June 5 - July 31, 2014
Jurying work for an invitational exhibit poses, at the very least, several rather daunting challenges. The juror receives a set of images -- usually by way of a drop box accessed via email. With the advent of so many hand-held, computer technologies, unless said juror is sitting at a desk with an upright computer, chances are, the images reviewed in order to narrow the selections moving toward that final choices, will likely appear quite small -- even miniature -- on the screen of a hand held computer. Fortunately, this juror realized this fact early on and made his way to a full screen desktop in order to embark on this, for lack of a better term, rather judgmental journey into the Bay Area regional art community.
The breadth of work presented engaged much of the range of contemporary media. As with any juror, the works selected for the exhibit and for the winning exhibitors reflects the influence of the juror's own taste, experiences with art, and, as in my case, preferences for works exhibited in his galleries and/or collects for his own pleasure. This still leaves a fairly broad range of works to explore.
After a couple of complete runs through the images, I began to narrow by selecting work that I would want either to exhibit myself or to write about -- were I looking to do so -- and that led me to a fine group of candidates.
One of the things I love about the art world is its uncanny ability to evolve -- collectively -- toward particular types of aesthetic and creative expressions regardless of geographic locale. Of course, this was quite a bit more remarkable prior to the advent of the internet. But it is still a phenomenon that intrigues me. The submitted works for this exhibition certainly reflect the trends we see happening in art communities across the country. Painting always delights me when well-executed and a clear expression of the artist's vision. Artists' statements often prove equally and, at times, even more intriguing than some of their works. When one compares the claims made by artists in their statement to the artists' work, it is rare to find the two matching well and that those claims are, in fact, substantiated when viewing the work. Among the Bay Area artists who included artist statements, I found they matched pretty well. I am a stickler for these kinds of things as they accompany art. Suffice it to say, I taught several courses on writing and criticism each of my years teaching at the university level so I tend to be a little more observant of these kinds of things.
Once I chose the works of art to receive awards for this exhibit, I realized that my appreciation for art extends well beyond the focus of my gallery. When I worked as an art critic, I wrote about virtually every kind of art both as a reporter, a chronicler of culture and thought, and a critic. I have always been drawn in by the nuances of painting -- particularly as it is enhanced by its subject. That said, the blending of technology and media in art, when executed with a commitment to aesthetic integrity, continues to pique my interest. Finally, a sharp wit and a clever hand, when expressing one's subject, whether on canvas, paper, via photograph, or in sculpture, invariably brings a smile to my lips.
Juror, 2014 Houston Bay Area Juried Exhibition