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Open Exhibit - Dec 2016

December 2016 Open Exhibit
Exhibit dates:
December 6–31, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, December 8, 6:30–8:00 pm 
Juror's Talk: Saturday, December 17, 2:00 pm

Juror: Robert Yi 

Don't Move They Might Be Watching by Chris Malone


View the Program here.

Juror's Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

Like so many jurors before him, artist and December 2016 juror Robert Yi was looking for originality. Before coming into the gallery, Yi was concerned that he would see too many “academic” works – studies from class, works that looked the same because students were painting from the same set-up or model, or works that were too inspired by, or derivative of, instructor pieces. While he did encounter some of that, he found and selected even more wonderfully unique and eye-catching works. 

For Yi, a successful work of art must have interesting content. “What is it about a piece that makes you stop and look? It could be the creativity and content of the piece, the amazing technical ability of the artist, or something dramatic and impactful such as color.” The artist’s individual vision, originality, and creativity are what make a piece.

“Creativity and content are ultimately more valuable than technique. Technical ability can be learned. It’s better to have a strong vision and to continue to refine your skills, rather than to have strong skills and a lack of vision. I could have filled the gallery with works that were created by technically amazing artists. But, many of these pieces were very similar to each other in subject matter and were not unique in content or vision.” 

Attention to detail and mastery of craft are also critical to a successful work. Equal thought, care, paying attention to the details, and intention – to all areas of a piece – are very important.

Yi would have liked to see more diversity in the content and perspective of the artwork, and in artists that submitted work. He noted that some of the pieces that addressed social issues felt prescriptive. “Push yourself outside of your comfort zone and your immediate world and see what else is out there.”

The Art League Best in Show Award was presented to Wilford Scott’s Red Nude. Yi kept coming back to this piece throughout the day. He was drawn to the painterly look of the photograph, the classical pose of the body, and the commentary on body image. “This piece makes a statement. I love the combination of traditional and contemporary elements. The color and balance throughout the piece are fantastic. Everything is cleverly thought out – from the red nails to the red pillows.”

Yi selected Jane Thomas’ Raining Window for the Carolyn Zakaski Memorial Watercolor Award. “Much of the watercolor submitted looked quite similar, but this piece stood out.” Yi liked that this piece didn’t look like a traditional landscape scene. The artist expertly used the water medium to indicate the rain. The composition teeters between realism and abstraction creating visual interest.

Robert C Yi was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States at the age of four. He received his MFA from American University, graduated from the University of Virginia with BA in Foreign Affairs, and the Corcoran College of Art & Design with a BFA. He received a residency to the New York Studio Residency Program and the Glogauair Artist in Residence program in Berlin, Germany. He is the recipient of the A.H.O. Roll Prize in Fine Arts and the Mae W. Jurow Scholarship. Robert has exhibited in group shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy, AICAD NYSRP in New York City, and at the Metropolitan Art Project in the City of Fairfax, VA. Robert’s work has been reviewed in The Washington Post and Voice of America. Robert currently lives in Tyson's Corner, VA and works in Washington, DC as the Director of Corcoran Continuing Arts Education Programs at The George Washington University.

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Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm

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