Gualala Arts and North Coast Artists' Guild will have an art exhibit "Wet Paint, The Best of 2006."
Last year's "Wet Paint, The Best of 2005" exhibit was very successful. Following last year's format, this will be a juried show and all pieces must have been made during the exhibit year.
The third annual Wet Paint exhibit
is not just about paint. Any medium except video is eligible. We call
it "wet" because all pieces must be produced this year.
This year there will be $1,300 in awards to be presented. Bruce Jones is curator of this year's exhibit and can be reached at
for additional information. The
entry form must be turned in no later than Friday, December 1.
The jurors for awards at Wet Paint are Susan Ball and Karen Bowers.
Susan Ball, Director of the Graton Gallery, has 25 years experience as an artist and art teacher. For the past four years she has run the Graton Gallery, developing its excellent reputation in diverse visual arts.
Working from her studio in Albion, Karen Bowers is primarily a watercolor painter who also has taught workshops at both Mendocino and Gualala Art Centers. She was Artist In Residence at Yosemite National Park for two years and shows at the William Zimmer Gallery in Mendocino.
Bruce Jones asked both jurors about their directions in jurying, looking for answers that might help an artist select an appropriate piece for this show. Here are our questions and their answers.
1. Representational vs. Abstract: Please give us a sentence or two about desirable levels of abstraction in contemporary art.
Susan: I think artists should submit work they feel demonstrates their own response to the subject, whether representational or abstract, and then let the piece speak for itself. I have had more experience with representational art, but appreciate both.
Karen: Unless the point of a technique is photo realism, I think all contemporary art is an abstraction to some degree. For the sake of balance, I would be interested in both, though I tend to be more interested in abstraction.
2. Conventional vs. Innovative: Have you seen so many flowers, barns and lighthouses that you will reject the next one if it isn't done beautifully? Please give us a sentence or two about what you are looking for with respect to conventional subjects and innovation.
Karen: If the subject of a piece is "conventional," I will be interested in why it does not appear redundant. Innovation is a factor in looking at the originality of a piece, but it does not necessarily carry the day if, for example, the piece is not well executed.
Susan: I look for something that conveys mood. This can be accomplished through innovational or conventional means. The success of the method is immediately apparent, although how it works is frequently a mystery to me!
4. Is beauty enough? If a piece of art is beautiful and presented beautifully, should it automatically get in the show?
Susan: Beauty is definitely a plus. It is one end of the spectrum however, and a piece could convey other things, such as bleakness or the stark pain of war. These all have value. If we do not have enough space, and too many pieces fall in the purely "beautiful" category, they might not all get in.
Karen: A beautiful piece would have good chance of getting in, no doubt. However, I would hesitate to say "automatically." Other factors may come into play depending on the competition.
5. Any bias toward or against local scenes? Seascapes?
Karen: No bias there.
Susan: None against. Local scenes are what we know best, and love. We find that these are often the best pieces, as the more often we paint them the more deeply we dig into what makes them appeal to us, and the more we succeed in interpreting them.
6. Any other aspects of selecting art for this show that might be helpful to artists?
Susan: I look for something that happens when artists create a piece that is something more than purely copying the object or scene in front of them. Often this happens by itself as our creative energy is being used. The painting process can unlock something extra that the artist hasn't seen before, and is excited to have discovered and brought forth. Also I like cheerful and humorous pieces as well as the more serious. I look for something that I could consider living with for a long time.
Karen: I like eclectic shows and I like balance. That said, I would like to have variety in the pieces selected. I look for artistic vision, themes, pieces that tell a story. Also, I would say that it is often a good idea to enter several pieces, so that a juror might have a broader idea of the artist's work.