May 19, 2013

Bob Keyes: Job well done? Jury still out

(Continued from page 1)

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Judith Schuppien with her best-in-show painting, “Isle au Haut.”

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Daniel Kany’s juror’s choice, the encaustic “Sussex, White Pullet Chicken” by Helene Farrar.


BEST IN SHOW: Judith Schuppien of Pittston, "Isle au Haut" (oil painting)

SECOND PRIZE: Tanya Fletcher of Saco, "Reclining Figure I" (painting in oil and sterling silver leaf on Baltic birch)

THIRD PRIZE: Ross Grams of Vienna, "Kitchen Table" (oil on panel)

JUROR'S CHOICE (DAN KANY): Helene Farrar of Manchester, "Sussex, White Pullet Chicken" (encaustic)

JUROR'S CHOICE (BOB KEYES): William Steele of Falmouth, "Off Flying Point" (oil painting)

BEST PHOTOGRAPH: Charles Dufour of Belfast, "Twelfth of Never"


Bob Richardson of Washington, "01.31.13" (acrylic on paper)

Johanna Moore of Farmingdale, "Bog" (solargraph)

Scott Minzy of Pittston, video animation using linoleum prints

Robin Brooks of Topsham, "Winter Light" (collage)

Maureen Block of Brunswick, "Guardian of the Portal" (sculpture)

Nancy Barron of South Gardiner, "Dresden Drive" (acrylic on panel)

 NOTE: People's Choice awards will be awarded for first and second place at the end of the exhibition based on popular vote.


But it was clear to us that we had to eliminate not just most of the work, but the vast majority of it. The Harlow is only so big, and can accommodate only so much work.

In the end, we chose 60 works by 48 artists. That means less than 20 percent of the work submitted made it into the show.

The emotion I felt that morning was one of regret and guilt. I did not enjoy cutting work that I liked, and I felt badly for the artists who did not make the cut for the message that we might be sending.

But Dan and the good folks who run the gallery, who have experience in this endeavor, kept reminding me that we were doing a favor to the artists by making tough choices. As a mentor once told me, "If you think it's good enough, then it probably isn't."

In my opinion, the result is an exhibition that looks and feels truly great. "Art2013" includes exceptional works of art by many artists who have achieved greatness.

In our statement, Dan and I wrote, "What struck us most squarely was the high level of the work: More than anything else, the body of submissions as a whole was conceptually sophisticated and professionally finished.

"This is ideal from the host's and jurors' standpoint, but it adds the bittersweet process of passing over work we like, respect and often already know.  We took the work piece by piece, and chose the strongest until there was no more exhibition space and we could select no more."

Most likely, the show has a theme shaped by our unique personal tastes and sensibilities. But Dan and I both agree that "Art2013" defines itself by its inherent strengths.

So it goes without saying that I think you should take the time to see this exhibition. It is on view through June 1.

You're going to love it. I promise. If not, you have me to blame.

Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

Twitter: pphbkeyes

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