Jan 042013

The Daily Reflector

/ The Daily Reflector

Photos by Rhett Butler/The Daily ReflectorThis painting, “Junia,” by Karen Campbell Albanese, won first place in the Schwa Show art competition and is on display at the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge.


Friday, January 4, 2013

The Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge’s Schwa Show drew entries from around the nation and Canada, but pieces by ECU student artists were among those selected for the exhibition, which opens today.

The annual juried competition, which welcomes all media and subject matter done in the last three years, attracted nearly 200 entries this year from artists in nine states and one in Canada.

Among the 40 pieces selected for the exhibition was “Flaws of a Sapphire,” a sculpture by ECU student Samantha Woitovich, which took third-place honors.

A painting called “Junia” by Karen Campbell Albanese of Columbus, Ohio, won first place and Cassie Clements of Fraser, Colo., took second with her oil-on-canvas painting, “Still Life with the Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte Looking On.”

The top three pieces won cash prices of $500, $250 and $100.

Sarah Merritt, the executive director of the Arts Council of Wayne County, was selected as the juror for this year’s show.

“As the exhibiting administration, we go exactly by what the juror says,” Holly Garriott, the executive director at PCAC at Emerge, said. “Sometimes it’s a hard thing for the artist to understand because it’s one person’s idea. One year (an artist) might win Best in Show in a juried show and the next year, they might not even get in to be exhibited because you have two different people’s ideas about what should go in the show.”

In judging the Schwa Show, Merritt preferred more traditional pieces like still life, portraits and sculpture. There are, however, many pieces in the show that utilize new media as well.

“I think the juror has the final say for the show and our role is to exhibit it the best we can,” Garriott said. “I think it makes it easier because you see what an arts professional’s opinion is.

“When I teach about professional arts administration and being a professional artist, that’s one of the things you have to understand is that everyone has their own opinion and you can’t invalidate that. You have to accept it and that each piece that was accepted into this show has credibility. It’s like deciding between apples and oranges. It’s so subjective.”

Garriott was especially impressed by some of the pieces that utilized emerging mixtures of media.

“Some of the digital work was really exciting to me. It’s something sort of fresh and new, combining mixed media and digital and photography together. There is more of a mixed media piece that has taken security envelopes and created a collage with them. That was one thing that I sort of am interested in: this new type of media and combining collage and some other processes to create a pretty amazing composition.

“In the past, we saw traditional photography and that has transformed. I think the combination of mixed media and photography and digital, layering those types of media is exciting.”

The increasing availability and affordability of new technology is making digital media ever more popular with artists.

“I think it’s people understanding the technology, but backing up a little bit and not just using that technology but how to combine it with another art process,” Garriott said. “It’s creating another dimension with digital. I think we’re going to see how that transforms in the future, especially with people having the tools at a cost-efficient standard.

“You don’t need a $2,000 camera, and everybody has a computer now. But you need the skill set. Not everybody can do this combination. Everybody can snap a picture, but to know what to do with that picture is what makes an artist an artist.”

Natalie Sayewich can be reached at 252-329-9596 or nsayewich@reflector.com.

via The Daily Reflector.


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