Saturday, February 3, 2018

Juried Show

Rochester Art Club
A juried show
at St. John Fisher College
Joseph Skalny Welcome Center

If you are an artist, how many times have you entered a juried show?  Like me, getting rejected is always tough on the ego, but a necessary part of the give and take in the art world. Will being rejected change anything that you do in the studio?  Probably not.  When you step up to play, you can expect a bit of rough and tumble, and you can take that into account if you are asked ( as I was ) to jury a show.

302-B  "Stand With Fist", oil on canvas

The Rochester Art Club asked me to look over a large raft of art work this week and I made my choices on the spot, and then had a chance to review my picks and say something about the works that I juried into the show.  This time around I took careful notes, and wrote some reviews along the way.  Also, I felt the organization of this operation was very carefully orchestrated and they even asked if wouldn't mind writing up a critique.  I have juried many shows, and this one was no different in some respects - the quality in general was very high, and the artists in the RAC have their accomplishments to be proud of.  This is a club you would like to join!

More sculpture please....

The judge ( me in this case ) should just look at the art and not care about the signatures, to be impartial.  I look for evidence of commitment to the work at hand, and maybe  I will see something new and different.  I have been involved with visual art my entire life and I have seen my share of giants and nothing-burgers, and have even created some of them myself.

222-A  "Surfside, Winter", mixed media and intaglio

In Rochester, I am always surprised that I don't see as much sculpture as painting, but then again, there is the problem of storing and carting sculpture around that you must contend with if you are an artist.  Another concern I have has to do with the generations of people represented in the shows I have juried...and in particular - where are the younger participants?  I hope the art clubs actively look for younger folks to join the society supporting a younger generation coming up.

258-B "Little Miss Furia", pastel

In this particular exhibition which will be opening at St. John Fisher College, my feeling was one of inspiration - I really got into the imagery that people here pursued in their art.  Some of these artists I have seen before, though not these particular pieces,  so it was all new to me.  When I was jurying the show, the art works are identified by number, so I was never really aware of who did what, I just looked at the evidence.  It was fun making selections, and I thought it was interesting that several artists had made animal portraits of a very high quality.  You expect a certain number of human portraits, but a portrait of a Lemur?  That was unusual... especially since I thought this was an oil painting, but up close I could see it was a pastel.

237-A  Thawing Creek

I am glad to see that people go outdoors to paint.  There are several very respectable painters out in the field today, and they remind me of the artists I studied with including Edwin Dickinson, Wolf Kahn, and Paul Resika.  There is a renewal of interest in this form of art these days, so folks, keep at it!

237-B  Old Shed

I did make a comment that I feel people are too dependent on working from photos, and while that may serve as a reference, I think it is more important to work directly - and challenge yourself to see and feel in three dimensions.  So if you have a chance, go and see the art work for yourself at the Joseph Skalny Welcome Center, opening this coming Friday.  I hope you like the choices I made.

Rochester Art Club at St. John Fisher College