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Student/Faculty Show
  • Exhibit dates: February 18–March 1, 2015
  • Closing reception: Sunday, March 1, 2:00–4:00 pm
  • Artwork pickup: Sunday, March 1, 4:00–5:00 pm
    Work can not be removed from the exhibit before this time.

 

 

 

The Art League’s annual Student/Faculty exhibit showcases the diversity and talent of our prestigious school in Old Town Alexandria, VA. Our gallery will feature works by our accomplished and acclaimed faculty of artists. Faculty works will be showcased alongside hundreds of paintings, drawings, prints, stained glass works, jewelry, ceramics, pottery, fiber pieces, mosaics, and sculptures created by our student body.

Exhibit programs (PDF downloads)


To volunteer: Call the School Office at 703-683-2323 or email school@theartleague.org.

 


 

Judge’s statement by Joseph DiBella

 

To exhibiting artists and the general public, the selections of an art juror may often seem to be subjective or biased. Both in fact are true. One juror may very well make completely different decisions than another would. But each juror, qualified from past experience as exhibiting artist and juror and sometimes teacher, carries not only credentials but also preferences. I look for what strikes me, holds my attention, makes me think, and shows me how to think.

 

This is my process of determining the ultimate success of a work and the reason why my attention is drawn by and adhered to the work. I look for the assimilation of three elements: concept, composition and craft. Notice that I do not include “style” or “school” or “medium” as requisite elements in the connection with a work, although certainly they do play a part in my evaluation. I am drawn to a work that inherently creates a problem that needs to be solved.

 

Take, for example, a few of the works that I chose for awards. Virginia Coffindaffer‘s watercolor demonstrates problem solving. Here is a recognizable image of a batter, catcher and umpire in a baseball stadium. But the expectation of the image hits me with unexpected relationships. The red catcher in the center of the composition would seem to be the most dominating component of the work. Yet, the artist engineers the interaction of axes, negative spaces, and density with open areas to cause the viewer’s focus not to rest only on one location. Of course, simultaneously, the painting shows considerable control of the technical medium of watercolor. The moment of action portrayed in the subjects and the care of the handling of the medium may seem contradictory but that is precisely the success of this piece. Such is the case with Jean Stark’s superb drawing. It transports the viewer into multiple spatial readings and just when you think you’ve come to a conclusion you are again swept into another set of visual cues of movement in and across the picture plane. The rhythmic interplay of directional guidance, textural pauses, misty screens and impenetrable cloud-like passages is rich and complex, yet coherent. Elena Strunk takes on what would seem to be an irreconcilable task to address the horror of a contemporary political evil with the power of compositional integrity. Here the artist appropriates from the media and invents her own expressive structure.

 

Among the merit awards there are works that especially intrigued me. Throwing off the viewer, Monica Kruszka takes something that is pervasively familiar in our culture and makes it alien. The invention of this piece is not solely in its peculiar use of readymade ‘body’ parts from Barbie dolls and other found objects, but also and equally in its smart design and its suggestion of layered depth and actual projection. Allison O’Shea taps into Photorealism in her painting but the viewer’s temptation to be caught up with details and strength of technical handling is pulled by the abstraction of its structure that simultaneously offers a worm’s eye perspective into the illusionistic space and cuts the picture plane in half.

 

Being limited to a set maximum number of awards and merits is a good thing because it makes the process selective. Nonetheless, given the extent of outstanding work throughout this show, it is good as well to make note of one other work. Vicki St. Germain teases the audience. Here she references some of the characteristics of American trompe-l'œil still life painting reminiscent of Will Harnett but offers what I like to call a representative self-portrait. While the carefully executed forms of most of the work stoically occupy the majority of the painting, the light blue cap atop the bottle of St. Germain is clearly a stand-in for the artist. This visual pun is a play on image, sign, illusion and allusion.

 

I am always impressed by the quality and diversity of the work by artists in The Art League and their exhibits are always challenging and enjoyable. The exhibit’s broad spectrum of approaches is a testimony to engaged artists and instructors alike.

 

 

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