Sunday, September 20, 2009

On being an Examiner

For the past couple of months, I have been the West Palm Beach Fine Arts Examiner for, “the to go place for what’s happening in America.” Writing three articles a week, albeit brief ones, is much more time consuming than I imagined when I took the job. As a result, I’m not doing my other writing – no novels or non-fiction books, not even query letters to agents or publishers. And though I continue to paint, time at the computer competes dramatically with time spent at the easel.

In spite of all that, I am thoroughly enjoying the endeavor and would recommend becoming an Examiner to any aspiring writers. Don’t do it for the money, because earnings for now are a joke. To quote a friend, “It’s slave labor.” So why is it so compelling and fulfilling?

For one thing, my work is being read. Though painting and writing are rewarding in themselves, like most “artists,” I crave an audience. For me, there’s nothing more frustrating than having my work remain unnoticed. Knowing that on a daily basis hundreds of people are seeing, and hopefully enjoying, the fruits of my labor is extremely satisfying.

But beyond that, I am also now in the position to do something positive for the people I care about and for the art world. I get to laud local artists, museums, and galleries. Praising the Norton Museum, a place which has given me a great deal of pleasure for many years, and the Vero Beach Museum, a wonderful new discovery for me, does my heart good. I can let the world know about the excellent art and art related activities coming out of southeast Florida, particularly Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.

And by posting my paintings and photographs in my articles, I get to blow my own horn. Accordingly, after writing an article about her, I was invited by Suzette Urs, a fantastic local artist and gallery owner, to show both my work and my dad’s in her gallery. Mark your calendars for the Opening Reception the evening of Friday, October 23 at the Urs Art Studio Gallery located at 802 N. Federal Highway in Boynton Beach.

Being an artist can be very isolating. After all, both painting and writing are very introverted undertakings, and I spend hours alone at the computer or with a canvas. But as The Fine Arts Examiner I’ve been forced to get out into the world much more than I would have to review the local art events taking place each week. Consequently, I’ve discovered some new and wonderful galleries like the Clay-Glass-Metal-Stone Cooperative Gallery in Lake Worth, the Craft Gallery in West Palm Beach, and the Village Art Studios in Tequesta. Plus being considered a journalist and getting invited to the Press Preview for the George Segal exhibit at the Norton was a blast.

So if you are an aspiring writer and open to a venue that pays very little but offers you the opportunity to build a brand name for yourself, you could do worse than And if you decide to apply to the Examiner, when you fill out your application, please write that Maxine Schreiber referred you. Examiners earn $50. for each referral who becomes an examiner. If you don’t want to write for the Examiner but have ideas about fine art articles you would like to read, please let me know by commenting below. And when you have a chance, please read my articles, or even better subscribe to my page. It won’t cost you anything, and you will receive the most current art info.

Above Photos:

Maxine and Mag at the Wellington Art Society opening, photo by David Frye.

Maxine, Susan, and Jan at the Craft Gallery opening, photo by George Louis Wells.