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Welcome to The Fredericksburg Center
for the Creative Arts

A Non-Profit Organization
Located in the Historic Silversmith House, circa 1785
and a Partner of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

  FCCA 2009 October Regional Art Exhibit

September 27th - October 31

Frederick Gallery

Steve Griffin, Juror's Statement

Creating a work of art is a very unpredictable process.  There is not an artist’s checklist of things to do or not to do that will guarantee a successful painting, photograph or sculpture.  In fact, a technique or color or process that worked in one piece usually does not work in another.  Our inability to” pin it down” is what makes the production of art, and the appreciation of art, an ever changing journey.

Since the production of art is a fluid process, the judging of art must also be a fluid process.  Again, there is no checklist of right or wrong.  Instead, a selected group of artworks emerge from a large number of entries much the same way shapes, colors and textures emerge from the canvas while working on a painting.  My first impression, while walking around the room looking at all of the entries, usually changes several times as I arrange and re-arrange the artwork.  Some work stands out right away while other pieces take longer to reveal their message. 

The acrylic paintings by Barbara Taylor Hall stood out from the beginning and kept my attention throughout the judging process.  I gave the first place award to her painting titled “Sancto Sanctorum”, because it conveys a strong sense of artistic confidence.  It achieves that delicate balance between control and non-control.  The artist is able to set the process in motion and then let it go. 

The second place award went to a watercolor painting titled “Barefoot on the Beach” by Rita Rose Apter and her twin sister Rea Rose Cohen.  Their paintings did not stand out immediately, but I kept going back to them, because I was drawn to the concept behind these collaborative works.  The actual paintings are secondary to the fact that they are recording a playful and joyful experience that is evident in the paint surface itself. 

High plains I”, a pastel by Elsie Hagenlocker, received the third place award.  Here is an excellent example of restraint.  The artist is not distracted by extra detail, and chooses to emphasize only the general shapes and colors.  The ability to be selective and know when to stop is evident in this landscape.  (I would like to add a side-note here.  This pastel is elegantly presented with a matt and frame that enhances the work rather than creating a distraction.  Many times good paintings do not make the final cut in judging because of poor presentation.)

The honorable mention selections all have different qualities that kept them in the running.  “School Days”, by Carol Baker, illustrates the kind of fragmented memories we all have of those days.  Marti Belcher’s photograph of “Indian Girl” draws the viewer in with its startling detail.  Shirley Whelan creates a mysterious sense of depth with dark saturated colors in her painting “Radiance”, while Bob Worthy’s equally mysterious mixed media collage “Dragon Fly Waltz 2” gives us a clouded glimpse of a fossil-like image.

I enjoyed studying at all of the entries in this exhibit, and would like to thank the FCCA for inviting me to be the juror.

Steve Griffin

PDF Exhibit Catalog  Awards 


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