Friday, February 11, 2011

For the lazy curator...

Click here.

By the way, the above "Click here" reminds me of why English dominates all other languages in adopting, evolving and infiltrating other tongues. When one travels Spanish language websites, the above would have been written as:

Haga click aqui.

Tomorrow at artdc

Come join me

A while back I spent a long but fun four hours jurying 555 works of art submitted to Old Town Alexandria's Gallery West call for artists for its 14th Annual National Show.

I had juried an earlier version of this show, maybe around a dozen years ago, and so it was fun to return and see the state of the nation from this unique perspective.

The quality of the entries was superb, and I've already eyed a couple of artists whose work I'm going to recommend to some local gallerists.

A few days ago I dropped in to see the actual work and picked the prize-winners. This was a very tough job, but let me tell you that Eric Standley, the First Prize winner has some of the most obsessive and technically perfect work that I have ever seen, especially in the rather odd media of cut paper. But even as good as he is (and I doubt that there's anyone else on the planet who is better, maybe just as good, but his degree of technical prowess just can't be any better), I would have some good advice for this artist, and suggest a new subject focus for his astonishing and obsessive facility with cutting paper.

Amy SwarteleSecond Prize winner Amy Swartele could have easily won the top prize, had I not been so hypnotized by the intricacy of Standley's obsession with cutting paper and also by seeing something that one doesn't see everyday in an art show in his work. But Swartele also has a deep mastery of the her technique, and she also pushes it into a modern dialogue with her unusual subject matter pairings and associations. This is a painter with a mission! There is a little bit of nightmare blended into her primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, and her color harmony has a little of Goya and Stephen King hiding behind the brush strokes.

Margaret Dowell won third prize, thus "representing" for the local artists, as the other two are from outside the DMV. I am a big fan of her work and once wrote that "Dowell is an enviably talented painter. Her paintings show not only extraordinary technical skills, but also a hungry sense of desire and an intelligent understanding of her subjects..."

What else can I say after that? I can tell you that McDowell continues to impress me with the courage and depth of her subject matter.

So without having a preconceived idea of what my agenda for this show would be (I didn't have one), I ended up awarding the top three prizes to artists who have spent the thousands of hours needed to master anything - in one case cutting paper and in two others painting - of the three, two won because their artistic vision and subject matter impressed me, and they had the technical facility to deliver their idea with enviable ease. One won because I had honestly never seen such a degree of skill applied to a singular genre with such ferocity and control.

The prizes will be presented to the winners at the Artists Reception and Awards Presentation, which is this coming Saturday, February 12 from 5-8pm. Please join me there for a bite, a glass of wine and some excellent artwork from around the nation.

The prizewinners are:

1st Place - Eric Standley, "Poseidon"

2nd Place - Amy Swartele, "Breath"

3rd Place - Margaret Dowell, "Joseph and Naked Aggression"

Honorable Mentions:

Kimberley Bush, “Squatty Copperhead”

Francesca Creo, “Washed Up”

Annie Evans, “Masque”

Daniel Filippone, “American Kestrel”

Robert Madden, "Twisted Vision"

Drew Parris, "Tempest"

Nicole Santiago, "Anniversary Cake"

Fierce Sonia, "Material Things"

Tore Terrasi, "Grid Study (Gradient)"

See ya there!

New Artists, New Art

Longview Gallery will be showcasing the works of several standout new artists showing with Long View Gallery including Ryan McCoy, Shaun Richards, Jordan Bruns, Zach Sherif, Tom Burkett, Amy Genser, Shawna Moore, Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, and Clyde Fowler. In addition to highlighting the work by each of these new artists, several of Long View Gallery’s favorites will be showing as well.

Opening Reception: Thursday, February 17th, 6:30 - 8:30pm
Show Dates: February 17, 2011 - March 13, 2011

Look for Ryan McCoy to steal the show here as well...