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January 2012: All-Media

January 2012 All-Media Exhibit
Juried by Allen Beland
January 4 - February 6

Opening Reception: January 12, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Sandy Lebrun-Evans, Truck. Winner of the Second Place Award.

Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

As an art educator and a practicing artist, Allen Beland was able to approach his role as juror for the January 2012 All-Media Exhibit from an extremely thoughtful and well-informed place.

Beland believes that a successful work is one that stirs an emotional reaction within the viewer. He noted how important is it for artwork to emotionally connect with the viewer – for there to be substance, an ideal, a concept in a piece. Aesthetics, the principles of art and design, of course play an enormous role as well. Beland says he’s constantly reminding his students, “composition, composition, composition!” He remembers advice an old art instructor once gave him, “beautiful execution will never save a stupid idea.” It’s important for your work to have a strong concept.

Beland talked about subject vs. object in artwork. Work that aims to portray a subject, rather than an object, goes beyond the tangible or obvious to create a more engaging work. He mentioned that he was surprised to see so many “object” oriented works submitted for a fine art exhibit, such as straightforward still lifes and other realistic renderings.

Beland felt that the paintings submitted were extremely strong and very diverse in all styles and media. He was very impressed with the skill of the works submitted and the variety. For an all-media exhibit, Beland noted that he expected to see more three-dimensional work, and for there to be more of a balance between two and three-dimensional works submitted.

Most of the photography fell short of Beland’s expectations. He felt that the majority of works submitted were either lacking in execution, off in composition, lacking substance, or were flawed in print quality.

Beland awarded the Gallery Directors Award to Jane Thomas for “The Thoughts.” “The mastery and handling of the medium, the great perspective, and the overall quality of this piece are fantastic. It almost has a manipulated/photographic quality, which is very intriguing.”

Second place went to Sandi Lebrun-Evans for “Truck.” “There’s balance of light and dark within the print, great texture in the truck. At first glance, you’re not sure if this is a painting or a photograph. It has a great painterly quality.”

Beland teaches photography at Yorktown High School in Arlington. He received his MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at VCU, teaching digital and traditional photography. He also works as a freelance photographer shooting weddings, news, location, studio, and portraits. He shoots using both digital and traditional equipment.

Click here for a complete list of accepted works.
here to view this exhibit on flickr.



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