Show dates: April 5 – 30, 2021
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Juror: Jill Sarver Rossi
Jill Sarver Rossi is Deputy Director with the Rome Art Program, a NYC-based educational organization in Rome, Italy and is Senior Curator with Cynthia Byrnes Contemporary Art, Westport, CT. She received her M.F.A. in Painting from Western Connecticut State University, M.A. in Painting and Drawing from Eastern Illinois University, and B.F.A in Painting and B.A. in Spanish from Miami University.
She has juried and curated independent exhibitions and taught art education throughout the Midwest and New York metro area and continues her studio practice at The Knowlton, Bridgeport, CT.
FIRST PLACE: Maria Teresa Ortiz-Naretto, “Body Study 148”
Gestural, intense, fetal, Maria’s pieces challenged the confines of the picture plane. She combines the emotional and gestural intensity of Munch with the claustrophobic composition of Beckmann. Painted alla prima, her work has a purity of color that is not muddied with overwork or second-guessing. Figure and ground are treated with equal care and interest.
The adult figure is crouched in fetal position amidst a womb-like environment. However, unlike a child in the mother’s womb, this figure does not seem to be content, but wishes to escape.
This painting holds a tremendous amount of emotion and visual power and I feel, resonates with many, after being confined to home during the pandemic.
SECOND PLACE: Alan Garry, “Florence”
Choosing which of Alan’s pieces to award was difficult as I appreciated each of them in their own way. Each work was a representation of a new place. Having experienced some of those locations personally, I recognized his accuracy of capturing a specific city in an abstract way, simply based on light, palette, and shape. My eyes flip between representational and abstraction equally.
“Florence” stood out to me as, through the use of raw edge and subtle shadows, the artist successfully captures the age, light, and tonality of Italian rooftops in a minimal, abstract way.
THIRD PLACE: Mitchell Visoky, “Dance I”
Mitchell’s “Dance” series is a non-representational, visual of movement, dominant chords, and background harmonies.
He equalizes structured paper with fabric forms with improvised charcoal gestures. No part stands on its own but submits to the whole, creating a balanced sense of rhythm and composition, heaviness and light. His gestures are uncontrived, pure, and unexpected.
Honorable Mention: Shreya Mehta, “Flowing Fluid 4”
This piece combines the spontaneity of fluid mark with controlled choices—where does each mark belong? How do they work together and how are they separate? The result is a beautifully constructed piece that shows no chances and no regrets. Only 100% confidence.
Captures the vast darkness and emptiness of space against the parts of the moon that are in light. It’s eerie, with bold choices next to delicate details—all that give it a powerful presence that is difficult to ignore.