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Open – September 2015

 September Open Exhibit

  • Exhibit dates: September 9–October 4, 2015
  • Juror: Erin Devine, artist, curator and critic; Assistant Professor and Gallery Coordinator at Northern Virginia Community College
  • Opening Reception: Thursday, September 10, 6:30-8:00 pm


View the exhibit program | View the exhibit on Flickr


Juror’s Dialogue with Erica Fortwengler

Strong technique and execution coupled with interesting content and originality were the winning combination for September juror Erin Devine. Use of color, form, a strong composition, and an understanding in, and handling of, materials were very important. Beyond that, intriguing subject matter, or an original take on a common subject (e.g., landscape, still life), something conceptual, or a narrative needed to be present. “There has to be something that draws you in for a closer look,” she noted.

As the artist, curator, critic, and independent scholar reflected on the jurying experience, Devine noted that she doesn’t think that jurying is a wholly intuitive and subjective process generally, but that this specific experience at The Art League encouraged more subjective and intuitive responses. Unlike other exhibits she curates with defined curatorial guidelines, Devine didn’t have an initial concept in mind as she walked into The Art League Gallery. Themes emerged as she went along.

There were some specific elements Devine wanted to see in each medium. For example, with photography, Devine wanted to see an arresting image meet strong execution. Strong color and form were a must for painting. And with watercolor, Devine was drawn to minimalist watercolors that emphasized the medium's transparency.

The Shayna Heiman Simkin Award for best in show went to E. Ann Pickett for Tumbling Down. “The scale is nice on this bold, abstract piece. The line and color are strong and keep the eye moving throughout the painting. It has good flow and balance and is satisfying to look at.”

The Dee Gee Watling Pastel Award was presented to Ann Wallace for A Food Group for the beautiful texture and strong handling of the medium.

15 Honorable Mentions were awarded in total, several of those going to “street photography” pieces. Devine talked about the genre of street photography, and that the artists whose pieces she selected had hit all the points of a strong image. Signs, symbols, and irony are found in these images, along with a great composition, and quality print execution.

Erin Devine is an artist, curator, critic, and independent scholar based in Washington, DC. She received her Ph.D. in Art History with a focus in Contemporary Art from Indiana University in 2011. She is an Asst. Professor and Gallery Director at Northern Virginia Community College. Her current projects combine performance and video, as she simultaneously continues to write criticism, curate exhibitions, and complete a book based on her dissertation on Iranian-American artist Shirin Neshat.

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



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