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September 10 - October 6

Exhibit dates: September 10 – October 6,  2019

Opening Reception: September 12, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm

View the program!   View the works on Flickr!

/ˈtsītˌɡīst,ˈzītˌɡīst /
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. 

The Art League Award for Best in Show – Tara Barr Mixtape

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 momenta 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 ImmigrationMigration 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 cantaloupeyet 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 lifethe 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.” 

About the Juror
Zoey Frank (b. 1987, Boulder, CO) received her MFA in painting from Laguna College of Art and Design after studying for four years with Juliette Aristides at Gage Academy of Art. She has received numerous honors and awards, including three Elizabeth Greenshields grants, the Avigdor Arikha Memorial International Residency Scholarship, the Artist’s Magazine All Media Competition Grand Prize, the Hudson River Fellowship, and scholarships from the Albert K. Murray Foundation, the Stacey Foundation, and the Art Renewal Center. Her work has been featured in publications such as Fine Art Connoisseur, American Art Collector, International Artist Magazine, Artist’s Magazine, and Southwest Art. Frank has exhibited in galleries across the United States, England, and The Netherlands.
  • Artist must be a current exhibiting artist member of The Art League gallery.
  • All works must adhere to the Gallery hanging and framing requirements. For 2D artworks, no clip frames are permitted and hanging wire must be attached to the frame, not the backing. 2D artworks must have hanging wire. No saw tooth hangers permitted. Canvases may be gallery wrapped with no visible staples.
  • If the work weighs over 50lbs, the artist must install the piece themselves, if accepted.
  • Artists are free to enter any current work made within 5 years.

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.

Enter Here. 

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)


The Art League Gallery

105 N. Union St., Studio 21
Alexandria, VA 22314 United States

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