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all-media - jan. 2013

January 2013 All-Media Exhibit
January 9 – February 4, 2013

Juried by Trace Miller

Opening Reception: January 10, 6:30-8:00 pm

Click here for a list of accepted artwork.
View this exhibit on The Art League's flickr site.

Burrow Hill by Amanda Nicholas, winner of the Gallery Director's Award.

Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

Echoing so many jurors before him, first time Art League juror Trace Miller stated that the hallmarks of a successful work are technical proficiency coupled with personal vision.

Overall, Miller found the quality of work submitted to the January 2013 All-Media Exhibit to be quite high. He selected 119 pieces out of the 572 submitted. Many of the works he turned away weren’t lacking skill, but rather, personal vision and a distinct voice. “The competency is there, but now many artists need to dig deep and tap into a personal vision and voice. Find what’s unique to you.”

Miller felt that the photography was very strong, as were many of the works under glass. But, the paintings on canvas fell short.

“I’m not interested in decorative content, no matter how beautifully rendered. This type of work feels generic, anonymous, flat, and predictable. Much of the painting on canvas fell into this category, and felt like the type of artwork you would see in a hotel lobby. While these pieces were technically well done, they were missing a personal vision and connection.”

Miller stressed how important it is for artists to get out to galleries and museums and see as much artwork as possible. “You’ll begin to see a common thread in the artwork that’s being shown. It’s the personal vision and voice that sets these artists apart.”

If an artist submitted two works, Miller wanted to see a consistent vision between both pieces. He didn’t want to see two radically different works.

Framing and presentation was an issue for some artists. “The frame should be a subtle stopping point for the work it contains. It should not be a statement in itself.”

When it came to selecting the award winners, Miller noted, “Sometimes the works that speak the loudest are the quietest.”

Miller presented the Gallery Director’s Award to Amanda Nicholas for “Burrow Hill,” a drawing with lithography crayon on yupo paper. “You can see that this is a very well-trained, proficient artist. This interpretive piece has a wealth of mark-making and interesting line. The artist draws you into this beautiful piece, and shows emotion through their hand.”

Honorable Mentions were presented to several pieces. Miller was taken with Deborah Taylor’s “Blue Egg” oil painting. He loved the simplicity, alla prima style, and diminutive quality.

Miller remarked that Janos Somogyi’s “Grass in Snow V” is a photograph of a “representational scene that breeches into abstraction. The wonderful lyrical line draws your eye across the piece.”

“Park Lido” by Michele Reday-Cook stood above the other landscape paintings submitted. “The dark color palette gives this piece an edge that goes beyond traditional landscape.”

Miller found “Cold Kiss” by Amanda Marie Harner intriguing. He was inexplicably drawn to this narrative, abstract photograph and felt that a story could be created around the imagery.

“Blue/Black Heart” by Daiva Balkus caught Miller’s eye “because of its refinement and elegance.”

Miller is a painter and Visiting Assistant Professor and assistant chair of the Department of Art+Design, Art History, and Art Education at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. Miller received a BFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and an MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. His works have been exhibited extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region as well as in New York and Chicago. Visit www.tracemillerart.com to see his work.




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