November 4 - December 9, 2023
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Emergence is such a fascinating theme for an exhibition – it readily conjures up visuals in our minds, and we can immediately make connections not just to our own work but to the very artist processes we employ. Emergence is at once instinctual and experiential, and can be so personal to the individual that we can find innumerable interpretations. It's no surprise, then, that the work submitted in response to this contemplative and curious theme was just as captivating. As I waited for the download of almost 200 works of art, I caught glimpses of the submissions and knew two things immediately: that this could be a fantastic show of beautifully-crafted, thoughtful work; but that making these decisions would be very difficult, because the overall quality of all these works was so high.
As I perused the images, and the show began to materialize, I looked to find work that reflected each artist and their relationship with their craft. I found photographs and paintings celebrating the delicate, ephemeral beauty of simple sunlight on mundane things; abstract oils and acrylics so carefully crafted that their emotive content spills from the canvas/screen; multi-media works where the artists would return again and again to the surfaces, the materials, and the imagery to build their narratives. I looked to artists being meticulous in their use of materials, mixing and balancing just the right colors and tones, controlling their hand to elevate their compositions and sculptures, modeling light and form to imbue their work with the inimitable quality that sends tendrils of emotion out to connect with their viewers. I then looked for artists who had taken the theme to heart, coaxing this sense of emergence from their work and their process.
I would like to congratulate our first, second, third, and honorable mention winners, and all the artists who have been chosen for this exhibition. I would also like to congratulate everyone that submitted work in the first place: it is a very big step to submit your work to a show, not altogether different than sending your children out into the world. It is important to remember that it's an accomplishment just to put your work out there, and something that you should continue to do. For those of you who may not have submitted previously, or have yet to have pieces selected, please remember that art is personal, and art is subjective; art-making is demanding and art-making is iterative. Keep at it. Many thanks to Gab Robinson and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and to all of you, for the honor of serving as your juror.