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8th Annual Members’ Show Opens

8th Annual Members’ Show Opens

The 8th Annual Members’ Show kicked off last night with an Artist Reception at the Spencertown Academy Arts Center.

The galleries full both of colorful 2D and 3D art in a wide variety of media, and the event was well-attended by artists and patrons alike.

I am exhibiting “Marsh: – an oil painting on paper. This work was done from a US Fish and Wildlife Service photo of what they consider a “pristine marsh” in Cape Cod, MA. I was attracted to the serenity of the scene, and the calm and limited colors.

The show at the Gallery at the Spencertown Academy runs Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 pm, through December 10th.

framed oil painting of a marsh

“Marsh” – oil on paper by Meryl Enerson

 

8th Annual Members' Show at Spencertown Academy Arts Center

The well-attended artists’ reception at the 8th Annual Members’ Show

 

Fall/Winter Art Show Opens at Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts

Fall/Winter Art Show Opens at Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts

I have three paintings on exhibit now in the Fall/Winter Art Show at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts. The show, which opened on October 20, 2023, runs through January 4th, 2024,

I will be one of over 40 artists displaying 130 works of varied media.

I am exhibiting two oil paintings: “The Blue Roof” (11×14″) and “Spider Mums” (14×11″) and one gouache painting: “Old Blue” (8.5x 11″), shown below:

Framed image of oil painting "The Blue Roof" by Meryl Enerson

“The Blue Roof” (oil)

 

 

Framed image of oil painting "Spider Mums" by Meryl Enerson

“Spider Mums” (oil on linen)

 

Framed image of gouache painting "Old Blue" by Meryl Enerson

“Old Blue” (gouache)

Organizing a Juried Show

Organizing a Juried Show

Finally, I feel I can relax, having just completed the major hurdles in organizing a Regional Juried Fine Art Show for the Spencertown Academy Arts Center (SAAC). The show took about 6 months to organize.

It was an interesting learning experience. Thankfully, the show’s Opening was a resounding success, and there were several sales and a large group of nearly 50 artists joining in the fun for the Artists’ Reception.

Here’s a high-level summary of what it took to pull it off:

Developing a Theme

Earlier this year, after having started a new slate of curators for the Gallery at SAAC, the Curatorial Committee members (through a series of monthly meetings) developed the theme for the show working in collaboration. I took the lead as the organizing Curator, and David Lesako agreed to be Co-Curator and help hang the show (a needed skill with multiple works in a small gallery).

The entire curatorial committee brainstormed dozens of ideas and then proceeded to focus on a few related concepts. It was important to us to provide a theme that artists could embrace and implement, even possibly have works that might be a fit for their existing inventory. We felt “close to home” or a regional theme would be the right idea (we’re in the Hudson Valley), but wanted to avoid an “all landscape” show, as the SAAC already has a large number of exhibits that relate to landscapes.

So the concept of small town and rural living came into focus. This would allow the artists’ responses to cover elements of their towns, farming communities, etc. that weren’t necessarily landscapes but which resonated with them. The final write-up of the Prospectus (after many rounds of revisions) was called “Homes, Hamlets and Villages: Style and Lifestyle in Small Towns and Rural Communities.” 

The criteria for entry included a residence requirement either in our Columbia County, NY, or one of the surrounding counties (in New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut). Artists were allowed to submit either 2D or 3D works in any media, style, and on any subject that worked with the theme (people, places, or things, really). This proved to be a very successful combination of a focused theme that could be interpreted broadly, and we heard later that the artists really appreciated the local nature of the theme, but with the ability to interpret it broadly in an abstract, stylistic, or representational manner.

Finding Jurors

The next step was to find two or more jurors. We decided to include in our outreach art instructors (who were well-versed with what it took to create a work of art) as well as area gallerists (who lend a different kind of critical eye and also whose presence will attract entries).  After winnowing down a list of potential prospects, we were pleased that two gallery professionals (Carrie Chen, gallery owner in Great Barrington, MA) and LInden Scheff, Co-Director of the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY accepted the task.  They were complemented by a professional artist and art instructor: Wednesday Nelena Sorokin (associated with the Berkshire Art Center and the Springfield Museum.)

Online Platform and Promotion

We used an online submission platform with which we were familiar: OnlineJuriedShows. The administrators there are very easy to work with and provide friendly support for the site’s users – whether, artists, jurors, or curators. Setting up the show was relatively straightforward.

One of the great advantages of OnlineJuriedShows is that, once the show is configured to accept submissions, it has built-in advertising and promotion. They send out eBlasts on a regular basis, and artists who have registered for previous shows can therefore get informed about upcoming shows in their area where there are calls for art entries.

