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Op-Ed Exhibit - Oct 2016

Exhibit Dates:
October 3–November 6, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, October 13, 6:30–8:00 pm

"Cake," by Lizzy Lunday.
Winner of the Oerth Kirstein Award for Best in Show.

“Op-Ed” highlights artwork that makes a statement — about cultural, political, or personal events. Artists created their most opinionated artwork, designed to provoke a response.

View the exhibit program.
View the exhibit on Flickr.

Juror’s Statement
The Op-Ed Artist
David Bellard

An “Op-Ed” (“Opposite the Editorial page” in a newspaper) is a response to a current event or social issue from one person’s point of view, published or broadcast in an established news outlet. Op-Ed pieces are written by people unaffiliated with the publisher, but selected by the editorial staff of that publication or channel. The function of the Op-Ed is to give a platform to different voices in our society that don’t usually get a media platform. These voices are sometimes pedestrian and popular, other times unconventional, dissenting, or provocative, but they are not required to be objective (and usually aren’t). In many ways, the Op-Ed is a manifestation of creative expression in journalism – a field predicated on recording and relaying factual information – due to its completely subjective nature.

As I was considering the theme and reviewing the submissions for the “Op-Ed” show at The Art League, I kept thinking about an overarching question about the role of an Op-Ed in our rapidly changing world. Namely, what does the basic function of an Op-Ed serve in the wake of the global communication potentially available to individuals in the 21st century, and does that availability make the notion of an editorial gatekeeper obsolete or irrelevant?  The internet has already democratized a gigantic media platform for almost anyone in the world with access to a computer or smart phone, which challenges every traditional practice of controlling or curating opinions.

I was very excited when The Art League invited me to jury this show, because I knew this theme would bring out a wide spectrum of artistic opinions and statements. But I also felt very much like an editorial gatekeeper, making subjective judgments about many talented artists’ creations. As those in society who revel in the subjective nature of life, artists have been creating Op-Ed pieces 24/7, from the beginning of humanity’s awakening. Art is inherently an editorial wrapped in an opinion, as almost all artists internalize the world around them, uniquely process it, and re-communicate their perspective in a creative, subjective product. The artist is often the first person whose commentary on an issue can influence and shape the greater opinion of society, and I am amazed at the variety of opinions and expressions from the artists in this show. They are calm, observant, loud, provocative, pained and optimistic, and I want to thank them all for participating in this curatorial vision.

"The Renegade," by Catherine Hillis.
Winner of the Sid Platt Watercolor Award.

Gallery hours:
Monday–Saturday: 10:00 am–6:00 pm
Thursday: 10:00 am–9:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 noon–6:00 pm

*The Torpedo Factory may close at 5:00 pm for events. Please check Today's Hours to see if this affects your visit. 



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