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A Gallery of Juror Art

6a00d8341c4ec253ef00e54f2554e48834-640wi Is it a conceit to call the doodles and snapshots of bored jury members "art"? I might have thought so, until I visited The American Gallery of Juror Art. Wisconsin trial lawyer Anne Reed maintains the gallery as part of her blog about juries and jury trials, Deliberations. I have visited her blog countless times and follow her RSS feed, but somehow managed never to notice the gallery until it was mentioned this week on Boing Boing.

The drawings and photographs Reed has collected range from literal to abstract, but all share a common denominator: They represent work done by actual jurors while on actual jury duty. Some of the contributions come from jurors whose day jobs are illustration or photography. Others suggest the kind of back-of-the-envelope doodling one might expect of a juror, but with surprising insight.

An example of the latter is David Salvia. As the Chicago jury on which he served deliberated, he sketched his fellow panel members, adding notes about their comments and behavior. "More so than the actual civil case itself, or the lawyers' performances, it was the surprising and illuminating behavior of the jury that I was most eager to document," he writes in a note accompanying his sketch. Others document, in drawings, sketches and photographs, scenes from the jury room and around the courthouse.

As curator of this virtual exhibit, Reed finds some of the art through Google and Flickr, while some of the art finds her. Salvia's sketches ended up on the site after his wife came to it accidentally while searching for something else. She remembered that her husband had made his sketches a decade earlier and put him in touch with Reed. He even agreed to supplement the original sketch with a more legible, typeset version. Thanks to his wife's fortuitous discovery of Reed's gallery, we can read Salvia's impressions of fellow juors, such as  the "very scary suburban mom of 2" and the man with the unpronouncable name who was "basically ignoring the sworn testimony in favor of his imagined version."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on January 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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