Thoughts on the Wickford Art Association
A-Z MEMBERS Show
April 5, 2013
Juror: Peter J. Geisser
When I walked into the Gallery on Thursday, Sarah and Judy told me that I needed to select: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners; 2 honorable mentions and 2 jurors choice awards. That was an easy task, I thought, 7 exceptional works, and with so many different media, I'll go for the best of each "type".
Not so easy! Each section of the Gallery seemed to hold at least 7 exceptional works! I walked through the entire space five times. Each trip around I found more reasons to include more works in my final 7. There were so many apples, oranges, tangerines in this basket, and then there were the pears, mangos and papaya! I loved the bold vivid images, and then there were the delicate and smaller workers that whispered while pieces like the large sculpture spoke loud and strong. I always dislike it when the final choices in an exhibit all look alike or just what the juror's taste prefers. There are many beautiful works which are not my taste, but which I admire and respect for what they are and how well they work.
I've judged artwork for exhibits for over forty years and I can tell you this exhibit was one of the most difficult. Not because it was hard to find something I liked, but because there was nothing here not to like! I come from a background of painting, stained glass and mosaic. I work in clay and photography, and so the mix of work was really a great thing for me. There could easily have been an additional 7 works that I could have selected, which is to say that those that have been selected are great pieces in a field of great pieces.
It was an honor to be the juror for this exhibition. It shows the vitality and hard work of your wonderful Association.
1st Place Marian O'Connell
The first place choice was one of those very subtle works which not only showed wonderful technique as 2D work, but it also has a wonderful 3D lure that wants you to pick it up and page through this wonderful work.
2nd Place Howard Rubenstein
This photo captures what we love about landscape; it freezes in time a moment of extraordinary beauty. To do this the photographer needs not only an eye for light and composition, but also the inner lens of an artist.
3rd Place Ken MacDonald
Ken MacDonald is as far from the first two pieces as possible. This sculpture is big, bold and playful. What's not to love about it?
Honorable mention: Paul M. Murray
This photo of a little boy could not be more wonderful. It is bold, colorful, and just makes you smile. But there is also the subtle quality of a 15th century Flemish painting where the fingers are peeping out of the composition like a Hans Memling. Whether this allusion was conscious or not, it certainly gives a level of timelessness to this wonderful image.
Dan Lake's painting says those things that can only be said in paint. Oh you could have photographed the boat in the water, but the background colors bring us to the South Seas with a Gauguin palette.
This painting has a wonderful ambiguity that lets you see it as a reflection of a boat in the water or as some surreal image of beautiful colors, deep and mysterious.
There is always a need to find a work of art that simply whispers and this little painting does just that. It is subtle, and small but it still asks that you suspend belief and enter this beautiful world and soar with the seagull. Didn't see the seagull? That's why this is so wonderful; you can go back and see more, again and again.