After the Snow oil painting by Ana Rendich of Fredericksburg, VA
Still I Rise mixed dried leaves by Karen Fitzgerald of Ft. Washington, MD
Circus Pony mixed media by Teresa Blatt of North Hills, CA
Walter's World oil on canvas by David Kammerzell of Denver, CO
Into the Woods digital photograph by Katherine McAskill of Fredericksburg, VA
Meadow Walk texture sculpture by Joyce Leatherwood of Stafford, VA
Swatter photograph giclee print by Galen Tom of Fairfield, VA
I am always filled with humility, awe, pride, and gratitude, when asked to jury an exhibition. For this show I was mostly filled with wonder though, and that wonder grew and expanded as I looked at over 173 submitted entries. I wondered how the works selected from digital slides would translate in person.
I wondered about the dichotomy of small work and how the structural scale can, at times force the perspective from close-up to a big 10,000-foot view. Crossed Paths is a perfect example; am I looking at a farm from an airplane window or a slide in a microscope?
I marveled at each artist's decision making as most of us paint with pretty normal sized brushes; the marks, brushstrokes, and artist's hand all are right there on the surface, not hidden by a large format. Ana Rendich's "After the Snow" was a great example of each stroke adding meaning to the work, and her subtle use of under-painting and mixing of colors demanded first place in the show. I wondered how Joyce Leatherwood's "Meadow Walk" piece was made and how many leaves Karen Fitzgerald went through to find the few she used in "Still I Rise." And any questions I had about Katherine McAskill's "Into the Woods," which was a great small piece with a small boy walking into a massive forest, I got answered by the boy himself who was there at the opening.
Finally I wondered why I am so lucky to be asked to look at the work gathered by the incredible people at FCCA, and why they bring such great food to the openings and laugh at my jokes. I guess I will never know, and I will just appreciate the small experience of a few hours in a small Fredericksburg space that feels like it could be any gallery in the world.
Thanks to Carrol Morgan, Guerin Wolf, Cynthia Spotswood, Patricia Smith, and the FCCA Board.
Rob McAdams was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1969. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude, in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of South Carolina. Rob knows that we are all creative and need to engage with others through the things we make. He works on integrating the arts across K-12 curriculum as Coordinator for Partners in the Arts and is adjunct faculty with the University of Richmond School of Continuing Studies.