by Mike McNamee Published 01/02/2014
There is always tons of emotion in the Qualifications adjudication room. Here newly elected Fellow, Lenny Smith, leaps from his chair at the news! He quietened down later when he got the bar bill! Meantime the Business School have their heads down working hard.
So that is the general order of things now what about the detail?
The team arrive on the Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of the trucks that will start to line up for their turn to off-load stands and stock to the trade floors. Meantime the judges have their first meeting at 9am Wednesday to greet the Chairs (Terrie Jones, Damian McGillicuddy and Dennis Orchard this year) and receive their initial room assignments. This has to be highly flexible because you are not allowed to judge your own prints (if you have entered) and the panel of five scoring judges at any one moment is changed every 10 prints, or so, to keep things fresh. Simultaneously a third room is allocated for qualifications judging which, at Fellowship level, requires one hour per adjudication. While the chosen adjudicators wait for a panel to be set up they are often grabbed for a quick session of 16x20 judging before being released back. The 16x20 judgings are public sessions and so there is always coming and going of people. The Business School is hard at work in the meantime - we let them have coffee and networking time at regular intervals but things go on at quite a relentless pace.
Thursday is given over to 16x20 judging and an all-day seminar in the huge Palace Suite which lies in the bowels of the East wing, three floors down. This year this was hosted by Damian McGillicuddy who had taken a lot of trouble (and expense) to provide four sets including a full rock band, complete with smoke machines and lasers, a motorbike, flags and a queen on a throne. In addition to Damian there are also the models, make-up artists, helpers and doorkeepers to keep things running. As ever the unforeseen lurks around every corner - this year the gear box fell out of the band's van on the motorway to delay the start.
One set of people who are seen only at the start of the day are the delegates for the location seminars - they assemble early on and usually don't return until nightfall! This year they went out to play with John Denton, Doug Gordon, Dave Montizambert, Brett Florens, Dennis Orchard and Alison Carlino.
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