- 1st Place – “Pear-aphernalia” oil painting by Charlotte Richards of Fredericksburg, VA
- 2nd Place – “Unholy Matrimony” ink drawing by Phyllis Graudszus of Unionville, VA
- 3rd Place – “Chris” mixed media collage by Bob Worthy of Montross, VA
- “Shine for Corwin” watercolor by Catherine Levi of Alexandria, VA
- “Books and Bandaids” digital photo by Katherine McAskill of Fredericksburg, VA
- “Red Cabana, Vallee de l’Agly” metallic photograph by Deborah D. Herndon of Charleston, WV
- “Mirage” oil pastel painting by Guerin Wolf of Stafford, VA
It’s always problematic to select a small number of works of art from a large pool of submissions. I juried this exhibit by looking at all of the work in person, and I chose work that presented skill in a particular medium, interesting content, or experimental treatment of materials.
As a curator I am interested in artists who use innovative materials and processes and present clear content in their work—artists who require something more of me as a viewer than a mere pleasant, immediate reaction. I am often looking for artists who experiment with their materials and present subject matter for me to contemplate. If a work leaves me asking questions—questions of how it was made or constructed or why it was presented in such a way or ideas about what it was trying to say, then I am a bit more invested as a viewer. A work that is skillfully crafted or brilliantly composed is equally of merit, but I do like to see that an artist has a clear intent in what he or she is making, and my award choices reflect that. I urge artists to think seriously about their choices—choices of subject matter, materials, surfaces, composition, and framing. Art is made through a series of decisions, so it’s important to think carefully about the choices that ultimately define a finished piece. As an artist, you simply cannot ask yourself enough, “Why did I do it?”
When a group show is not organized by theme or medium, it can be difficult as a viewer to take away significant ideas or meaning, but I think this group show offers a diverse, teachable exhibition on many of the approaches to making art. I hope you will take the time to make multiple rounds in viewing the show. After all, many of our best observations come after viewing a work over an extended period of time.
It has been an honor to juror this year’s "October Regional" exhibition at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA). I extend my sincere thanks to Carrol Morgan who made a great effort to make my time at the FCCA a purely pleasant experience. Lastly, I thank these exhibiting artists who gave me reasons to look closely.