’Scapes - Annual Landscape Exhibit
August 7–September 2, 2013
Juror: Elizabeth Klimek
For a list of works accepted into this exhibit, click here.
To view this exhibit on flickr, click here.
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 8, 2013 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Ahmed Al Karkhi, Landscape of Maryland. Winner of the 2013 Krekeler Brower Wealth Advisors Best In Show Award.
Juried by Elizabeth Klimek
Juror’s dialogue with George Miller
As a printmaker and educator who creates landscapes herself, including lithographs and screen prints, Elizabeth Klimek was a natural choice to jury The Art League’s annual landscape exhibit.
“I always find people still wanting to explore nature, both physically and emotionally,” Klimek said. “Even in 2013 with the technology we have today, we still marvel at nature.”
Klimek has juried exhibits and competitions before, but this was her first time jurying at The Art League. She said she had high expectations because of the gallery’s reputation, but that the caliber of work still exceeded those expectations.
Because the jurying process takes place in a few hours without any advance notice of what artwork will be entered, Klimek didn’t have any preconceived ideas about what kind of show she would build. She said the theme, ’Scapes, evoked both ideas of traditional landscapes and of the word “escapes.” Non-representational work also fit in if it had “some seed of ’scape,” Klimek said. “Vertical lines recalling trees, or even just the color green, could suggest landscape.”
To make selections, Klimek looked first for composition and color. She said she gravitates toward balanced, complementary colors. Craftsmanship was another main consideration: Klimek looked for work that was polished, showing evidence of being worked and reworked by both the hand and the brain. Successful work wasn’t just the result of the artist’s first impulse, but a record of the decisions they made during the creative process.
Saying “no” wasn’t easy, either — though under Art League rules, only one piece can be accepted from any one artist, so there would be plenty of “no’s” regardless. The juror’s choices reflect her own opinion and the general shape of the show. “Some pieces just don’t complement the group as a whole, and they might fit better in another exhibition with a different theme, or potentially in a solo exhibition.” Klimek said. Of 560 pieces entered, 166 were selected for the show.
Photography and painting were very popular in the exhibit, which Klimek enjoys viewing, but said she would like to encourage artists to enter more three-dimensional work (though the concurrent “Shapes” sculpture exhibit might explain the relatively few entries here). With regard to presentation of two-dimensional work, Klimek said high-quality matting and framing was a must.
Klimek selected four artists for cash awards, and also recognized a number of pieces with honorable mentions.
Landscape of Maryland, an oil painting by Ahmed al Karkhi, won the Krekeler Brower Best in Show Award for its “amazing level of skill.” At first, Klimek said, she thought it was a photo, she commented on her admiration of each mark speaking volumes.
The Potomac Valley Watercolor Award went to Foggy Outlook by Pamela Patrick. “This piece has a nice sense of intimacy because of its size,” she said. “I also chose it because the artist did not cut corners in craftsmanship or color because of its small size. Some artists become very economical when they go small, but this artist still maintained a professional level of skill.”
Inundated (Intertidal 8), an acrylic painting by Kathleen Best Gillman, won the Chameli & Amiya Bose Award for Acrylic or Oil Painting. Klimek cited the composition as the reason: the actual landscape portion is so minimal, with a huge sky and lines drawing the eye across the painting.
For the Dee Gee Watling Memorial Award for Pastel, Klimek selected Morning Light at Eastern Neck by Jo Ellen Murphy, a painting whose colors caught her eye. The color balance, in particular the unexpected use of orange, made the piece memorable.
Elizabeth Klimek (elizabethklimek.com) is an instructor of printmaking at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. In the fall of 2009 she taught in Italy for the University of Georgia’s Cortona Program. She received her BFA from West Virginia University and her MFA from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She is currently serving on the executive board of SGC International as newsletter/journal editor.
Klimek is a working artist living in Gaithersburg, MD, who shows her work nationally and internationally. Her most recent exhibitions include: Sanbao International Biennial Printmaking Exhibition 2011, Sanbao, China; the 2011 Atlanta Print Biennial, Atlanta, GA; and 2012 solo exhibition Interiors/Exteriors at the Sloan Fine Art Center at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania. Her upcoming solo exhibition Façade will be at the University of Colorado – Boulder on view this fall.