There’s still time! The AWA 2014 Show will run through September 15th at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, MA. A closing reception will be held on September 13, 2014 from 5-7.
The talented women of American Women Artists continue to exhibit their work at the Addison Art Gallery of Orleans, MA through September 15. The gallery will host a closing reception for the AWA Member Show & Juried Competition on Saturday, September 13 from 5-7pm.
“…if we follow the trajectory of American art from the past and extend it to the works of art featured in this show at the Addison Art Gallery, we can appreciate more fully how they, like all great works of art, transcend both time and space.” – Erin Coe
Erin Coe was the curator of the 2013/2014 exhibition Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George, organized by the Hyde Collection in association with the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, an exhibition that achieved national acclaim as it travelled from the Hyde to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, then made its final stop in San Francisco at the de Young Museum. She is the co-author of the exhibition catalog, which was honored with an Award of Excellence by the Association of Art Museum Curators, and was rated as “one of the best book discoveries of 2013” by the Boston Globe. What follows are her remarks about the body of work currently on display at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans, Massachusetts.
I was honored to be selected as the awards judge for the American Women Artists (AWA) Seventeenth Annual Members Show and National Juried Competition. I have been a juror of many shows and it is a daunting task. Serving as the awards judge for the exhibition of the AWA was especially challenging given the exceptional quality of the works on view, which represent a cross section of the most talented and skillful women artists working in the United States today.
AWA prescribed the criteria for evaluating the awards and it includes the following elements: composition, draftsmanship, mastery of medium, and quality of design. I’ve applied the same standards to jurying shows and all of the works featured in the galleries fulfilled and, in some cases, exceeded this criterion. Therefore, in determining the awards, I was looking for works of art that transcend these categories and engaged my eye, mind, and heart on a deeper level, whether the work evoked a mood, emotion, sentiment, or idea. Moreover, I wanted to bring a balanced perspective to my judgment by ensuring that my selection represented a variety of genres (landscape, still life, and portraiture/figurative) and medium (oil, watercolor, graphite, bronze, ceramic, stone, etc.).
Lastly, I also considered the artworks’ cultural surround. By this, I refer to the visual correspondences that placed the exhibited work in a dialogue with artists of the past. As an art historian specializing in nineteenth and early-twentieth century American art, I was immediately impressed, on entering the gallery, by the visual correspondences between the works on view and historical art. In particular, such artists as Frank W. Benson, William Merritt Chase, Susan Macdowell Eakins, Daniel Garber, Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel, Childe Hassam, Walter Launt Palmer, Jane Peterson, Severin Rosen, and Andrew Wyeth came to mind.
The three-dimensional works in the show evoke the streamlined aesthetic of Art Deco, or the curvilinear naturalism of Art Nouveau. While there are echoes of past art in these contemporary works, they speak to the present day and appeal to a captive audience for representational art. American art is grounded in realism. Indeed, the country’s first exceptional native-born painter was
John Singleton Copley who specialized in portraiture, and the tradition of realism has persisted in this country from the late eighteenth century to today. It is kept alive by each of you – the members of AWA. In conclusion, if we follow the trajectory of American art from the past and extend it to the works of art featured in this show at the Addison Art Gallery, we can appreciate more fully how they, like all great works of art, transcend both time and space.