2006 Show Coming Soon

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's almost time for the 2006 Mayor's Art Show!

Jurors are being choosen, however some important dates have begun to be finalized:

Art intake day: Monday August 28th.

Opening Ceremonies: Thursday September 7th.

A printable submission form will be available on the Jacobs Gallery website in the next coming weeks. Update will also be posted here.

Continuing Article Round Up

Thursday, September 29, 2005

This Sunday, the Register Guard ran a review of the Mayor's Art Show along with a review of the Salon, written by Bob Keefer:

[in reference to Rosalie Juhl's "Living in Creative Process"] But this is the first time the mayor's show - an annual Eugene rite occasionally accused of stuffiness - has incorporated a live human being as an artwork.

The Eugene Weekly has an excellent View Point written by fellow juror Mike E. Walsh.

What we still need, desperately, is a stronger sense of our own artistic history as a city. We need a sense that art made in Lane County can emerge from the sphere of private lives (whether those of artist, collector, or their friends) and take on a meaningfully public, historical dimension. What this means is a commitment to the ongoing preservation and re-examination of art exhibitions, particularly those in the non-profit sector, to mount analytical and critical historical exhibits. Finally, we must encourage the publication of exhibition catalogs, books and articles that document and examine the work presented.

Last week's Eugene Weekly featured Sylvie Pederson's more ample review of the Salon.

Interestingly she picks up on a point that cause some discussion among us jurors, the role of giclee prints and computer printing in the art world:

Under the label photography, snapshots abound, some of them poor inkjet prints, others digitally enhanced to look like paintings, a trend I fear will only grow. Sometimes the word photograph refers to a digital collage of found images — a definite misnomer. Painters, sculptors and professional photographers provide us with a precise indication of the media and methods they use. To be taken seriously, providers of digital images need to follow suit.

Giclée prints of original works are becoming popular, but I feel cheated where I expect an original, as with Annette Gurdjian's Two Women Kissing, which is a reproduction of a very strong painting over a photograph. Gurdjian says the original was sold, but she likes the painting so much she made a copy, which is also more affordable for many people.

Getting Ready for the Preview

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Doctor's note certifying that I am not blind.
I really need to put my signed off version of this up!  
Turns out I have better than perfect vision... 20/15.
I have to give a big thanks to Dr. Carpenter at the campus
Rainbow Optics for helping me out with this joke.

Tonight is the first ever preview event of the Mayor's Art Show
and the Salon de Refuse.

Tickets are available at the door for $25.

Come join us!

The Day After: Love Notes and Thank You's

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I came home from jurying Wednesday and gave Steve the spousal priviledge of hearing about my judging. After venting at him for a good hour or so, I finally let him respond. "So, when are you going to tell me about what you picked?" he asked.

The ones that got away had stuck to me. Am I being overly defensive, am I feeling guilty? Maybe. I think its just part of the process for me of chewing on my selections, of checking myself for my predilections.

Looking through the art work I became aware of several operational modes that I employed.

  • If I was familiar with an artist, I was often more critical of their artwork.
    I would find myself asking if I had seen better artwork of them. In most of the cases the answer was yes, and they didn't receive my vote. Interestingly, the case was often that Mr. Vitri and Mr. Walsh ended up giving these artworks in question their votes, thus giving the artwork a place in the show.

  • Art work completed in a style or medium similar to artwork I have made, were given a more critical eye for detail.
    Some may think that this is a given with judging, but I have recalled moments where as a submitting artist, I have looked up further information on a juror of a show I wanted to be accepted in. Perhaps I simply wanted to know more about the juror, but I bet that I was also interested in what style of art interested them. As a juror, I found myself wanting more expressive, more unique art... aspects that I identify with in my artmaking- which isn't to say that I was looking for art similar to what I make. If a piece of art approached a medium I am accutely familiar with, I picked it up, fondled the piece and often found I had seen better and didn't think it was the best in quality of work. I enjoyed several of the works that fit in this category, but could see that there was much growing and developing yet to happen with the artwork.

  • Art work in a bad frame, or distasteful frame was not viewed favorably by me.
    On one hand I can hear the arguement that it shouldn't matter what the frame looks like- its the art that counts. However, if you choose to frame an artwork, that structure becomes part of the art and is the art. If it is not the best quality, then it isn't the best of quality and I found myself moving on to the next piece. Shoddy framing indicates a lack of completion and a lack of care about the art. With some artwork this may be the calculated intended effect- however the artwork in the submissions with bad framing just struck me as that: bad framing.

The art submitted to the Mayor's Art Show was fantastic! If this was a cocktail party- it wouldn't be breaking up till the wee morning hours. Looking through all of the submissions was such an honor; I can already tell I'll feel myself twitching to get a glimpse next year with out juror's privilege. Not to mention I admitted today to wanting to already start on art specifically for Mayor's Art Show consideration next year!

Many artworks I was charmed by or interested in did not get accepted to the Mayor's Art Show. I took photos of details of several of them and plan on scrapbooking them here just in case the art doesn't make it into the Salon. In the capacity of good cop, bad cop, I can blame the size of the Jacob's Gallery... it simply isn't large enough to hold all of my choices. The process of spending time with the non-admitted works as I wrote my thank you notes, really impressed onme the importance of the Salon. It is not simply the show of rejects. It's the overflow room. It's a secondary set of conversations. It's an opportunity for established artists to be a good example to other non-admitted artists and the viewing public in general, when their city-know art is not accepted into the Mayor's Art Show.

But most of all, the Salon is fuel to the whispered sentiments of
... who the heck are these jurors and what do they know about art?

I'm really looking forward to the preview night!

Jurying Day Two

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Todays efforts were to finalize the selection of art to go into the Mayor's Art Show. I think its fitting to reveal more details about how the selction process happens (as that is one of the points of this journal!).

Yesterday, on the first day of jurying, the jurors worked independantly selecting 50-60 pieces each out of the 444 submitted. We recorded our votes on an information sheet that contained the title, number code (instead of artist name), medium and price of the art work. We also visually marked the artwork with a color post-it note, each juror having their own color. Works that receive two or more votes move to be considered in the second round of viewing. In addition to the flagging with post-it notes, each juror is allowed to "star" a selection meaning it was guarenteed of moving to the second day of jurying for consideration.

I had a slight advantage in yesterday's jurying process in that I was the slowest juror. Both Mr. Vitri and Mr Walsh had finished flagging their art works with post-it notes by the time I finally started my flagging. This caused me to adjust my art selection ever so slightly... if an art work I had marked on my sheet had already received two votes, I chose to apply my vote to a different piece. Sowing my wild oats of hope of selection if you will.

However, as I tried to fall asleep the night of the first day of jurying, I realized I just set myself up for soo many more choices. I had to remind myself that this was a good thing. It had spread hope to more artworks.

Enough about day one... lets talk about day two!

Mayor Kitty Piercy came to have breakfast with us at the Jacob's Gallery this morning. This was a wonderful event that flew by too quickly! Mayor Piercy had free reign to pick out a piece of art from the submissions to enter into the show as a special Mayor's Pick. Her thoughts on selecting an art work as the Mayor were wonderful and simply stated: several works touched her as works she would like to live with, but she was interested in picking art for the city of Eugene.

I am proud of Mayor Piercy's chosen artwork, however I am sworn to secrecy about the work itself! So many people and artists will be specifically pleased with her selection (yes, that is an awkwardly vague comment, I'll expand on my opinions after the choice is revealed officially). I can't tell you yet what she picked, but I can let you in on a hint: if you want to know before everyone else what the Mayor picks... volunteer for the Jacob's Gallery or become a patron. That way you will be invited to breakfast with the Mayor next year. Then you will be the one with the secret. Another hint? You can see her selection in the images I posted in yesterday's entry. Hmmm, maybe that was more like teasing than a hint...

Overnight, Tina tabulated our selections from day one and we found that 36 works had received a star or a vote of two or more. Being the easy going jurors that we are, we decided before walking back into the room of art that these would automatically go into the Mayor's Art Show. We approximated that this would leave us with 25 more artworks to choose.

