It was an honor to be asked to jury this exhibition. I am always excited to see so much new artwork from artists that I may not be familiar with. With that said, this was one of the most difficult exhibitions to jury since there was such a wide variety of work both representational and non-objective, and so many good pieces from around the world. With over 3,300 artworks from 1,163 artists it was very difficult to not only select an exhibition of just 50 pieces, but choosing the top 4 was extremely challenging. This is why I have included 2 additional selections that I have identified as Juror’s Recognition.
While picking the final group for the exhibition, I searched for pieces that were engaging; they demonstrate quality, uniqueness, a story to tell or just pieces that continued to draw me in. I observed excellent ideas, compositions, balance, and palettes. I wanted to select a show that covered a variety of work and not just one genre. I wanted to include a selection of high quality pieces regardless, of subject matter. With an art degree and over 30 years of being in the art business, I trusted my eye and gut to help me pick the final selections.
My first place selection, “Pumpkin Stew Over Sticky Rice” by Nino Yuniardi, includes both movement, balance, and areas where the eye can rest. It shows a luscious paint quality with a very interesting palette of pumpkin and cream. The second place selection, “Lydia” by Laura Lloyd, is a brave portrait. It is both figurative and abstract. Lydia is moody with a story to tell. The paint is energetic with fun elements such as the bunny ears. The third place piece, “Billboard #4 in Blue” by Jeff Horton, while architectural in feeling, incorporates structure but with freedom. The drawn lines and composition give it structure but with loose painting. The honorable mention “Twenty Twenty” by JoAnn Godenir, has a geometric and pleasing composition but with an unexpected grid with squares which are more gestural. The opposing elements in a similar palette create an interesting whole. The two Jurors Recognition pieces, “Red Shoes” by Amy Brakeman Livezey and ”At the Museum (After Mel Bochner)” by Nancy K. Bass, I just could not exclude. Both are painted beautifully with their own unique story. Each piece has a foreground and background that are equally engaging.
Julie Nester, owner of Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah, has over 30 years of experience in the business and curation of Art. Her gallery specializes in contemporary art and represents emerging, mid-career, and established artists from the United States and Canada. The art curated encompasses a diversity of styles, including figurative, abstract, and landscape. The gallery offers an exceptional selection of original paintings, mixed media prints, photography, and sculpture.
JULIE NESTER GALLERY: julienestergallery.com
SELECTED BY JUROR JULIE NESTER
“Pumpkin Stew Over Sticky Rice”
Award – $2,000
Award – $1,500
“Billboard #4 In Blue”
Award – $1,000
Award – $500
1st Place Winner
60" x 48" - Mixed Media
The process is iterative and celebrates the curiosity and imperfection that makes life dynamic. Though each painting documents a personal journey, I invite others to reflect on their own experiences through the work.
My Melting Pot series is my journey forward believing in human kindness. It’s my lighthearted way in reminding myself that we are all different, unique, and special in our own ways. Similarly, food ingredients are different, unique, and special in their own ways. Different people and different ingredients inspire me to see our humanity in a brighter light. I made-up food combinations in my work as if they are different people co-existing and being kind to each other.
2nd Place Winner
40" x 40" - Acrylic and oil on canvas
My multilayered paintings begin with color, shapes, and bold mark-making; this is usually intuitive and free flowing, and I just observe what’s happening on the canvas. Sometimes I have a figure in mind, but I remain open and just play at this stage. Almost inevitably a figure shows up and then I explore how the figure and abstract areas interact, going back and forth, layering, removing, adding. I have been in love with faces for as long as I can remember and the contrast with the abstract elements is something I really enjoy. I love combining a classical style of painting and smashing it with the contemporary.
I make fun and weird stuff to make people smile and remind them that it’s ok to be happy. I hope my work reflects my love and curiosity towards people and the joy I feel from life.
3rd Place Winner
80" x 66" - Oil and mixed media on canvas
36" x 36" - Acrylic on wood
Solid wood substrates are used to allow for the use of trowels, putty knives, scrapers and sandpaper. Acrylic paint is layered on and sections are scraped or sanded back then painted over again and so on. The goal is to respond to what’s going on as it’s happening without paying too much attention to the outcome. No brushes are used in the process.