Monday, December 25, 2023

Making a list, checking it twice...


Making a list, checking it twice…

bare feet, by Jessica Morton

Bad Believer,  by Alex Strader

Under Siege, by Sally Priscilla Lytle

The Last Cowboy, by Todd Bergert

Nap-caftan, by Judi Krew

Empty Table, Filtered Light, by Bruce Stebner

(PART 1)

By Tom Wachunas 

“All aesthetic judgment is really cultural evaluation.” – Susan Sontag

“Any great art work… revives and re-adapts time and space, and the measure of its success is the extent to which it makes you an inhabitant of that world – the extent to which it invites you in and lets you breathe its strange, special air.” – Leonard Bernstein

“Judging art is like caging a bird. Instead of seeing it soar, you can only watch it flutter.” — Ron Brackin

“Taste is the best judge. It is rare. Art only addresses itself to an excessively small number of individuals.” — Paul Cezanne


EXHIBIT: Stark County Artists Exhibition / at Massillon Museum Aultman Health Foundation Gallery, THROUGH JANUARY 14, 2024 / 121 Lincoln Way East, downtown Massillon, Ohio / Phone: 330-833-4061 / Tuesday through Saturday 9:30am - 5:00pm, Sunday 2:00pm - 5:00pm

   After attending the November 30 opening reception for this hallowed annual rite, my initial take-away left me feeling just a bit more naughty than nice. Despite the show’s giddy diversity of styles, content, and media, and its sheer number of pieces (very crowded with 74 works, selected from 221 entries submitted by 91 artists), there was something uneven if not mediocre about the overall quality of the exhibit.

   What was I missing? What was I really doing there anyway? Was I a humbugging critic once again looking for stuff to complain about? Guilt raised its nagging voice and left me to ponder how my first observations of the show were perhaps too cursory.

   Long story short: I returned to the gallery two more times for a much slower, closer look. Of course there are indeed some truly remarkable pieces in this exhibit, and certainly well beyond just the works chosen by the jury to receive awards (as questionable as they may be to some of us).

   Consider this ARTWACH post as Part 1 of 2. So for this first part, here’s a look the jurors’ award winners. I’ll be posting Part 2 before the New Year begins.

Best in Show: bare feet - mixed media by Jessica Morton

Second Place: Nap-caftan – muslin, paper napkins, Sharpie, buttons – by Judi Krew

Third Place: Empty Table, Filtered Light – oil, by Bruce Stebner

Honorable Mentions: The Last Cowboy, oil on board by Todd Bergert / Under Siege, mixed media, by Sally Priscilla Lytle / Bad Believer, Digital, by Alex Strader

[This year’s jurors were Cleveland artist Davon Brantley; Melissa Stallard, Associate Professor, Photography Area Coordinator, The University of Akron; and Steve Mountz, artist/art instructor, Salem, Ohio.]

The 52 Stark County artists exhibited here are: Claire Murray Adams, Rosemary Anderson, Rodney Atwood, Alexia Avdelas, Todd Bergert, Charles Bonakoski, Chris Borello, Lou Camerato, Peter Castillo, Paul B. Codispoti, Therese Cook, Ron Copeland, David L. Dingwell, Laura Donnelly, Tim Eakin, Steve Ehret, Linda Faulkner, Shea Flaherty, Robert Gallik, Timothy Hirst, Bruce Humbert, Christine Janson, David Jentgen, Erika Katherine, Annabelle Kim, Judi Krew, David L. Kuntzman, Susan Kurtz, Ted Lawson, Sam Lilenfield, Amy V. Lindenberger, Sally Priscilla Lytle, Miranda Marsh, Sharon Frank Mazgaj, Susan McClelland, Mal McCrea, Daniel McLaughlin, Jessica Morton, Emily Orsich, Natividad Lopez Ortiz, Patricia Zinsmeister Parker, Mark V. Pitocco, Brian Robinson, Priscilla Roggenkamp, Kathryn Skidmore, Sari Sponhour, Bruce Stebner, Alex Strader, Chad Troyer, Pat Mather Waltz, Jo Westfall, and Gail Wetherell-Sack.

No comments: