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Muted - January 2016

Exhibit dates: January 5–31, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 14, 6:30–8:00 pm
Juror: Allison Nance, director of Hillyer Art Space

View the exhibit 
program | View the exhibit images on Flickr

By Pete McCutchen, winner of Best in Show

Juror's Dialogue with Katie Andril

Hillyer Art Space Director Allison Nance is personally drawn to quiet, somber work, which made her the ideal juror for The Art League’s January “Muted” exhibit. She felt that the most obvious interpretation of the theme would be for the artist to use a muted palette, so she was particularly interested in seeing more conceptual interpretations.

During jurying, Nance examined the use of subject matter and material as well as the presentation of the artwork. Nance found the majority of the works submitted focused on monochromatic palettes instead of a muted narrative, and that some paintings crossed from muted to muddy. Nance observed that barren landscapes and cold seascapes were prevalent among the submissions. Nance commented that photography was a particularly strong category, though she also avoided selecting photographs in which filters were obviously used.

For Nance, the award winners stood out because they were not just muted in palette, but they “used this subtle palette to evoke emotion.” Of the piece selected for the Gallery Directors Award, Nance explained: “the image is of an older, dilapidated room – which could be somber, but also with the ray of light coming in, it could also be hopeful. This was a beautiful composition, with a rich, warm tone to the grays that, in combination to the dark black, really made me want to take a second, and a third look.” The photograph, by Pete McCutchen, is appropriately named Hope.

Because the work in this exhibit is subtle, Nance hopes that the viewer will look carefully and take time with each work.

Allison Nance is the Gallery Director of Hillyer Art Space. She oversees all exhibiting artists and installation of the monthly gallery exhibitions, manages gallery staff and interns, and chairs the Artists’ Advisory Committee. Born and raised in Northern Virginia, Nance received her BFA in 2003 from East Carolina University, after which she moved back to the area and has been working in the DC-area art scene ever since. Most recently she was the Director of the Target Gallery, the international exhibition space of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, before moving to Hillyer in September 2013. Nance is also the Co‑Founder and CEO of microWave Project, LLC, a DC-area based business that acts as a conduit between artists and businesses to provide space for temporary, pop-up exhibitions with an emphasis on site-specific installation art. Nance is the Vice-Chair of the City of Alexandria’s Commission for the Arts, which she was appointed to in 2013.

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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