Juror's Statement – Valerie Mann

HxWxD 2012: slideshow

As sculptors, we're so very fortunate to have a professional venue such as Rosewood Gallery that focuses solely on 3-dimensional work for one of its annual shows.

I was pleased to see such a diverse array of materials and techniques used in the entries to the 2012 HxWxD show. I was treated to moments of sheer delight as I flipped through all the images of work submitted by artists! The combination of forms and choices of materials to represent an idea...the humor and emotion that came through the work, all combined to make the entire jurying process fun and rewarding.

With a wide selection of work to whittle down in a short period of time, I went to my mainstay 'high standard of craftsmanship' as my bottom line for pieces to be included in the show. (If your piece was well crafted, but poorly photographed, it had an impact on my decision-making as juror.) I also chose a broad selection of media, approaches to work and abstract along with representational pieces. The difficulty in jurying prizes from digital images pushed me to choose pieces whose excellence in technical execution was most evident from the slide.

If the pieces entered in this show are any indication, I'd say our Midwest regional artists are keeping culture alive and, indeed, driving it forward. I was invigorated by looking through all of the entries, and I am excited by the final selection of work for this year's HxWxD.

Muskegon Community College Student Show, 2010

I so enjoyed looking at all of your work at the student show – you made my job fun and challenging! As I looked through my notes from jurying the prizes, one thing that was consistent among the prize winners, as well as the work that made the (extensive) short list, was attention to detail. And I'm not talking about photo-realistic artwork, but a clean bottom on a pot, an innovative way to attach pieces while camouflaging the attachment or an interesting mark made in the background of a piece, as a few examples. I was indeed impressed with the high quality of work.

It is clear you have instructors that assign challenging and interesting visual problems. I remember each time I got an assignment in art school it was like a new adventure! You are fortunate enough to have several 2-D and 3-D areas to explore. I encourage you to venture into all of the areas of study with a sense of discovery and not trepidation. As I spoke to one student at the reception, she said her instructor required the students to go around the room and talk and critique one another about their work. BRAVO! You don't have to know how to mix a chartreuse-y green from hansa yellow and manganese blue to be able to speak the visual language. I would encourage you to critique one another's work, across media lines and really look at one another as colleagues, because that's what you are. A community college provides the unique experience for students of many ages to study in the same classroom. Again, this is a wonderful opportunity to consider someone of a very different age than yourself as a colleague, with the potential to make your art education a vastly richer experience. Ask each other a lot of questions!

When jurying a show that has such diverse media as the Muskegon Community College Student Show, I always find myself going to the bottom line of craftsmanship. That, I believe, is the common dialect, if you will, in this visual language we artists all try to speak.

Valerie Mann