An all media juried exhibit exploring the details of imagery.
Artists explore the details of imagery in their artwork. For some, this means perhaps zooming in on an area showing great detail or subject matter that has great detail overall. For others it is a focus on texture or the technique of macro photography. The theme was open to interpretation by the artists and was open to any medium, 2D or 3D.
The Juried Artists:
Detail of "Making a Mountain Out of Molecules" by Christine Kurtz Casten.
(First Place, Focus on the Details, 2014)
Juror's Comments on the Award Winners (more info and pics coming soon)
First Place: Prince by Steve Femmer The artist achieves an incredible amount of detail given the small surface area. The effort, no doubt tedious and time-consuming, implicitly qualifies as a labor of love: love of the process, love of the subject matter, love of detail. Other words that come to mind: dedication, patience, skill, precision, mastery.
The composition is as spare as it can be, allowing the simple shape of the horse’s profile to stand out crisply against the flat black background. The scale invites intimacy, and it is upon close inspection that the workmanship becomes apparent, how the soft modeling has been achieved through meticulous controlled hatch (scratch) work. The complexity, the intricacy, of that hatching is a satisfying visual counterpoint to the simplicity of the overall design. Very well-conceived and executed.
Second Place: Ordinary Onions by Nora Schomogy A skillful little painting that exudes confidence and demonstrates the artist’s no-doubt-substantial experience with the materials and methods used. I was reminded a bit of historical Dutch still lifes and, to a lesser extent, of the trompe l’oeil tradition. The grouping of onions, with their peeling skins and beautiful interplay of light and shadow across their surfaces, is a very worthy subject given the exhibit’s theme – and they are composed and rendered beautifully here. As with the show’s first place work, Prince, the scale works well for the given subject matter and technique, and it underscores what an impressive artistic feat this is. Accounting for high levels of detail in renderings produced by hand is difficult at any scale, of course, but especially when working in miniature.
Third Place: Chihuly Sky by Jamie Smith A lovely photograph, smartly composed, that seems to be about counterbalance and abstraction. The cool blues and soft cloud shapes of the distant sky contrast with the mostly warm hues and hard edged, sinuous shapes of the foreground Chihuly details. Each motif, sky and sculpture, breach across the diagonal divide, creating some interesting negative shapes in the process. The photo is not about the sky, and it’s not about Chihuly. It’s about the marriage of the two – more specifically, the alchemy that takes place by framing a selected small slice of each. Sophisticated.
Honorable Mention: Antique Strings by Ginger Repke Well composed photograph highlighting contrasting patterns, textures, and shapes in lovely warm hues. The tight framing and shallow depth allow the motifs to play off one another without interference. Nothing here is superfluous. Fits the exhibit theme beautifully.
Honorable Mention: Self-Portrait by Ainura Shirova A visually rich surface, combining figurative, decorative, and textual elements in a very satisfying way. While there are lots of precedents for this general type of work in the artworld, the artist pulls the motifs together in a highly personal and truly creative way. In doing so, she creates a self-portrait in which she appears somewhat hesitant and guarded, as if debating how much of herself to reveal. So, while it’s easy to enjoy the piece from a design standpoint, there’s also – at least for me – a compelling psychological factor at work here.
Honorable Mention: Redwood by Marcia Gay A stunning photograph of a subject well suited to an exhibit focusing on details. The artist wisely opts to eliminate any potential distractions by cropping the section of bark so that it fills the frame and demands our uninterrupted attention. The image is straightforward – “just” bark of a redwood, after all – but it is also complex and rich, with an abundance of internal contrasts: in tone, texture, and color. There is also movement via the many winding rivulets formed by the bark’s details. Not sure if there has been much in the way of manipulation here (saturation perhaps?) but, if so, it has worked to the benefit of the image. Well done.
Honorable Mention: The Root of the Matter by Melanie Priest A captivating painting that successfully emphasizes depth, lighting, and rich textural contrasts. The artist is clearly a very proficient painter with a good eye for composition and detail. Impressive work.
Juror Bob Langnas is a printmaker, painter, and mixed-media artist. Much of his studio work deals with the theme of entropy and its societal implications. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1991. He has also studied at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and the Philadelphia College of Art (University of the Arts)
Langnas has an extensive exhibition record and has judged approximately 30 shows. He has served on the Special Exhibitions Committee of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild and on the Forums Committee of Art St. Louis. In addition, he has been a member of the Foundry Art Centre's (St. Charles, MO) Artists' Advisory Board since its inception.
He has been a full-time faculty member in the nationally-accredited art department at St. Louis Community College’s Florissant Valley campus since 2000. Prior to taking that position he taught at Culver-Stockton College (Canton, MO) and Delaware County Community College (Media, PA). Since 1990 he has taught all levels of drawing, design, painting, printmaking, illustration, and art history. He has also given numerous art-themed lectures and workshops to community and academic groups over the years.
Upcoming Calls for Entry
Thresholds (all media)
Aug 31 - Oct 11
Entries Due: Aug 24 - 26
Heritage and History (all media)
Dec 7 - Jan 17
Entries Due: Nov 30 - Dec 2
Beyond the Lens XIII
(Annual Photography Exhibit)
Jan 25 - March 7
Entries Due: Jan 18 - 20
Be sure to Join our email list to get updates on upcoming exhibits. More themes for 2019 to be announced soon.