- Small Yet Significant acrylic by Lynn Abbott of Fredericksburg, VA
- Boats in the Mist photograph by Greg McCrary of Spotsylvania, VA
- Bolt Being Good color pencil by Dina Buckley of Culpeper, VA
- Shy acrylic by Julie Bachini of Spotsylvania, VA
- Lady Slipper acrylic by Robyn Ryan of Fredericksburg, VA
- Entwined Memories charcoal and pastel by Phyllis Graudszus of Unionville, VA
- Reclaim photograph by Todd Woollam of Fredericksburg, VA
It wasn't really a spring day; there was still a dusting of snow. Yet, the opportunity to immerse myself in the April show entries made up for the chill in the air. I was honored to jury this regional exhibition. It always seems trite when jurors say that the decisions were hard. They always are. This show was of course no exception. What made these choices tricky is that as a long time curator and gallery director it is important to me that an exhibition be inclusive of works that will showcase not only themselves but will reflect off the other works to provide a coherent exhibition. Jurying an exhibition without any kind of underlying theme or media restrictions adds to my stress.
All that being said, I set aside my prejudices for certain styles, colors, media and subject and get "back to basics." I begin the search with an overview of all the works. Assisted by patient volunteers I enjoyed sifting thru all the entries and setting aside those who immediately grabbed my attention. At this point I like to say that my training and experience allows me to sort work in an unconscious way that takes in overall concepts like color theory, composition and mastery of the medium at a glance. The strength of those and other basic considerations always weigh heavily and will make a piece, no matter its medium, "work." But beyond what works is the necessity for me to discover an artist who has found a voice in his art. That somewhat esoteric word, voice, means different things to different people. The artist who immerses himself in his work, seeks to create in a way that fulfills some need in himself. The artist who has found a voice, has found a way for me, as viewer to take my experiences and myself into the work. A work may evoke something different for each of us than the artist intended but it has moved us somehow from the surface of everyday into a new discovery.
I encourage all of the artists who submitted work to this exhibition to continue to use their art and the FCCA in positive and fulfilling ways. The goal to have their work seen and appreciated by acceptance in exhibitions as well as by a variety of jurors is important and needs to be validated. My only disappointment was a lack of three-dimensional works. After touring the March exhibition and the excellent website I had expected to be treated to many more choices.
My sincere congratulations to the artists in the exhibition and the award winners. But also to those who were not accepted. It was a pleasure to see the works of artists unknown to me previously in a wide variety of media with a wide range of talents and I thank the FCCA for the opportunity to participate.