Thursday, August 7, 2008

What makes for good art?

Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, and Rembrandt are just a few artists that come to mind. They are some of the world’s most recognized and popular. They have incredible pieces for which people flock to national museums, or in some cases even have their own. The artwork is amazing and a far contrast from anything I can create unless there is a stick figure museum? I couldn’t even keep up with Bob Ross from PBS on the days I stayed home from school (

The question of what makes for good art is important because on Sunday and Monday I am headed to NYC to judge an art competition. My work partners with Eli Lilly & Company through a program called Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey. The biennial competition invites people diagnosed with any type of cancer, their families, friends, caregivers, and healthcare providers to express, through art and narrative, the life-affirming changes that give their cancer journey meaning.

My job is to narrow the 500-600 entries down to 200 in which experts will then come in for round 2. I know that beauty is, and always will be, in the “eye of the beholder.” But how did I get picked as a judge? Art to me is watching Brett Favre dodge 300lb lineman or Tiger Woods driving a golf ball 300 yards...

I understand that art should help you see the world in a way that you aren’t able to express clearly. I also know that art should tell a story and be inspiring or powerful. I’ve actually been to the Van Gogh and Rembrandt museum in Amsterdam, but I still doubt whether or not I’m going to be able to pick out a winner when I see one. The company has assured me that people are each unique in what they see and value in the world. I just hope for the artists’ sake that when I see the paintings there will be at least some sort of emotional response. Perhaps they will provide me with a cheat sheet? Any suggestions? The fate of the next Picasso (or Bob Ross) is in my hands...


Anonymous said...

Go with your GUT. Seriously, there are no rules. Awesome that you're going--I'm jealous!

T-Rex said...


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I can't think of a better person to be on the panel.

BTW, I love reading the blog - thanks to you and Meg for sharing so openly.

You Will Win.

Tom R.

Anonymous said...

Dan and Meghan:

I am back to reading your blog. I had a lot of catching up to do. Your energy is amazing. Thanks for all the information.
Dan, I loved your concerns about judging the art show. You will probably be one of the most qualified art judges around because your heart will be your guide. Have a wonderful time!

Ana Maria (Anita)

Cindy said...

I thought you are too young to even know who Bob Ross is? Was he stil on TV when you were little?

Good luck at with the doctor. Still waiting for the baby.


Anonymous said...

How did the judging go?