... I wanted to include images that had some magic and spontaneity — images that are poetic and playful, and not so carefully considered or contrived.
To begin, I will ignore the fact that the word "contrived" has many synonyms - forced, strained, affected, put-on, phony, pretended, false, fake - which are less complimentary and, in practice, most often used to describe unfavorably a given subject. I'll give the juror the benefit of the doubt that it was used in a more postive manner of speech - to form or create in an artistic or ingenious manner.
Moving on to the word considered and writing specifically about the pictures selected for the exhibition, what makes the juror think that any picture submitted or selected for the exhibition was made without careful consideration? Without a picture making strategy front and center in the picture maker's mind? I mean, seriously, does the juror think that any picture maker with the intent to make pictures worthy of hanging on a gallery wall (dare I write, "art") does so without some form of due consideration?
That written, regarding the words contrived and considered, perhaps the juror is guilty of only a poor choice of words and not at all guilty (my sincere belief) of any malicious intent.
In any event (and to get the core of my synaptic event), the words magic / spontaneity / poetic and playful, when used antithetically to the idea that "contrived" and "considered" pictures can not express or evidence such qualities is, iMo, ridiculous. Unless one is addicted to the idea that only those pictures which titillate and/or pander to the viewer's desire to be entertained by obvious "artistic" effects and manipulation, I find it difficult to believe that a viewer who is willing to invest a little time and thought, beyond the mere emotional reaction to a picture viewing experience, will not be rewarded with the discovery of qualities of magic or spontaneity or poetry or playfulness, singularly or in concert, in straight pictures which do not any evidence visual manipulation and/or effects.
CAVEATS: All of the foregoing should NOT be consider to be (nor is intended to be) a criticism of the juror's integrity, preferences or the execution of the juror's responsibilities. Nor should it be understood as a criticism of the pictures selected for the exibition inasmuch as it most assuredly is not so intended.
Rather, my intention is merely to present a counterpoint to the juror's (seeming) idea that contrived and considered are the antithesis of magic / spontaneity / poetic and playful.