- Colonial Pipe Stems clay and glass beads by Liana Pivirotto of Fredericksburg, VA
- Azure Impressions oil painting by Charlotte Richards of Fredericksburg, VA
- Ground Noise acrylic painting by Susan Garnett of Culpeper, VA
- The Enforker found object sculpture by Pam Weldon of Bowling Green, VA
- Carbonated Needles mixed media painting by Kat Warren of Fredericksburg, VA
- Water to Roots to Nature's Design watercolor on YUPO by Rita Rose and Rae Rose of Spotsylvania, VA
- La Gare de Gustav Eiffel, Caves Byrrh metallic photograph by Deborah Herndon of Charleston, WV
No one really wants to hear what a juror has to say about judging artworks for an exhibition, do they? Folks are usually just interested in the bottom line -- whose work was included in the final exhibition and which artworks got the prizes? Some of you may wonder about my exclusion of certain artists or my selection of prizewinners, but I believe that each of you will find many things to enjoy in this month's Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts Regional Juried Exhibition.
I very much enjoyed the opportunity this month to act as juror for this exhibition. It was refreshing to see such a diverse array of artworks, with the wide range of media and styles. I was very impressed with the quality of painting and use of handmade process that was evident in so many of the submissions. Based on the work submitted for this exhibition, art-making in this region appears to be alive with the handmade marks of painting and drawing, photographic and digital images, and 3D objects.
I have attempted to create an exhibition that will give the audience a quality art viewing experience based on art works submitted. I've selected work that meets my own somewhat objective (and subjective) standards of excellence. In choosing artwork for the exhibition and for the juror's awards, I did as I always do when I'm seeking out new art - I first look for something that I've never seen before. But my approach to singling out excellence in art works is also full of contradictions. I ask myself a number of questions as I look at each work:
- Is the artist using media in a traditional manner? Or experimenting with new processes?
- Is the work created with attention to basic elements of art, design, and composition? Or has a more intuitive or process-based approach used?
- What is the artist attempting to convey or express? Is it clear what the work is communicating? Or is the meaning purposefully vague?
- Is the work "authentic"? That is, does the work appear to be unique to the creator, not a rip off of someone else's idea or approach? Is the work a riff on art history; have ideas or approaches been stolen/borrowed from art history?
After sorting through entries, I hope that I've created an exhibition that confounds you with this array of contradictory approaches. You know, sometimes variety really is the spice of life.
I would like to congratulate and thank the artists for putting themselves out there and participating in this exhibition. And congratulations to the award winners who for various reasons stood out amongst the others to me. I would also like to thank curator Carrol Morgan for her hard work in organizing the exhibition and arranging for both an on-site review of the work and afterwards a digital viewing of the images for me to do my part as juror.
The FCCA Frederick Gallery is a lovely exhibition space. And the building itself is obviously a treasure. Fredericksburg and the region should be proud of this facility and the exhibitions that are mounted here.