We walked together around the room and casually talked about our flagged works. In this walk through the room we choose several more art works. Then we each set out on our own to select several more pieces, in effect we gave ourselves the ability to star works to advance into the show. And before we knew it we had 61 pieces of artwork selected.

Did everything I like get in? No. Do I like every piece of artwork that is in the show? Maybe not. However, I take these as indicators that we as jurors were able to act somewhat independently at times. Not everything was agreed on in consensus. We had a couple of instances where we lobbied each other for the inclusion of an artwork. Sometimes it worked and the art was then flagged as going into the show, and sometimes it didn't advance the artwork in question.

Jurying 444 works of art was a mouthful... and I'm still chewing.

Jurying Day One

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You know what I got to see today? 444 pieces of artwork submitted for the 2005 Mayor's Art Show. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but today's job was fun. Today was about feeling the excitement of seeing all of this great art! Today was about the power of giving someone a chance at an art show. Today was about discovering more in depth how my inner art critic works.

The jurying is a two day process. Today each juror picked 50-60 pieces of artwork. This helps narrow down our field of contenders for tomorrow's judging. This initial pick of art work was individual. We each wandered around the room with a clip board of the number, title, medium and price of the artworks in the room.

In addition to myself, the juror's in this process are:
  • Dom Vitri, B.A. Kilks Professor of Law at the University of Oregon. Prof. Vetri teaches Gay and Lesbian Legal Issues and Torts. He has won the UO's prestigious Burlington Northern Award and the Law School's Orlando John Hollis Faculty Teaching Award. Vetri is a strong advocate for the arts and has been active in establishing a rotating exhibit gallery on the second floor of the UO Law School building.
  • Mike E. Walsh, Eugene Installation/Assemblage Artist. Walsh is a former Northwest contributing editor for Artweek. Walsh has juried/curated over 20 regional exhibitons including: Artquake, Portland, Western Biennial, Denver Art Museum and Monumental Works, Eugene. He has exhibited his own work widely and was a featured artist of Oregon Art Beat in November 2004.

Click on the photo to see more images of the artwork as grouped in Studio One in the Hult Center.
panoramic 6

Our instructions as jurors stated that our "task is to select an exhibiton that will celebrate the high quality and diversity of work being done by artists currently residing in Lane County".

I took this to heart, which ment I didn't simply pick what I thought were the prettiest works to choose from. I also didn't simply pick works from artists whose work I am familiar with.

I believe a lot of grumbling about the Mayor's Art Show (and yes, of course there will be grumbling this year too) stems out of frustration with the lack of reflected diversity. I finally understood this today as I looked through the art works. My related frustrations as a submitting and rejected artist have focused on the selected artworks as being characteristically: large and paintings. Looking through the Studio One image set from today, can you see how it is that large works often predominate?

Excuse me for this admission, but this juror did have an agenda of sorts once she set her eyes to the task at hand. Two main objectives: to not overlook small works, and to strive for diversity in my art picks.

Going through 444 art works is no small task! I promised myself that in my first round of looking, I would view each art work for at least 4 seconds. This almost sounds crass, but the math adds up: this is strictly 30 minutes of non-stop art viewing, not even including transition time between art, that some works are multiple pieces and that some artworks are more interactive in their nature.

The art work in Studio One is grouped by media and with a subgroup here and there by size. Looking through the art of this first day I developed some rough additional categories. Quotas, if you will, that fall within the artscape:
  • Illustration
  • Landscapes
  • Environment
  • Self Portrait
  • Portraits
  • Religious
  • Humorous
  • Furniture
  • Politic
  • Music
  • Gender Politics
  • Found Object
  • Amateur/Innocence
  • Abstract

The above categories wrote themselves. Eugene can produce a diverse group of tasty art. We are music lovers who are striving to find our fit in politics and attempting to define the human experience as channeled through gender. We love our dogs and cats and often frame them as humans. We are our landscape: lush, tidal and often clearcut. We love a good coffee table to commeorate a beautiful tree.

And did I mention that we are the art ourselves?

Interview with a Juror

Monday, August 29, 2005

Please describe how you stay actively involved in the arts.

Eugene is a great area for art viewing and art showing. I strive to stay active in the arts on both fronts, as an artist, and as an appreciator of the arts.

