Archive for November 17th, 2012

The Wilmette Library organizes a juried art show every fall.  Submissions are not handled digitally but directly, with applicants bringing their piece in for the jurors to look at.  There are three jurors, who sweat over their choices for about five hours. (I know, I’ve been a juror.)  Out of the 250-or-so pieces submitted, 50-or-so pieces are selected. There is no entry fee. The show is up for a month.  Eight artists are awarded a one month show of their work to be held within the next year.  Three cash prizes.  It’s a easy way to have your work shown.

Of the three jurors, one may like meticulously colored acrylics, another may like loose brush work in oil and the third may like digital photography full of accidentals.  In the selection process, there will be vehement disagreements about what should get in. The clock ticks and compromises have to be reached, often with some horse trading and bickering.  (Been there.)

The resulting exhibit looks a bit like a  garage sale, like left overs, one of each.  A bright painting of barns in primary colors next to a painting of a cat in purples and pinks, for example.  Or a digital day-glow abstraction next to Audubon-like birds in watercolor.  When I say “next to” I mean “in the same room.”  The people who hang the show do make an effort to group birds with birds and barns with barns, but still.

The artists who got into the show are undoubtedly pleased and are encouraged to keep working.  Those who won a one-month show of their work will present us with a true art exhibit, one that will come from a consistent eye and a view of the world that’s rooted in a sensibility that we can then try to decipher.  Those are the shows I’m looking forward to.

A group show like this, because it has multiple jurors and no theme or style, serves a function in the community and I encourage its continuation.  But, boy, it’s hard on the eye.  It’s hung Salon Style, more on that in the next post.

There’s a reason why galleries have individual styles and why museums group their art by periods.  Imagine Rembrandt next to Roy Lichtenstein or Warhol in the same room with Watteau.

It’s about the eye.  And the mind.  We like to reflect and get all meditative when we’re in a gallery or museum.  That means making connections and we do like to feel that the people who put the show together also made connections.

I’m serious about this.  But I’m also one of those surrealism-loving suburbanites who find garage sales irresistible.  Don’t miss this one, it’s up til Nov 29.  Wilmette Ave, a block W of Green Bay.  847-256-5025

Above, the second prize winning entry.  Arthur Fox, “Peeling Paint.” Digital Photograph, ~16″ x 20 ”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




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