously, "No, because it’s an honor just to be in the show."

After talking to Armitage, I viewed the dozens of artworks in the show with great pleasure, very glad I didn’t have Ruth’s job and could just enjoy the show. Later, I was thrilled to see that our own Analee Fuentes, who teaches art at LBCC had won Best of Show.

The Emerald National Juried Show will be at the Emerald Art Center at 500 Main in Springfield through the month of May.