Rusty, by Michigan artist Ritch Branstrom, was an example of the sort of work media critics said did not deserve to be among the Top Ten picks. But this year's 10 finalists were no worse than those of previous years. A more likely explanation? Commentators, perhaps impatiently, expected viewers to be making better-informed decisions, what with the competition being in its third year. Photo credit: Janet Tyson

also by Janet Tyson

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