Wimberley Valley Art League (Exhibition Feb. 2017)
Every juror has biases. I am aware that I look for work that raises questions, that surprises me, or that makes me feel that the artist has pushed into unknown territory in terms of the medium or the form. The work in this show ranges far and wide in media, content, style and level of accomplishment. While it makes the show a bit unwieldy to judge and organize, it also yields unexpected correspondences and contrasts.
To name a few: The accomplished composition of Taylor Dueker, solidly in the modernist camp, is easy to imagine next to the mid century objects and tools of obscure origin, repurposed to become quirky machines made by James Miller.
Some work seemed to address the larger environment or world, beyond the normal conventions of traditional landscape, such as the fantastic little painting of chaos called “Aftermath” by Norma Green, the man made pool confining a burst of too blue water by Winifred Simon, and the tornado of letters, “Prayers for Peace”, by Elizabeth Dotterer.
Of the work which begins with more formal concerns, I enjoyed the way Curtis Scott played with our perception of what is on the surface and what is behind, as well as the wonderful use of negative space in the sculpture by Ross Bragg. The ambiguous space in “Make for Shore” by Susan Metcalfe made me look again.
To mention a few others: Of the artists who’s subject is drawn from their own life, there is a sense of order if not serenity in the painting of a garden by Mikiko Kudo, and an arresting undertone of unease or vulnerability in the “Cello Player”, by the same artist.
I continued to think about Martha Gibson’s floating figure. The woman in a white night gown floats above a room drawn in black and white. It seems to be about memory or a dream, but then the eyes of the floating woman are wide open.
One more nod to the excellent photography of George Krause’s “Death Mask and Angel’s Five” series and Herb Smith’s very dynamic black and white images of Cypress trees.
I could go on; the jewelry artists, for example, deserve mention, but there are too many artists here to name all. It would be fun to know the stories behind many of the pieces in this show, but in the end the work speaks for itself. It was a privilege for me to spend some time with it.