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Landschap - August 2016

Landschap (landscape)
Exhibit dates: August 9–September 4, 2016
Opening reception: Thursday, August 11, 6:30–8:00 pm
Juror: Nora Sturges, Professor of Art at Towson University

Click here to download the program. Click here to view the exhibit online.


Juror's Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

When it comes to visual art, “landscape” often evokes a particular image. Bucolic scenes, sweeping skies, and peaceful vistas come to mind. Traditional landscape painting frequently lacks human presence within the composition, omitting the human form itself as well as his inventions. Juror Nora Sturges was pleased to discover that the majority of artwork submitted to ”Landschap” did not fit that mold.

Sturges was looking for works that offered an element of surprise, coupled with the artist’s individual vision and strength of craft. Above all, that uniqueness, vision, and creativity is what Sturges embraced. “Skills can be learned. It’s better to have a strong vision and to continue to hone your skills, rather than to have strong skills and a lack of vision. The artist’s individual vision is what makes a work of art memorable,” remarked Sturges.

As a painter, Sturges is most drawn to and most critical of her own medium. She found the paintings very strong, and noted that she was very impressed with the skill level all around.


Staying true to what she was looking for, Sturges selected award-winning pieces where she felt the artist’s “individual vision is what shines through most.”


Florence Setzer’s Homeward Bound received the Potomac Valley Watercolorists Award. Sturges was drawn to this piece immediately. She noted that the subject matter reminded her of DC, but the artist had succeeded in making a stressful aspect of life look peaceful. She felt that the style and subject matter were not typical for watercolor, and Sturges liked that the artist was able to imbue this realistic piece with abstract elements – such as the glow of the lights, lines, and shapes.


Shelia Harrington’s Buoyant received the Chameli & Amiya Bose Saha Memorial Award. Sturges felt this “old-fashioned yet contemporary painting” offered a cool perspective, and she noted that the surface of radicchio itself almost read as a landscape.

Sturges awarded several pieces Honorable Mentions. She loved the almost “atypical use of the printmaking medium” in Nancy McIntyre’s Sky and Road, as well as the strong formal elements and rich color. David Alfuth’s Quiet on Set stood apart for the novel medium and the artist’s “imagined landscape.” Sturges was drawn to the beautiful color in Kristen Harner’s Turn to Clear Vision, and then became immersed in the multiple metaphors within the piece – how the binoculars look like a face; how the viewfinder reads as eyes, yet we look above them to view the city in this photograph; and how the city is just out of focus, yet we are tempted to “turn to clear vision.” The beautiful surface and paint application coupled with the balance between representation and abstraction made Ellen Delaney’s Road Trip a stand out piece. The advanced sense of color, paint handling, sweeping gestures, and movement is what drew Sturges to Berit Jarama Estabrook’s Evening Call.

Nora Sturges has exhibited her work widely in solo shows at the Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, Spaces in Cleveland, School 33 in Baltimore, the 1708 Gallery in Richmond, the Lancaster (PA) Museum of Art, the Bachelier-Cardonsky Gallery in Connecticut, Miami University of Ohio, and Ventura College, among others. Her group exhibitions have included Lonsdale Gallery in Toronto, Civilian Art Projects in Washington, DC, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, Germany, Galerie Youn in Montreal, the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, The Painting Center in New York City, Seraphin Gallery in Philadelphia, Antioch College, Goucher College, and Maryland Art Place in Baltimore. She is the recipient of three Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council, and her work has been included four times in the publication New American Paintings. She received a B.A. in studio art from Bowdoin College, and an M.F.A. in painting from Ohio University. Sturges lives in Baltimore, MD, where she is a Professor of Art at Towson University.

Click here to download the full prospectus.

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