Additional forms of advertising and promotion for our show’s Call to Artists included:

  • An experienced locally-based publicist who got the word out in numerous paper and online venues
  • Traditional event posters placed in regional bookstores, art stores, libraries, town halls, coffee shops and community centers
  • “Boosting” posts for the Call to Artists on Facebook
  • Other online advertising, including an ad on ArtShow.com and a listing on Create Magazine
  • Our own eNewsletter blasts

Jurying and Selection Process

The jurying process took a week. Jurors rated the works using a numerical system we chose, and then the curatorial committee looked at the ranked works and decided what we would be able to hang in our two galleries at the Gallery at Spencertown Academy. Due to the very large turnout for this year’s show (nearly 350 entries from 135 artists), we decided to fit in as many artworks and artists as we could fit.

This meant a certain amount of double hanging on smaller works, which looked fine. It was a little tight between “columns” of wall-hung art, but we were able to fit 72 works by 50 artists on the walls, and 4 3-dimensional artworks (some stoneware and mixed media sculptures) by 3 artists on a shelf.

Homes, Hamlets & Villages art show reception

Artists and visitors in the large gallery at Spencertown Academy Arts Center for the opening of “Homes, Hamlets & Villages”

Hanging and Promoting a Show

My co-curator, David Lesako, who has considerable experience hanging work for various venues, including the Art School of Columbia County, assessed the work we had received and within about an hour had decided where and how the pieces would be arranged. The trick, according to David, is to set the larger works (mostly paintings) where they will catch the eye (usually in the center of each of the larger walls), and then alternate with “clusters” of four smaller works, for a pleasing composition.

The show hung beautifully, with colorful bursts of color nestled in between more sedate, subdued works. Although the larger gallery featured many of the larger works by more established regional artists, the smaller gallery held its own and included some stunning smaller works as well as an interesting diorama.Simultaneously with the work going on the walls, the poster and social media images went up to promote the show. When the artists came to drop off their work, many went home with posters to put up in their local communities.

Homes, Hamlets, Villages  promotional art

Example of some of the promotional artwork for the show

A Positive Reception

Our Gallery Administrator, Moira O’Grady, did a lot of reach-out to gather the artists at the Opening Reception, attended by two of the jurors and most of the award-winners. There was quite a bit of networking, which is one of the reasons to do these kinds of shows. Regional artists deserve opportunities to exhibit and talk about their work.

To everyone’s delight, several works were sold on the first day of the show, and the curatorial committee members breathed a sigh of relief. (And have a much-needed glass of wine).

Whew! Over the hump….now on to the next show.

people on the steps of the Spencertown Academy Arts Center

On the steps of the Academy during the artists’ reception

 

 

 

 

2023 E-telier (Online Salon) at Art Students League of New York

2023 E-telier (Online Salon) at Art Students League of New York

The Art Students League of New York continues its E-telier series of online salons, featuring work from the students in its online classes.

I am pleased to be participating again as part of the salon for the Advanced Drawing & Painting class with Chris Gallego. The Salon runs through May, 2023. This year my piece “Summer’s End” is featured as part of the League’s May Salon.  This oil painting is an early fall rural landscape finished earlier this year.

During the Pandemic, the League went online with its classes. Although in-person classes have since resumed, the E-telier online classes have continued to thrive, offering a great range of instruction, from Conceptual Art to traditional figure drawing.

Browsing the work in this Spring’s E-telier Salons is a clear demonstration of the instructors’ skills as well as that of the many impressive students. Check them out – you’ll see what I mean.

Joining the Curatorial Committee for The Gallery at Spencertown Academy

Joining the Curatorial Committee for The Gallery at Spencertown Academy

I’m pleased to announce I will be joining the Curatorial Committee for the Gallery at Spencertown Academy Arts Center n Spencertown, New York.

The Gallery hosts several exhibitions annually, from botanical shows (in coordination with their Garden Tours) to Invitational Shows of selected artists, Member Shows, and Juried Fine Art shows.

This year I will be working on the Regional Juried Fine Arts Show, to take place in September-October 2023. We will also begin work shortly on planning for the 2024 Gallery season. The Regional show will be open to artists in and surrounding Columbia County, New York (show theme to be announced).

The committee is chaired by Norma Cohen. Other new committee members this year I am excited to be working with are: Christian Dewailly, painter David Lesako, and designer/metalsmith Munya Avigail Upin

I look forward to forging new paths in the months ahead with the committee and other members of the staff and board at Spencertown Academy.

 

2022 “eSalon” at Art Students League of New York

2022 “eSalon” at Art Students League of New York

Last month, the Art Students League of New York began presenting an “eSalon” featuring work from the students in its various “e-telier” classes (virtual classes). The show runs through June 2022.

I am pleased to have my painting “Last Light” (2021, oil on paper) be part of the Chris Gallego’s March eSalon (detail shown above).  The painting is a winter scene of a local farm, seen at end-of-day. I enjoy these evocative moments when the light changes rapidly and the scene is all about mood.

This was a painting done a part of Chris Gallego’s League ongoing monthly class: “Advanced Drawing, Painting & Composition,” which has created a wonderful community of artists. I especially admire Chris’s contemporary approach to representational painting and his many insights on the painting process.

The eSalon is running through May, 2022.

See the League’s entire 2022 E-telier Student Salon

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