Friday evening I attended the opening reception for the 2009 Bay Area Annual Juried Exhibition at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA. The exhibition was juried by JoAnne Northrup, Chief Curator of the San Jose Museum of Art.
Over 400 works of art were submitted and of those, Ms. Northrup chose 43 works for the exhibition, including paintings, pastels, works on paper, photography, collage, prints, and my sculpture “Homage to Castaneda”.
Of the 43 exhibited works, Ms. Northrup chose 5 artists to receive awards for their work. I am thrilled to be one of the awarded artists! An award from such an important person in the art world means a great deal to me!
Saturday I went back to the exhibition to hear a talk given by Ms. Northrup. I was surprised and pleased to discover that she planned to talk about each artist’s work. It’s a rare and valuable opportunity to hear the criteria with which a museum curator looks at art, and particularly her assessments of my work. I took a notepad to capture her comments about everyone’s work.
Ms. Northrup said that with a couple of the pieces in the exhibition, she looked at the prices and was pleased to see how I had priced mine. She said it’s appropriate that I price them high, as she could tell my pieces are difficult to make. She spoke that she liked all the negative spaces I left in this piece. Also that my work is unexpected for glass sculpture, it doesn’t look as one would expect glass to look. It is fresh. She liked the allusion to 50′s style wall hangings people used to have in their homes, yet it’s contemporary; contemporary sculpture. And she found my story about the influence of alternative spiritual disciplines and Carlos Castaneda to be very interesting.
I’m so glad I decided to submit work to this exhibition and that it turned into such a fruitful experience. These opportunities are vital to artists. We need them both from a psychological perspective to help get us through the dark patches when we lose faith in ourselves, and to help us connect to the broader art world. Thank you JoAnne Northrup!