That's Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor

That's Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor Vol.2

May 9, 2019

That's Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor Vol.2

Curator’s Statement

Belote_Paul_Almost Normal.jpgFive years ago in 2014, while Gallery Manager at CTVAC, I was curator for an exhibition titled That’s Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor. I had been inspired by artworks I had seen by regional artists, either digitally, in person or on Facebook, which featured humor as a theme. Not having a sense of humor myself, at first I was puzzled. As I thought more about it, I couldn’t remember ever seeing an exhibition about that theme, although I feel certain there must have been others. In selecting artists to invite, I chose those who sometimes displayed this funny quality in their artwork, those with a sense of humor, or those who seemed to enjoy the challenge of creating artwork for a particular exhibition theme. As the exhibition was publicized, other artists who I didn’t know or I hadn’t thought of, asked to also submit digital images of artworks to be considered. I invited artists working in different media and a range of styles from photo realist to folk art; as well as representing diverse gender, race and ethnicity. I was very pleased with the quality and diversity of the submissions. The prime consideration being, was it funny. Here are some of the categories I was thinking about when selecting: amusing, humorous, comic, comical, droll, laughable, silly, witty, farcical, satirical and visual puns.

That Opening Reception was a blast, with many artists and guests responding to the invitation to "dress funny". My favorite was three artists or guests who dressed in chicken costumes. Near the end of the reception, I asked if they would join me Freidt, Karen Chicken Corn on Blue.jpgoutside so I could photograph the three "chickens crossing the road". It was fun to hear the artists and guests laughing loudly in the galleries; not something you usually hear in an art museum, art center or gallery. In my thirty-seven years or so of curating literally hundreds of exhibitions, this one ranks as one of my very favorites, especially the Opening Reception.

One of my last major projects to complete when I decided to retire last year, was developing the exhibition schedule for the 2018-2019 season. Because many people had asked me if there was going to be another “That’s Funny” exhibition; I decided to include this sequel to that schedule. Although I was retired, Jenny Morningstar, the new Visual Arts Center Manager, graciously invited me to be guest curator for this 2019 reincarnation. Curating exhibitions was one of my favorite responsibilities during my career, so I welcomed that opportunity. 

About James Warwick Jones

After teaching in public schools and working 36 years in curatorial and programming at Peninsula Fine Arts Center and the Charles Taylor Visual Arts Center, he retired as Gallery Manager at CTVAC in 2018. Over the past 54 years, this realist painter has exhibited in more than 250 exhibitions and won over 150 awards. Freidt, Karen Golly Day 2014.jpgHis work is represented in more than twenty public and corporate collections including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He has more than 47 years teaching experience, including classes at CNU and CTVAC.

That’s Funny Exhibiting Artists:

Carol Bartram, Geneva Beavers, Anne Bousquet, Ludovic Bowe, Susan Burgoyne, Kacey Carneal, R. J. Clark, Joelle Cook, Cassius Coolidge, Diane Cory, Joanne Cotten, Connie Desaulniers, K. Terri Doyle, Lyle Eesley, Minnie Fleming, Foust, Katherine Freakley, Fred Freeman, Karen Freidt, Daniel Goodwin, James Granger, Ben Harris, Christine Harris, Gary Hess, Leslie Hildreth, Larry Hollowell, Ralph Holmes, Kathy Houck, Mallory Jarrell, Chris Jeanguenat, Ron Jensen, Valerie Johnson, J.A. Johnson, David Johnson, Stuart Kerner, Barbara Kobylinska, John Koehler, Brian R. La Barr, Buk Lawrence, Joann Sybil Lawson, Ryan Lytle, Wade Mickley, Pete Mikulka, Annie Moon, Richard Nickel, Christopher Revels, Christine Rich, Mary Carr Roberts, Melissa Schapell, Elizabeth Shumate, George Stanley Jr., Michael Suter, Lynne Sward, Meers Sydney, Akiko Tanaka, Walt Taylor, Everna Taylor, John Tobin, Jane Vaughan, John Whelan, Marilyn Wilkins, Aggie Zed

That's Funny: Art with a Sense of Humor is on display at The Charles Taylor Visual Arts Center until June 15.