Awards posted after the First Friday reception.
Sienna oil painting by Thomas Smagala of Spotsylvania, VA
The Empty Nest charcoal drawing by Phyllis Graudszus of Unionville, VA
Victims Along the Road photograph by Jeanne Tanks of Fredericksburg, VA
Tranquil Daze monoprint by Charlotte Richards of Fredericksburg, VA
Ridge Road oil painting on aluminum by Jane T. Woodworth of Fredericksburg, VA
The Little Red Steam Shovel oil painting by Nancy Brittle of Remington, VA
Western Landscape No. 1 mixed media by Christine Long of Fredericksburg, VA
Photo by Kenneth Lecky
When a work of art is small, we are forced to look closer. Our eyes move towards the piece, resulting in a shared intimacy between the viewer and the artist. As viewers, we quickly discover what the artist has chosen to focus on and what is most important to their trained eye.
As I spent a November day with over one hundred submissions for the It's Small exhibition, I was especially taken by the details that participating artists chose to represent: the turn of face in Tom Smagala's Sienna, the lines of grass in Phyllis Graudszus' The Empty Nest, and the layered branches in Jeanne Tanks' Victims Along the Road. I simultaneously met artists whose love of gesture and color popped off the paper, aluminum, or canvas, as in Charlotte Richard's Tranquil Daze, Jane Woodworth's Ridge Road, Nancy Brittle's The Little Red Steamshovel, and Christine Long's Western Landscape No. 1.
"In a time of glut and waste on every front, compression and economy have undeniable appeal. And if a great work of art is one that is essential in all its parts, that has nothing superfluous or that can be subtracted, working small may improve the odds." –Roberta Smith
I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served as the juror for the It's Small exhibition, as the experience introduced me to so many wonderful artists from Virginia and talented participants from as far as Arkansas, California, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. There were many strong works that I was not able to include in the exhibition due of space constraints.
I hope you enjoy looking closely at the details, color, and gesture of It's Small. I extend a special thanks to Carrol Morgan and the FCCA membership for welcoming me to your center -- a vibrant place for creativity in Virginia.
Alexandra Hunter Byrum coordinates special exhibitions and educational programs at UR Downtown, the University of Richmond's new hub for community engagement in the heart of the city. Prior to her move to the Richmond area, she served as a museum educator at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA, and taught the history of photography at Old Dominion University and Tidewater Community College’s Visual Arts Center.
Byrum received an M.A. in art and museum studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a B.A. cum laude in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN. Over the course of her career, she has also held positions at the Smithsonian Institution and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.