Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Jurying the ALL MICHIGAN 87th Regional June 4 -- August 5th

Howard Clark and I were honored to jury the 87th Regional Exhibition at the Muskegon Museum of Art in June.   It will be hanging until August 5th, so go to Muskegon for the Lake Michigan beach and the amazing Art Works!

"Best of Show"  by David Huang
(raised copper bowl from one sheet of copper with gold leaf interior and silver rim, and amazing surface relief)

It was the largest exhibition that I have ever juried.  Here is a photo of a few of the entries hanging back to back and belly to belly, floor to ceiling.  409 artists submitted 725 entries (a record number!)  However, it was an ideal situation for jurying because we could see all the actual art works with none hiding in stacks as is often the case.  As pieces were eliminated, the museum staff moved the ones near the ceiling down to our eye level so we could see them in an ideal setting.  It was a thrill to see so many beautiful works of art in all media including painting in oil, watercolor, and acrylic, pastel, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, fiber, photography, sculpture, encaustic, metal, and jewelry, basically any media, so pardon the odd angles and glare from the lights on the glass.  You can see the raised copper bowl in the lower left corner of the photo.

Having experience with almost every media helped me judge the craftsmanship of the works.  My undergrad major was in ceramics, graduate major in printmaking, then I exhibited art works in paper pulp, drawing, photography, watercolor and oil. We spent two full days choosing the exhibition.  The staff said that we had probably eliminated enough by the end of the first day, and we were very happy with the exhibition as it stood.  Then the next morning the Museum Curator told us that we would have to eliminate at least 50 more.  Yeow!! What a shock that was!  So now, when painting friends, or I, get "rejected" from an exhibition, I can certainly understand that it often comes down to the space available in the gallery.  Finally, we had them set aside our favorite art works in order to choose the Awards, not thinking about the media.  But we were happily surprised that those art works included almost every media.  Here are some of them which I photographed with my Ipad as we looked at them.
Large Acrylic painting about 5 ft long  by Nathan Margoni, Gordon Hall Memorial Award

2nd Place large photograph by Sean Lancaster

Honorable Mention watercolor about 15" x 11" by Michelle Brown

Large charcoal drawing about 30" x 40" by Jason McChristian, Curator's Choice Award

Honorable Mention Sculpture assembled from found objects by Nat Rosales

Now you can see what a thrill it was for us to see these beautiful art works "in the flesh!"  I was also asked to jury the Illinois State Fair's Professional Division for this years exhibition and awards, but the submissions were entered over the internet on digital files via a Juried Exhibitions Company.  It was so difficult to see the art works on a computer, even on a large screen which I have.  It is soooo much better to drive the actual art work to the exhibition site so the juror can see the real thing!  I know how much extra work it is for both the artists and the venue, but it is completely worth it in order to choose the best pieces.  After selecting that exhibition digitally, I will go to Springfield to see the actual art works in order to give the awards. 

As you can see, June was a very interesting month!  If you can get to Muskegon to see this exhibition before August 6th, , I think you'll find the trip well worth it.  Thank you for our interest in these musings, and please forward this to all your friends who might be interested. And you know that I always enjoy hearing from you. 

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