To Make Art Now:
34th Annual National Juried Art Exhibition
Juror: Ann Meisinger,Independent Curator, and Assistant Educator, Public Programs & Creative Practice, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
January 28 to February 22, 2019, at the Slocumb Galleries
Juror's Lecture & Reception on February 21, Thursday, 5 to 7 p.m.
P/N 34 Artists: Jonathan Adams, Ruth Adams, Rachel Boillot, Daniel Breslin, Matthew
Brown, David Carlson, Carol Ann Carter, Jeremiah Davis, Emily Denton, Kareem Ferreira,
Britanny Gilbert, Charles Allen Haynes, Meena Khalili, Alise King, Hanna Kozlowski,
Jeremy M. Lange, Terri Lindbloom, C. Pazia Mannella, Allegra Marquart, LJ McCarthy,
Gregory Page, Sheila Pitt, Dana Potter, Muzi Rowe, Kelly Salchow MacArthur, Cherie
Sampson, Catherine Skinner, Lynette Stephenson, Kat Truth,
Carlton Wilkinson, Jia Qi Zhen
Best of Show: Kareem Ferreira
Juror's Statement: To Make Art Now
Jurying this exhibition is a fascinating and thrilling process. The generosity afforded to me by each of the artists who submitted work is astounding; it is a truly special thing to be invited to glimpse so many varied and earnest art practices. With every submission I spent time with, I became increasingly grateful for the number of people making work today. In my selections for the show, I first endeavored to choose work anchored in good technique and sound concept. But as I did so, my thoughts continually returned to this question: what is it to make art now, art that may not represent this moment in time, but is firmly placed in the ‘now’? I also thought about who today’s makers are from artists who have maintained a studio practice for decades, to artists who are at the beginning of their careers, just starting to hone their practice. As I mulled over these questions, I began to be drawn to work that, in addition to being exemplary in formal technique, provided a perspective of the experience of living now.
Artwork created today is a part of personal and historic constellations. For better or for worse, today’s work is wrapped up in histories of making that stretch back thousands of years. It is also an accumulation of each individual artist’s history, education, and drive to create; both a part of and a product of their experiences and everyday existence. The everyday factors into experience in ways large and small. It is brimming with current events, climate change, churning politics, migrations, immigrants, refugees, war, plastics, deforestation, institutional racism and on and on. But it is equally full of breakfast, house plants, the same odd building that is seen every day on the way to work, conversations at the corner store, small incidental interactions with strangers, paying rent, the view out a window that changes with the seasons but somehow looks almost the same every day.
All of this is overlaid by the meanings and experiences viewers bring with them when they take in the work. Each person who comes to see an exhibition comes with their own unique veneer comprised of their personal encounters with the news, their windows and so on. Assembling a multitude of perspectives on ‘now’ invites and instigates a conversation, creating relationships through dialogue and if it does not bring people closer together, hopefully, it inspires communication.
About the Curator:
"Over the past six years, my practice as an arts administrator has focused on working on public programs in arts institutions that are invested in evolving and developing the way that individuals relate to exhibitions, artists, and ideas. Public programs can have an immediate and profound impact on the relationship between a visitor and a museum that is based on experience. The most fulfilling part of what I do is to strategically think through a suite of programs, whether over the course of an evening, exhibition or broad subject, that is designed to offer a wealth of opportunities to engage with an idea because an engaged museum audience, regardless of the context of their visit, reveals art to be a vital and meaningful part of life on an individual and communal level."
- Ann Meisinger