Pear-aphernalia oil painting by Charlotte Richards of Fredericksburg, VA
Unholy Matrimony ink drawing by Phyllis Graudszus of Unionville, VA
Chris mixed media collage by Bob Worthy of Montross, VA
Shine for Corwin watercolor by Catherine Levi of Alexandria, VA
Books and Bandaids digital photo by Katherine McAskill of Fredericksburg, VA
Red Cabana, Vallee de l'Agly metallic photograph by Deborah D. Herndon of Charleston, WV
Mirage oil pastel painting by Guerin Wolf of Stafford, VA
It's always problematic to select a small number of works of art from a large pool of submissions. I juried this exhibit by looking at all of the work in person, and I chose work that presented skill in a particular medium, interesting content, or experimental treatment of materials.
As a curator I am interested in artists who use innovative materials and processes and present clear content in their work--artists who require something more of me as a viewer than a mere pleasant, immediate reaction. I am often looking for artists who experiment with their materials and present subject matter for me to contemplate. If a work leaves me asking questions--questions of how it was made or constructed or why it was presented in such a way or ideas about what it was trying to say, then I am a bit more invested as a viewer. A work that is skillfully crafted or brilliantly composed is equally of merit, but I do like to see that an artist has a clear intent in what he or she is making, and my award choices reflect that. I urge artists to think seriously about their choices--choices of subject matter, materials, surfaces, composition, and framing. Art is made through a series of decisions, so it's important to think carefully about the choices that ultimately define a finished piece. As an artist, you simply cannot ask yourself enough, "Why did I do it?"
When a group show is not organized by theme or medium, it can be difficult as a viewer to take away significant ideas or meaning, but I think this group show offers a diverse, teachable exhibition on many of the approaches to making art. I hope you will take the time to make multiple rounds in viewing the show. After all, many of our best observations come after viewing a work over an extended period of time.
It has been an honor to juror this year's "October Regional" exhibition at the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts (FCCA). I extend my sincere thanks to Carrol Morgan who made a great effort to make my time at the FCCA a purely pleasant experience. Lastly, I thank these exhibiting artists who gave me reasons to look closely.
Caroline Cobb Wright earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Studio Art, and Journalism from Washington and Lee University and a Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Virginia. While she was a graduate student at UVa, she also completed the Aunspaugh Fifth Year program in Studio Art. Caroline worked previously in the Press Office of the National Gallery, the Education Department at Monticello, and Ravenscroft School where she taught upper school AP Art History and Studio Art. She is a former board member of Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville and is a current Governor-appointed board member of the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh where she is the vice chair of the Collections Committee. Caroline joined the team at the Visual Arts Center in January of 2011 as Director of Exhibition Programming. She lives in Richmond with her husband Richard and daughter Meriwether.