LOOK! Spring Juried Show 2016


Jurors: Kim Lee Kho and Kal Honey

Overall Impressions

The Markham Group of Artists is a wonderfully vibrant collection of talented and striving artists, so we always look forward to seeing your creative output, and it was our special pleasure and privilege to serve as jurors for this spring show.

Artworks entered into a juried show face specific challenges: they must communicate their raison d’être without the benefit of any additional explanation; also, they are judged outside of the context of the rest of the artist’s work.

There were many pieces with fine qualities that did not make it into this show, so for any that didn’t, that does not mean the work was without merit, or that it was not worth doing. Everypiece we looked at had merit, and all artworks represent the striving, learning, and joyful work of their artists. We congratulate everyone who entered.

Our criteria fell into three broad categories:

  1. The nature and quality of the artistic challenge the artist set for themselves, e.g. conceptually and technically,
  2. The skillful use of materials and formal elements,
  3. The success of their efforts in realizing the final product.

Then, especially for those works recognized with an award or honourable mention:
the "X Factor": i.e., did the work rise above the technical and take on a life of its own, conveying a vivid experience of the artist's vision?

There are certain genres of work that can experience special challenges, for example:

  • In minimalist work there are very few elements – it is like a trio of singers where a more complex work is like a full choir: in a trio each false note stands out because every note does, whereas in a choir one false note by one singer is made up for by the large number of voices singing the right note. So in minimalist artworks one misplaced or less-than-exquisite element can cause the whole piece to fall down. 
  • Portraiture: a difficult genre to work in because the instinct to create likeness can override all other concerns. Photographic snapshots have taken over the straightforward recording of people’s likenesses, so it is essential that a portrait artwork be about more than likeness by fully developing the potentials of its medium and format, (e.g. composition and painterly or other medium-related language), and have artistic vision.

The path an artist takes is life-long (whenever it begins) and typically includes a long period of developing the craft of the medium (or media). Some people stay focused on the pursuit of craft, but for an artist, craft exists to serve artistic purposes, to support their personal creative vision. Finding and developing that point of view is a whole other set of skills that enables the artist to show the rest of the world how they see the world around – and inside – themselves. 

Fundamentally, an artist sees things differently. Their gift to the world is their process of divination and transformation that coaxes the sublime out into the light so that the rest of us can truly appreciate what we didn’t even realize was there.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to jury your work and please join us in congratulating everyone!

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