Aug 22, 2017

Virginia Artists Juried Exhibition is now on display!

The Virginia Artists 2017 Juried Exhibition is on display through October 8 at The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center!

Juror’s Statement from Leigh Anne Chambers

Harris_ChristineK_#2_FromAshes.jpgI am honored am humbled for the opportunity to judge the work of my artist peers in Virginia and I thank James Warwick Jones for entrusting me with this responsibility. I also thank the many artists who submitted incredibly strong work. I tried to make thoughtful selections and I had to cut over 70 artists because of the space limitations before I finalized my decisions. The vast majority of pieces were very well executed and technically strong. There were some pieces that had more of a folk quality, they captured my imagination and I was delighted to include them as well. Even works that were technically strong were paired down and I will explain how I made these decisions.

Coulter_Jerry_1_IPhone Art.JPGOf works that seemed to fit into the same genre, for example, landscape paintings, I tried to select the best representatives. Composition, color, formal qualities, and sometimes accuracy got my attention. Additionally, these standouts captured something that made me feel the passion for the artist’s connection to the subject matter or to the materials. The second consideration was if I felt the work was adding to the dialog of work that preceded it. There are museums full of fantastic art so it is really exciting to see work that seems to be moving in a slightly different direction. This kind of work is evidence that the artist has been influenced by historical antecedents, who also broke the mold, yet took a risk in order to present something new.

Many of the pieces that were the most successful in my mind were the pieces that hit me on a libidinal level. I experienced a strong feeling when I viewed them. I think many of us make art to communicate something and not always in an obvious way or in a way that is clear to even the artist. The pieces that communicated “something” I felt to be the most successful. Whether I was clear on what they were communicating or was not essential. In graduate school, professors would say, “I don’t know what this painting is about but I believe it.” Pieces that are transformative and make your mind wander are the pieces that are really tapping into something important.

leigh-3-copy.jpg Meet Leigh Anne Chambers

Leigh Anne Chambers, Executive Director of Rawls Museum Arts in Courtland, Virginia received her BFA in Painting from East Carolina University in 1988 and MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Vermont in 2010. She is an active curator, juror and painter who has exhibited widely and won numerous grants, scholarships and awards.



Best in Show – Flowers and Coyote by Jason Stick

First Place – Ties That Blind by Mark Miltz

Second Place – Posies by Julie E. Pfaff

Third Place – Truth by Anne Bousquet

Award of Excellence - Nine by Melissa Schappell

Realist Painting Award - Muse by Samantha Hand


Award of Distinction

Barbara by Mike Morgan

Landscape of Memory 2 by Eloise Shelton-Mayo

Shackled in the Bedroom by Alyssa Strackbein

January Sky: Rt. 301 by Dennis R. Winston

Cypress Tree Elegy by Russell Turnage

Biopsy Recommended: Suspicious Abnormality by Megan Lea Mattax

Bearer by Ken Szmagaj

Three Cold Men by Glenn Ormsby


Honorable Mention

The Outdoor Studio by Toy Fowler

Plume DeBleu by Cliff Guard

Among the Secluded by Andrew Hersey

Moon’s Tales 1 by Petya Ivanova

Barn on the Pagan River by Michael Hellmann