2024 Student/Faculty Show Winnerrs
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2024 Student/Faculty Show Winnerrs

2024 Student/Faculty Show.

 

 

By Julia Chance

Our annual Student/Faculty Show gives adults and youth who take classes at The Art League, and the artists who teach them, an opportunity to shine. Unlike our monthly member shows where artworks are juried in, any student who took classes or workshops between the Winter of 2023 and Winter 2024 school terms could submit art for the exhibition as long as it was work created for, or inspired by, their coursework. This year’s exhibition features over 200 works in varied mediums from paintings and drawing to soft sculpture and metalwork. 

“I was delighted to see such creative, ambitious and skillful work,” says artist Mark Thomas Anderson who served as this year’s awards juror. “As a previous Art League faculty member, I am well aware of both the expert level of instruction and the ambition of students working within this vibrant artistic community. The broad scope of aesthetic interest and wide variety of course offerings at The Art League is reflected in this show. I was delighted to see such creative, ambitious and skillful work.”

Here, Anderson comments on his selection process and his prize-winning picks.

The Art League: You had a lot of artwork to choose from. How did you go about making selections?

Mark Thomas Anderson: It was a joy seeing so much quality work in the show. It was difficult to select awardees. In judging the show, I allowed myself to absorb, enjoy and admire the work. Each time I walked through the exhibition, I found many new things that excited me about the work. In the end, I selected work for awards that I emotionally responded to, and work that most captured my attention.

 

TAL: Did anything surprise you?

MTA: Having participated in previous student/faculty shows, I knew I was in for a treat with this exhibition. I was not at all surprised by the high quality of work in the show. It was a pleasure to see such creative, technically skillful, and ambitious work. I was surprised to see so many playful pieces.

 

TAL: Describe what found compelling about the prize winners.

 

Best-in-Show, The Art League Award: El Jineto by Frank Visco; Oil

 

MTA: I spent the most time looking at this small gem. Bold brushwork, clever interactions between paint layers, lively color shifts, and adjustments in color intensity fill this small work with excitement! An intriguing disconnect is created with the viewer by the sleepy eyes of the subject.

 

Best-in-Show for Classical Figure Drawing, Painting, or Sculpture John Foreman Award, The $38,700 Tax Bill Remained by Katherine Kokta; Oil

 

MTA: The underlying structure of value and shape in this portrait painting creates a strong base on which to lay color. Also, the coat was so nicely painted that I wanted to touch it. Painting a fur coat successfully is no easy feat, the edge quality, brush work, and color fluctuations really bring it to life. The viscosity and color of paint used to dab light onto each pearl rings true. The lavender background is atmospheric and complementing.

 

Dee Gee Watling Memorial Award, Best-in-Show for Pastel, Watching Over You by Chris Thomas; Pastel

 

MTA: This painting is wonderfully complex. Tension is created when a yellow background form breaks through branches and grabs our attention. However, a similar yellow form is dammed by branches, lying flat for the focus of the cardinal. Touches of red within the geometric and atmospheric background delicately meld the fiery and energetically described cardinal into the scene.

 

Dennis David Award for Excellence in Ceramics, Where Do We Go From Here by Sabine Arndt; Sculpture

 

MTA:  Broken celestial serenity, the old nails are daggers in exclamation. This work seems to stress the trauma we now inflict on our planet, and may soon inflict on our satellite. The black soot covering this work of art reads as pollution, the dead floating heads are the victims of power hungry men, and the open wound is spreading beyond repair.

 

Best-In-Show for Watercolor, Potomac Valley Watercolorists’ Carolyn Grosse Gawarecki Award, Onions and Origami Crane by Ellen Kim

 

MTA: Economic, atmospheric and concrete. The confident brushwork and sensitively perceived temperature transitions bring the space to life.

 

Jeanie Lea Knight Award for Creative Risk Taking, Steve by Alexander Merica; Soft sculpture

 

MTA: This surprising work is frightfully hilarious. Playful and grotesque. This mythical creature is a clever amalgamation of found and skillfully constructed forms.

 

Equal Merit Award, Elsa by Christina Andreasson; Alabaster sculpture

MTA: An elegant work of art. I love the way the arms and legs of the figure are absorbed into the cascading hair. The soft and smooth figure are nicely contrasted by the fluting in the hair and the coarseness of the base.

 

Equal Merit Award, Best Friends by Kartaice Hooper; Stained glass

MTA: Wonderfully distilled figures. I absorbed the work as abstract shapes before the figures appeared. The balance of color, shape work, and subtle texture in this work are exquisite.

 

Equal Merit Award, Thistle by Teresa Casey; Printmaking

 

MTA: I was mesmerized by the sophisticated color transitions and strong shapes within this work. The hazy tendrils of the flower head beautifully interact with the white of the paper and contrast nicely with the geometric solidity of the flower bowl.

 

Equal Merit Award, Reichstag Dome (Berlin) by Chris Winther; Oil

 

MTA: A very ambitious painting in scale and complexity that is beautifully composed. The subtle color transitions and fuzzy reflections in the glass are carefully and precisely described. As a playful side note, the composition reminds me of the way young children draw quarter-circle suns in the corners of their landscape drawings.

 

Equal Merit Award, Untitled by Rebecca Kremidas; Silver jewelry making

MTA: I was attracted to the graceful motif of this shimmering and eye-catching piece. The intensity of the metal was made soft by the organic subtle textures. The tears, bends, and lines give this an interesting surface quality, leaving a crisp sunlit feeling that illuminates the viewer. 

It was a privilege serving as the juror for the 2024 Student/Faculty Show at The Art League.

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