I work on the University of Oregon campus in the Westerfield Lab in the Institute of Neuroscience. In this capacity I am able to keep my tie to the University, even after having completed my degree work in Biology in 1997. This University position gives me a great vantage point from which to keep abreast of the University art community. The University has several rotating art galleries of varying sizes on campus and the recently reopened Schnitzer Art Museum to keep me visually occupied.
Also, I have been fortunate to take the occassional art class through the University's staff rate program that encourages University employees to take classes at reduced tuition rates. My University connections been a great way to keep my brain buzzing with a constant feed of artistic inspirations.

This year marks my beginning journey in viewing what happens "behind the curtain" of the art gallery. I am serving on the Jacob's Gallery Steering Committee, which is giving me a valuable insight into funding discussions and committee work. I'm realizing that many cogs are required to make the art scene of Eugene work. This role as a Mayor's Art Show juror is another step in this journey.

As a professional artist yourself, what advice would you give to aspiring artists who want to market their art?

The first step to fulfill as an aspiring artist, is to make sure you are creating the best art you can at this moment in your life. Before you market your art, it has to be honestly the best art you can make. Your time as an artist is one of your most valuble assets, so use it to your fullest potential and make art you are truly proud of. Anything is possible in the art world, as long as it is done well.

Also, to successfully market your art, an artist can't be afraid to fulfill details of the business side of the art market. This means creating a top notch visual presense, for your art and yourself as an artist. Be able to clearly state who you are as an artist and what your art is. Create a stunning presentation of your art in the form of a portfolio or online gallery. Make information about you and your
artwork as easily accessable as possible.

A final crucial piece of advice for artists striving to market their work, is to be able to ask for help from those in the art world. Be it gallery owners or successful Eugene area artists, there are many worlds of wisdom when it comes to marketing art in the Eugene area. Artists shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel in this realm of living and working as an artist.

What excites you most about the Lane County arts scene?

Lane County has a great mix of artistic flavors. The proximity of the University has great potential for infusing Lane County's arts scene. I've seen the excitment that is generated in the studio classes on campus and love catching traces of this energy as it trickles through out Lane County. Even better is that the University is like an ever constant fountain of youth in regards to its art vigor. Each year overflows with new arts students, each teaming with potential. The trick is, how to tap into this novice energy; to bring the excitment and learning of a studio experience and mix it with the wisdom of long time practicing artists. I would love to see more of an exchange between these artist groups.

Please describe your experience as a juror, what the role of juror means to you, and what type of shows you have recently juried.

Acting as a juror for this year's Mayor's Art Show is my first formal capacity in the role of a juror. Though I have to admit, I've informally juried several Mayor's Art Shows... in my volunteer shifts as an art handler! Working the volunteer shift of receiving artworks or handing back non-admitted pieces provides a wonderful opportunity for ones own private jurying process. I've even written up lists of artworks that resonnated with me, to compare to the juror's final selection of artworks. Every year I am surprised by the similarities and the differences in the final pick of arts to be in the Mayor's Art Show.

Part of being an artist is the roving eye that takes in everything art related around you. Every art show I attend is "juried" and critiqued in my mind as I view it. Every art journal I read is thoroughly digested and checked against my own internal aesthetic. I continually create and update my own personal aesthetic by digesting the art around me.

What are your aspirations as a juror for the 2005 Mayor's Art Show?

As a juror, I hope to catch some of Lane County's unrealized gems in what is the Mayor's Art Show dragnet. The Mayor's Art Show has many flavors swirling around its reputation... it can reveal new artists, highlight established treasures, create a city-wide chuckle (remember the paint test art work of stripes outed in the Comic News?). It can also push one to try harder for next year; it can invoke the harshest
inner critics of an artist's mind.

I have seen such a variety of reactions to the assembled Mayor's Art Shows of years past. I aspire to be transparent in my selection of artworks with no juror-mystique attached. I can only approach the variety of artworks submitted with my own personal preferences and the goal to work with the other jurors to narrow down the field of entered artworks to a body of work that will fit in the gallery. I hope to share the jurying process with any who are interested so that hopefull artists can see that jurying is not a condemnation of non-selected artworks.