Small Works Exhibit 2010
Juried by Emily Conover
Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler
For our annual Small Works exhibit, juror Emily Conover was presented with the task of viewing 530 tiny works of art where the image area could not be larger than 48” square. Working small presents certain technical challenges. Luckily, The Art League membership met the challenge and presented Conover with a variety of successful small works diverse in style, subject matter, and media.
When looking for a successful work, Conover looks for strong technique – composition, chiaroscuro, and use of color. But she also wants to see works that make a unique statement. “How can you put your own spin on something (a landscape, a still life) that has been done a million times over? I want to see an artist take a common subject and make it look fresh and original,” she stated.
“Composition, scale, and format become extremely important when working small. You have to be very conscious of the composition,” Conover explained. She remarked that several artists were successful in making their small works appear larger through strategic selection of format and scale, and use of an open composition.
“I saw a lot of traditional media. There was not a lot of strong non-representational or non-objective work. It seems like the abstract artists had difficulty working small,” Conover stated. How you present your work, especially when working small, is so important. “The focus should be on the artwork, not on the frame,” she remarked. Conover also stated that signatures, particularly on miniature paintings, should either be on the back of the piece or nearly invisible, otherwise they become a distracting compositional element.
Conover awarded the Eleanor Boudreau Jordan Award to Andrew Zimmerman for Untitled I, a silver gelatin print. “This is an intriguing image. I’m drawn to the mysterious imagery. The composition is great with the strong diagonals and directional flow throughout the piece,” she said.
Conover is an adjunct instructor of painting and drawing at the University of Maryland. She received a BS from Purdue University, and a BA in Studio Art and an MFA with a concentration in painting from the University of Maryland, College Park. This was the first time Conover juried for The Art League. Her mixed media works can be viewed on her blog, http://twopainters.blogspot.com, which also includes some of the artworks of her husband, Patrick Craig. (Craig juried at The Art League in 2009 for our Interaction of Color exhibit. His website is: www.patrickcraig.com.)
For the complete Small Works Program please click here
For the complete Small Works Award page please click here.
View the complete Small Works show online at the Art League's flickr.
Oxfordshire Watermill, Peter Ulrich. Winner of the November 2010 Norbert G. Brinker Award.
Large Works Exhibit 2010
Juried by Georgia Deal
Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler
Georgia Deal had juried for The Art League before, so when she arrived to jury the 2010 Large Works exhibit she knew she was going to find a variety of large strong work. “I encourage this kind of big, ambitious work. It’s a challenge to work so large.”
When jurying an exhibit, Deal looks for good handling of materials and an interesting, unique point of view. “Many subjects have been rendered repeatedly throughout the history of art, and have been done well. I want to see a unique, fresh point of view.”
Maintaining a strong, cohesive composition is one of the most difficult aspects of working large. “It’s a challenge to keep the formal composition together when working so big. Some pieces had really nice passages, but weren’t quite there yet.”
Deal was impressed by the quantity and quality of abstract work submitted. “I wish I had seen more current imagery – work dealing with popular culture and social consciousness. Generally, the work shown at The Art League is very traditional. Even the abstracts are very safe and traditional in style and execution.”
Deal selected Peter Ulrich’s Oxfordshire Watermill as the Best in show. “The handling of the paint and light is very beautiful. I was continually drawn back to this piece.” The Second place award went to Pamela Viola’s Union Station photograph. Deal loved this photograph. “I love the pattern. The fact that it’s printed on aluminum exaggerates the industrialness of the place. It’s very handsome.”
Deal felt that the framing on a lot of pieces could have been much simpler. “The framing was quite problematic for some of the works. But in the end, I decided that I wasn’t judging framing and tried to focus on the image.”
Deal is the Chair and Associate Professor, Printmaking Department at the Corcoran College of Art & Design. She received her BA at Virginia Tech and her MFA in Printmaking at the University of Georgia, Athens. Her work is included in the collections of many major museums and universities including the Philadelphia Museum, The Georgia Museum of Art, Duke University, The Corcoran and The Library of Congress. She often serves as a guest lecturer and visiting artist throughout the world. She has juried for The Art League in the past, most recently as a solo juror in 2007. Her work can be seen at www.georgiadeal.com.