Close to Home: 2005 National Exhibition
Juror: Jacquelyne D. Serwer
Chief Curator of the Corcoran
Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
April 1 - May 13, 2005
Prizewinners: Isabel Chenoweth & Isabella
Honorable Mention: Trina
Badarak, Alicia Dwyer, Sharon Hunter, and Katrin Roos
About Close to Home:
The submissions to the Creative Arts Workshop juried competition
interpreted the “Close to Home” theme in many thoughtful
and imaginative ways, expanding my expectations in terms of subjects
and media. Waterscapes, cityscapes, and interior scenes—painted,
photographed, or collaged—contrast with more abstract images
about situating or navigating place, suggesting that even familiar
pathways can become complicated or obscured. In other works, still
lifes and body fragments functioning as inanimate objects evoke
simultaneous reflections on the concrete and the evanescent.
Several of the final selections offered
fascinating riffs on the idea of the window as the classic metaphor
for a work of art. But instead of looking out at a scene that
has been carefully delineated by the window frame, as traditional
two-dimensional artists have so often chosen to do, the artists
of Close to Home invite us to look into the window. The resulting
images encourage the viewer to make direct contact with the work
of art. Some of the painters offered intimate settings as well,
isolating vignettes that represent a fleeting moment extracted
from the kaleidoscope of daily family life.
Other artists explored unconventional applications
of familiar materials, or manipulated scale in clever ways. What
look like thousands of blue pick-up sticks have been transformed
into a giant blanket; in another case, long strips of white rubber
are employed in the making of an elegant, larger-than-life-size
bathtub. At the other end of the spectrum, matchbooks become tiny
theaters used to reference the horrors of September 11, by showing
lilliputian scenes of skyscrapers under attack in one, and an
arsenal of missiles in another.
Although only a handful of the submissions
could be included in the exhibition, the opportunity to examine
images of so many thoughtful works of art left me with the thrill
that only a close encounter with the creative process can give.
I am reassured that whatever may happen to disrupt our feeling
of well-being, artists who work everyday at unraveling the mysteries
of our existence will continue to provide a cushion against the
negative forces that seek to destroy our appetite for human connections
and a comforting sense of place.
Jacquelyn D. Serwer
Jacquelyn Days Sewer is Chief Curator of the Corcoran Gallery
of Art in Washington, D.C. Prior to that she worked for fourteen
years at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, where
she served such roles as Chief Curator, Curator of Contemporary
Art, Curator of Painting and Sculpture, and Smithsonian Scholar
in Rome, Italy.
She received her doctorate from The City
University of New York and her Master of Arts from University
of Chicago. Her writing is extensive and her most recent work,
Larry Rivers: Art and the Artist, was published in 2002
by Bulfinch Press.
Jacquelyn Days Sewer has organized nineteen
national exhibitions and is an experienced juror. She is a member
of the Awards Committee at College Art Association's The Art
Journal as well as a member of the Washington, D.C. chapter
of Art Table. She has also made many contributions to her home
town by serving as a member of the selection committees for commissions
at IRS Headquarters and the District Government Building.
PAST JURIED SHOWS
juried by Bernard Chaet William Leffingwell Professor of Painting
Emeritus Yale University School of Art
2005: Close to
Home, juried by Jacquelyn D. Serwer, Chief Curator of the
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.