Markham Group of Artists

Surfacing Juried Show 2014

Surfacing show

MGA Spring Juried Show 2014
May 28—June 8
McKay Art Centre, Unionville

Juror  - Toronto Artist Victoria Cowan 

Jurying a broadly themed art show is no small task; we have to dig deeply into our experience and training, applying our criteria equally across a broad spectrum of methods and media.  Personal taste is never a good-enough reason for a judgement.  We have to be able to call upon formal principles that apply to all the works.

Personally, what I look for is a fully resolved vision, where each part plays a clear role in harmony with all the rest. Mostly, that integration of the parts results from a range of values, a strong composition, and technical expertise.

Jurors are committed to supporting the efforts of all our colleague, and we do our utmost to apply professional criteria consistently at all times.  For their part, I believe that it is important that artists understand that a juror’s choices are simply that, and that another juror may evaluate differently. And this is true in terms of being accepted in a show, awarded a prize or not being accepted at all.  We have all been in that position; we have all been surprised at someone else’s choices.  It is important to remember that we must first and foremost fulfill our own vision.  That is the highest reward.  The rest is gravy.

Best in Show:   Soul Surfacing by Linda McIntosh. Mixed media, collage and digital enhancement are each greatly challenging methods.  To integrate them seamlessly is no small feat.  Linda’s work is a powerful play on scale that rewards long looking; the more one looks, the more intricate the narrative.

Second Place:  Rustic Elegance by Marilyn McKay.  This work integrates more than one kind of texture, and both organic and geometric elements, all using a restrained palette. Within that constraint, there is always some visual activity which invites the viewer to stay with the work and discover its many subtleties.

Third Place:  William, Self Portrait by William Tomkins.   This is a expertly rendered portrait that offers equal amounts of careful composition and strong narrative.  Though every brushstroke has a purpose, the viewer is struck first by the expressiveness of the image. 

Honourable Mentions (in Alphabetical Order)

Brenda Bornstein, Meditations II .  A technically accomplished piece in a challenging medium which calmly offers richness of surface and mark-making.

Rina Gottesman, A Subtle Walk.   A non-representational work cannot rely on the viewer to recognize a familiar image. So it must engage through its use of the elements of composition, colour and texture to tell its story.  Strong plays of translucency and opacity, line and shape, colour and whites, all work together to create a very evocative piece.

George Huff, Thunderheads.  A strong image creating a unique sense of time and place. The brushwork is never obscured in favour of detail, yet the scene is clearly readable.

Marilyn McKay, Ice Ice, Baby.  A great example of knowing when to stop.  This piece shows subtle variation of warm and cool tones, and a constantly changing sense of negative and positive shapes.  It is always interesting to look at.

Lynne Panzini, Dylan Revisited.  Portraiture of well-known people treads a fine line between resemblance and interpretation.  And watercolour often challenges an artist to balance control and expression.  Well done.





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