- 1st Place – “Sunrise” acrylic painting by Barbara Taylor Hall of Fredericksburg, VA
- 2nd Place – “Grounded” oil painting by Beverly Toves of Fredericksburg, VA
- 3rd Place – “Fat Dancer” mixed media collage by Teresa Blatt of North Hills, CA
- “Taco Belle” mixed media painting by Cathy Herndon of Fredericksburg, VA
- “Puzzled Life” spray paint and acrylic by Jason Kelly of Fredericksburg, VA
- “Almost Home” by Alexis Lavine of Greensboro, NC
- “Nervous System” copper & photos by Sarah McDaniel of Newport News, VA
- “A View from Above” oil painting by Charlotte Richards of Fredericksburg, VA
- “Closet Lineup” photo by Norma Woodward of Fredericksburg, VA
I want to thank Carrol Morgan and Bob Worthy at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts for inviting me to jury Unique Viewpoint. It was such a pleasure visiting the FCCA for the first time and working with the lovely team on hand. Upon arriving at the FCCA, I was shown the complete submitted body of work, both in person and digitally, where I began my first phase of my selection process. I like to take in everything and see the exhibition as a whole, because in the end, the works will be installed as what one hopes, a cohesive body of work. There is always a handful of works that immediately jump out at me as a ‘YES’ and I set them aside. After that part of the selection process has concluded, I begin going through my points of criteria:
- Has the piece successfully executed the medium in the proper manner? For example, in black and white photography, has the contrast been taken too far or not far enough? Has there been color development in the oil and acrylic paintings or is the paint simply put on the canvas without any paint mixing?
- Has the artist taken the time to professionally display the piece? Framing is one of the most important parts of a piece, because it can either take away or really allow it to sing. How the artist has handled this last step of creating fine art, really speaks volumes about them as an artist and their respect for their work.
- Will this piece fit cohesively into the show or stand out as an outlier. This part of the process is always on my mind. Since I run an art gallery and have worked in a museum, I know that each piece needs to play a part in the show. I envision how I will install the show while I jury and if a piece stands out, not in a positive way, aesthetically, it will not work in the end.
- How did each piece address the idea of a Unique Viewpoint? This added a new twist to the selection process. In my opinion, every piece of art takes a unique viewpoint on the medium used and the subject matter, but I think with this ‘unique viewpoint’, the challenge was to figure out how to showcase that in your art in a more obvious and straightforward manner. Some pieces took the idea more literal, for instance Taco Belle by Cathy Herndon shows a Chihuahua sitting on a cake stand, larger than life, looking right at you. Now the unique viewpoint is simple: not often is a dog on a cake platter. This phase of the jury process challenges me to really get in the artists’ head. What makes this a unique viewpoint? How can I be more open to what they are trying to say? What it their process that was unique?
The last phase is really the most difficult. There are pieces that I have categorized as ‘maybe’, but now need to make a final judgement call. This is where I really look back at my criteria and mentally mark down whether this piece will enhance the exhibit or not. I look through the final body of work, envisioning how I would hang them, paintings with photography, abstract with representational, and I feel a sense of excitement. It has all come together. The pieces enrich each other, pulling out colors in one another that would not have been seen if they were not sitting together for the selection process. I see the unique viewpoints because the presentation is not distracting me and I appreciate the surface texture because the colors are rich and thoughtfully mixed.
Congratulations to all of the artists selected to be in this exhibition. Congratulations to all of the artists who submitted and put their work forward to be judged in such an open manner. Thank you to the artists for bringing me visual joy and to the staff of the FCCA for welcoming me with such hospitality and professionalism. I hope all of you enjoy the exhibition!