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All-Media - September 2013

All-Media Membership Exhibit
September 4–October 6, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday, September 12, 6:30–8:00 pm

Click here for the complete program and a list of artists in this exhibit.
Click here to view this exhibit on Flickr.

Connection, tapestry by Tea Okropiridze. Winner of the Shayna Heisman Simkin Award.

Juried by Joann Moser
Juror's dialogue with George Miller

Joann Moser had one idea guiding the selection process for September’s group exhibit: “I try to select works that I want to keep looking at, or that I want to come back to.” Moser, a curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, viewed a wide variety of work by Art League members, and narrowed her selections to those with the most staying power and visual interest.

To create that sense of compelling interest, Moser felt that artists needed to move beyond a beautiful subject to find substance, whether by challenging the viewer’s expectations or conveying some implied meaning, leaving room for interpretation by the viewer.

Moser advised artists to be very careful about matting and framing, as it sometimes interferes with the work, and is hard for the viewer (or juror) to see past. She suggested artists keep frames and mats simple, and visit museums for examples of well-framed work.

Moser said the end result of the jurying process was a well-rounded show with representational and abstract work, but that the process is still, of course, subjective. She said she would have liked to see more ceramics, a personal favorite, and that she tends toward understated, subtle use of color. This show could look very different under different jurors with different opinions and backgrounds, she said. It’s tough to make judgments based on only one or two pieces, so artists should keep submitting, she said. Moser’s personal preference is for a show with a lot of space, which is why only 98 works were accepted, a number on the lower end for group shows in the gallery.

For artists struggling with the process of self-critiquing — how to gain an objective distance to improve their art — Moser suggested talking to someone else about the work. Communicating with someone else forces the artist to articulate what he or she trying to do. It’s hard to create and judge visual art in isolation, just as a writer needs an editor to lend a fresh eye to their work, Moser said. (The Gallery will be hosting two group critiques this Fall.)

Two works received monetary awards. The winner of the Shayna Heisman Simkin Best in Show Award, a tapestry by Tea Okropiridze titled Connection, is “a real tour-de-force,” Moser said. The abstract piece both presents an interesting image and does something “astounding” within the medium of woven art.

Capitola Halloween by Holly Masri won the Dee Gee Watling Memorial Award for pastel. Moser said the use of black in the image added both a literal darkness and a darkness of mood, and it challenges the viewer’s expectations of pastel as a bright, colorful medium, she said.

Joann Moser is the Senior Curator of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She earned her Bachelor of Art degree from Smith College in 1969 and her MA and Doctorate in Art History from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has written numerous books and publications, including What’s It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect. She has published extensively on printmaking, is an advisor to the Washington Print Club, and serves on the advisory boards of The Tamarind Papers, Pyramid Atlantic and Hand Print Workshop International.

Gallery Hours:
Monday–Saturday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm



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