Thank you to all 132 artists who submitted artwork for our 2019 Annual Juried Exhibition. Our three distinguished jurors had the pleasure of reviewing each and every work. After an inspiring day of assessment, 31 works have been selected for this year's exhibition.
Please join us for the Juror's Talk with Sandy Saad, Curator of Exhibitions and Education, Visual Arts Centre of Clarington on Saturday, March 30th at 1pm.
Juror’s Comments 2019
When reflecting on the selected artworks, the jurors noted that many had a shared precision in their execution. They are varied in terms of media and style, but there is a precise handling of the material in the way the works are made.
Matthew Varey explained that while there may be an assumption if work isn’t selected it is because there was something wrong with it or it was not liked, this is not the case. It’s such a delicate, nuanced process when considering why things are chosen and why they are not.
Renée van der Avoird spoke about the importance of an element of surprise when assessing work: “That's something that's really important, if something catches me off guard and encourages me to keep looking. I value that very much. And if there is some sort of transgression about the way materials are used, and there’s a discovery of something in the process, it stays with you. It could be material or subject matter.”
Sandy Saad observed how the selected works were really playing with the materials. While an image of a flower may be pleasing to the eye, the use of materials in new or interesting ways like paper or embroidery really elevated the works.
The jurors agreed that these works are really doing more than one thing. These artists have moved beyond the fundamentals of art-making and are now able to play and experiment which does inform their selections. There is a sophistication and elegance that helps us see who is learning and who is playing. They are both important phases, but the later reveals someone that understands how to approach art intellectually as well as technically.
The jurors noted their surprise and delight by how much colour there is in the selected work. They also commented on how the works are presented and that when something was maybe inappropriately framed, it was perhaps because the artist was trying to do something in addition to the work through framing, as opposed to protecting it. You probably shouldn't ever frame to add something to the piece, unless it's an artist-made frame that is part of the piece.
Part of assessing contemporary art is how it relates to our time and what connections it offers for the viewer. Even the most traditional pieces can feel very ‘now’ when the artist folds in their own voice or vision that offers something new to what came before. We tend to gravitate towards works that hold our attention and reveal themselves with repeat viewing. It’s that special combination of surprise, intelligent use of materials and originality that guide our sensibilities.
Sandy Saad, Curator of Exhibitions and Educations, Visual Arts Centre of Clarington
Renee van der Avoird, Assistant Curator of Canadian Art at the AGO
Matthew Varey, Artist and Head of Contemporary Art at Etobicoke School of the Arts
Number of artists who submitted: 132
Number of art works submitted: 234
Number of works selected: 31 works by 26 artists
Thank you to Stouffville I.D.A Pharmacy for generously sponsoring the 2019 Annual Juried Exhibition. Thank you also to Artephile Stouffville Picture Framing and Board Members Sabrina Silver, Kathryn Mifflin, and Jim Sanders for their contribution towards Jurors Awards.
Selected artists (in alphabetical order by surname):
Carol Cheong - Juror's Award Recipient
Katja van den Enden - Juror's Award Recipient
Steph Thompson - Juror's Award Recipient
Saskia Wassing - Juror's Award Recipient, named in honouor of Ray McNeice and Margaret Grandison
Elisa Coish, Curator