Michael Banner, SAS Artisan: "Overall this group of students pursued their chosen ideas and techniques with exciting results.
Viewing slides of student work from all parts of the country with such a diverse selection of instructors, showed that there was a common thread. The common thread was how these artists expressed a personal philosophical idea.
Moving the assignment or idea into the difficult medium of metal generally showed great creative imagination and skill. After reading the artists' statements I felt that many of the interpretations were ingenious. A majority of the resulting pieces were well-executed in design and craftsmanship. I based my judgments on the interpretation and craftsmanship.
They are all to be congratulated for their efforts."
Jeannine Falino, Carolyn and Peter Lynch Curator of Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Creativity and technique are hallmarks of the work submitted to the 2000 Student Silversmith competition. Taken as a group, their efforts in silver demonstrate that the field will flourish as long as these artists continue to practice their craft. Their accomplishments reflect well upon the leadership provided by their professors, who deserve credit for imparting critical design and technical expertise along with their passion for the medium.
Over forty students participated in this competition from a range of American schools, and yet this event would benefit from even more applications in the future. Every metalsmithing student who aspires to succeed in the field should consider applying to these competitions, for they serve as important stepping stones for artistic growth. When a student commits to employing a specific method and form for a particular outcome, there is always the risk of failure. Yet every artist understands that it is only through such efforts that true creativity occurs. At best, competitions are artificial environments, judged by individuals with particular tastes despite their best efforts at impartiality. If students can look beyond the judges and awards, they will see that such competitions are better utilized as critical testing grounds for ideas.
A look at this year's winners will reveal that the field has room for a multiplicity of viewpoints and techniques. From conceptual to traditional, and from humor to introspection the finalists have demonstrated that their ancient skills are eminently adaptable to life in the twenty-first century. I congratulate them and all those who participated in the competition. Most of all, I look forward to what the future will bring.
Pauline Warg, SAS Artisan: "Reviewing and evaluating this year's entries for the Student Competition was a stimulating endeavor. It was very encouraging to see such a wide variety of creatively dynamic, well-designed, masterful pieces. Much of the work left me with a sense of fascination and some disappointment that my only exposure to them was through a photographic image and not firsthand."