As an artist and curator of The Bell Street Gallery, I have spent months building a vision and working with artists to determine what to show and how it will fit the space. In a show like this, the juror’s task is to curate an exhibit that works well in the space and celebrates the most ambitious and accomplished pieces.
In this process, there were difficult decisions to make. Some pieces were very good, demonstrating merit and skill that did not make the cut. Demonstration of technical skill was abundant, but this is not the only thing that counts. All the creative forms are channels through which we give sensory expression to an idea or experience; to make the intangible tangible.
What I look for when jurying an art show is some combination of the following:
- Creativity in its most pure form, a sense of inventiveness and original thinking
- Artistic ambition
- Sensitivity in material handling – not necessarily the same thing as technical ability
- Avoidance of clichés
No evaluation in art is entirely subjective, but subjectivity plays a part, and it is important. Subjectivity is essential to aesthetic discernment. These selections are certainly the result of my considered evaluation. The accepted pieces showcased originality, artistic voice, and intense technical skills. The arts are the voice and memory of all societies. They express perceptions of the past, present existences, events, feelings, ideas and thoughts about human life, learnings and beliefs.
Art is one of the main resources for broadening our experiences beyond events in our surroundings. As artists, we have to give ourselves over to creative expression, and be willing to share our creative experiences with the world around us.
For 20 years, I have lived a life immersed in art. My palette is seasoned by more than two decades of art-making, exhibitions, studio visits, museum visits, as well as owning and curating The Bell Street Gallery in Chagrin Falls. These experiences are deep and ongoing and form the basis of my aesthetic discernment and sensibilities.
I want to congratulate everyone for having the courage to submit works. It is my honor to jury the YWCA’s 2022 Women’s Art Show and select the award winners for this exhibition.
Owner of The Bell Street Gallery
Contemporary Abstract Artist