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Open Exhibit - April 2018

April Open Exhibit
Exhibit dates:
 April 3–29, 2018
Juror: Avis Fleming 


Artwork PICK-UP:

Sunday, April 29 4-6pm

Monday, April 30 10-12noon

Exhibit links: Download the program (PDF) | View exhibit on Flickr 
| View awards and honors 


The New Normal by Karen Schmitz, winner of the Marshall Award for Best in Show


Juror’s dialogue with Haven Ashley

An Open Exhibit is in bloom at The Art League gallery, juried this springtime month by the prolific printmaker and instructor, Avis Fleming. Curating an “open” (or unthemed) exhibit poses unique challenges, as the juror must group artworks into a cohesive exhibit, unified perhaps by color, recurring shapes, or subjects, creating a dialogue between very different artworks. Every month an aesthetic mood emerges, and this April the gallery is awash with artworks that feature bright colors, flowers, architectural structures, or, interestingly, horses. 

One wonders what makes an artwork stand out from hundreds of hopefuls. According to Fleming, whether it be a charcoal drawing or an oil painting, “if there’s no composition, there’s no artwork.” Fleming emphasized the importance of composition, highlighting The New Normal, a monotype by Karen Schmitz, winner of the Marshall Award, for her mastery of the medium and demonstration of skilled composition. Fleming also complimented the drawings, from chalk to ink, noting their fine drafting. Watercolors too, were discussed as being particularly strong this month. 

Fleming remarked that the photographs she selected were examples of artistry that “weren’t just leaning on their subject,” finding strength in their composition, print quality, and ability to communicate emotionally with the viewer. “Too often photographers will capture purely ‘anecdotal’ images,” Fleming commented, explaining that she chose photographs that offered viewers more than simply a beautiful subject captured by a nice camera. 

When discussing the three dimensional artwork, Fleming noted that she selected sculptures and stoneware that demonstrated “balance and emotion.” Regardless if the piece employed abstraction or realism, she admired 3D work that displayed a unique, human touch or directly evoked a figure. 

As for presentation, Fleming urged artists to carefully consider their frames. In her eyes, frames should be understated and tasteful, highlighting the artwork without pulling the viewer’s focus. Signatures, too, should be unobtrusive—large signatures on an artwork’s mat were unappealing to Fleming. 

Fleming lamented that she could not select more artwork for the April exhibit due to space constraints. “It’s always painful to be turned down.” Fleming remarked, recalling a recent juried show that she herself had been rejected from. “There’s a lot of good work that doesn’t get in. It’s a learning process.” Hopefully, the artists who entered the April exhibit will be inspired by Spring’s hallmark of renewal and growth—and keep creating the art that blossoms inside them.


The Dreamer by Kathlyn Avila-Reyes



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