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Gatherings - July 2015

Exhibit dates: July 8–August 3, 2015
Opening reception: Thursday, July 9, 6:30–8:00 pm

Juried by Jennifer Lindsay, the exhibit “Gatherings” contains artwork pertaining to groups of things, people, objects or abstract shapes.


Exhibit Links: View exhibit program

Khaivani by John Ploch, winner of Best in Show


Juror's Dialogue with George Miller


As a curator, Jennifer Lindsay has specialized in community-oriented, collaborative projects that bring together artists of all different stripes. So, of course, it’s no accident that we asked her to jury an exhibit with the theme of “Gatherings,” for which artists were tasked with exploring the idea of groups, multiples, and relationships.

During jurying, Lindsay was not only looking to find “Gatherings” within each piece, but also to create an exhibit that worked together. Lindsay selected works that created conversations with each other about line, color, form, technique, material, perspective, and subject matter within the context of the theme of “Gatherings.” The selections honor the diverse interests, approaches to subject matter, mediums, and techniques represented overall in the submissions by Art League members. In each work Lindsay looked for a moment, whether spontaneous or arranged, when a group of figures or objects assumed formal and abstract qualities, while evoking a range of potential emotional or sensory responses in the viewer.

Another major consideration: was the artist’s approach fresh and interesting, either in the execution or in the interpretation of the theme? Lindsay said a novel use of a certain technique or a unique perspective both worked to a submission’s advantage. Finally, she looked for technical skill. Any of these elements, on their own or together — fitting into the larger theme, bringing a fresh perspective, technical skill — netted a “yes.”

Even among the unselected works, Lindsay said, she appreciated the individual perspectives reflected in how each artist had interpreted the theme of the show. The works as a whole demonstrate the members' versatility and depth. She encouraged sculptors and artists working in fiber and mixed media to submit more.

The Best in Show award went to Khaivani by John Ploch, a set of three abstract soapstone forms on a wooden base. The juror said she felt the piece epitomizes the theme, bringing disparate shapes and surfaces together and drawing the eye to their similarities and differences. The three quasi-figures in a shared space seem to be comfortably autonomous, yet seeking connection.

In Prep Gathering by Ann Wallace, Lindsay saw the same sense of motion, as well as a strong sense of atmosphere. She liked that it depicts the relaxed camaraderie of the workplace — specifically, a restaurant kitchen — which is where many of us spend much of our time. Lindsay gave the “beautifully executed” pastel painting the Second Place Award.

For the Oerth Award, Lindsay selected Take Me Out to the Ballgame by David Kosar, which she saw as a prime example of what she meant by a fresh execution of the theme. The digitally manipulated photograph shows baseball fans twisted into an impossible panorama, with the “maelstrom arrangement” creating a lively, joyful feeling — and a little vertigo — out of the simple activity of spectating.

Jennifer Lindsay is an independent curator, scholar, and arts educator who develops exhibitions and participatory programs that connect nonprofit organizations and creative individuals. She received her M.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. In 2014, she curated Urban Bungalow, an exhibit of contemporary art and craft at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. In 2012–13 she was curator and project manager for the Artisphere Yarn Bomb, and in 2010–11, she coordinated the public outreach, design, and installation of the Smithsonian Community Reef for the National Museum of Natural History.




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