Exhibit dates: September 10 – October 6, 2019
Opening Reception: September 12, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm
The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.
Artists throughout history have captured the spirit of their time in a variety of visual ways, acting as bellwethers for the current cultural climate. Similarly they serve as historians by preserving the pathos of eras gone by.
Artists are encouraged to submit work that captures what they view as the “spirit of the times” be it current or past.
Jurors dialogue with Zoey Frank
By Haven Ashley
From the German words for “time” (zeit) and “spirit” (geist) comes zeitgeist, a word which proposes the idea that an era’s essence can be distilled, captured, and sealed into the time capsule of our collective consciousness. It is the embodiment of a specific moment—a defining characteristic that sets something apart from other epochs, be it a philosophy, event, song, or object. For the artists who submitted work to our September 2019 “Zeitgeist” exhibit, their insight into the topic ranged from images of climate change to scenes of gentrification, each interpretation universal yet unique.
Painter Zoey Frank was our juror this month. She remarked on the entries, “I noticed a lot of artists were thinking about immigration…families crossing the border, being separated.” In the Shadows by Hector Torres and Immigration—Migration On the Move by Sally Davies are two such paintings on this emotional topic. “There were also photos of protests and war memorials. Different sides of political issues, as well as their own personal zeitgeists,” she added.
Mixtape, an acrylic painting by Tara Barr, was selected by Frank as the Art League Best in Show. Barr’s interpretation of a cassette tape is nostalgic and subtly violent, its ribbon unspooling into a knot of periwinkle and licorice-colored film. “I felt that Mixtape was very direct, with clear decisions, strong composition, and great visual organization. To me, it’s an unassuming painting—it’s letting itself be itself,” Frank remarked.
She had high praise for the community of artists at The Art League gallery; “The submissions were so strong overall. I could sense their specific voices coming through in their work. I also admired the scope of the media that was entered—artists were using materials that seemed really individual to them.”
As with all our jurors, Frank’s own work informed her jury experience. A master in both still life and figurative genres, her paintings are known for their intricate, tessellating patterns. Frank’s interior scenes portray the humble debris of domestic life—an extension cord, a wedge of cantaloupe—yet their compositions are born from complex perspectives. Spatial relationships devour each other, the picture plane curls up as it unfolds, and shadows melt into slabs of color that are amethyst, olive, umber—anything but absolute pitch. “Still life allows me to investigate the silly, mundane things that we interact with every day,” she explained, “I can control the entire universe in still life—the lighting, the colors, the perspective…”
When asked about her motivation and creative practice, she remarked that frequent museum visits and diligent self-education were essential. Currently, she’s reading any book by art historian John Elderfield that comes her way. “Inspiration comes and goes. I believe in showing up every day whether you’re feeling creative or not. You need to put in the time.”
Works are chosen by the selected juror’s curatorial vision and aesthetic.
All exhibits are juried digitally. Digital Submission Deadline: Thursday, August 15, 2019 by midnight.
We expect to notify artists of the results ten days after the deadline. Instructions for drop off of accepted artworks will be emailed to artists.
Accepted Artwork Drop-Off Dates: Sunday September 8 & Monday September 9, 2019 (times TBA)
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