The NEMAA blog is a platform for us to share our members work and their stories, and a hub for information about the NEMAA community.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Meet the Wintertide Jury

Opening on January 24th, 2015, NEMAA is excited to be hosting the Wintertide Biennial Juried Art Exhibition at Public Functionary, a contemporary art gallery in Northeast Minneapolis.

Juried biennial exhibitions are an important instigator in the discovery of exceptional work of emerging, mid-career and established artists based on a competitive jury process. In addition to selecting the artists in the Biennial, the jurors will award a total of $10,500 in cash prizes that will be presented at the opening reception.

Show dates are: January 24 through February 7, 2015.

We are very excited about our jury for the upcoming show.

Download full guidelines and submission information here. Click here to apply.

The Deadline to apply is coming up soon: December 10th, at 5:00 PM (Central Time).

Here are brief interviews with three (of the four) jury members!

Leslie Hammons, Weinstein Gallery

Reuben Nusz. Severed Hue (Black), 2013
Acrylic on canvas
22 x 18 inches
Leslie Hammons is Director of Minneapolis' Weinstein Gallery. Established in 1996, the Weinstein Gallery has exhibited work by outstanding nationally and internationally recognized artists working in all media, with a special focus on modern and contemporary photography. The gallery is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America and the Association of International Photography Art Dealers.

NEMAA: Have you ever juried in the past? If so, what was the experience
like? If not, what are you looking forward to?

LH:  For the past few years, I have been a juror for Camera Lucida's annual Critical Mass, an international competition to determine the best emerging photographers working today.  It is always apparent and exciting when an artist employs thoughtfulness and tight editing

NEMAA: What type of artists and artwork do you find exciting?

LH: That is a difficult question! I have been excited about Ruben Nusz, a painter represented by the gallery.  His hard edge abstraction paintings and his process, which involves detailed and extensive preparatory work, is quite impressive.   Lately, I've been interested in the history of photographers who use alternative photograpahic processes, whether it's Man Ray or Matthew Brandt. 

NEMAA: Do you collect art? If so, what are two examples of pieces that you
particularly love?

LH: I'm drawn to work that inspires me and I appreciate a cabinet of curiosities aesthetic.  For instance,  I currently have a 1983 Robert Mapplethorpe photograph hanging across from a beautiful map of Alaska from the turn of the century.  Also, I have been on the look out for a great 1910s/20s vintage Bertillon mugshot. 

Jean Bevier, Dominican University

Jean Bevier is an Associate Professor of Graphic Design at Dominican University in River Forest, IL. She holds an MA in Visual Communication Design from Kent State University and an MFA in Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Jean's work has been exhibited nationally and her latest show, Letters From the Road: Typography in the American Landscape opens January 18 at Benedictine University in Lisle, IL.

NEMAA: Have you ever juried in the past? If so, what was the experience
like? If not, what are you looking forward to?

JB: Yes, I have juried shows in the past. I've twice served as a juror for the University & College Designers Association (UCDA) National Design Competition. I've also juried the Loyola University Student Fine Art Exhibition in Chicago. I've enjoyed these experiences because they afforded me the opportunity to see a wide range of works in multiple mediums. Minneapolis has a great arts community so I'm very much looking forward to seeing the submissions for the show.

What type of artists and artwork do you find exciting?

JB: I'm excited by artists whose work shows a clear passion for the process of art making, and a deep understanding of the materials they work with.

NEMAA: Do you collect art? If so, what are two examples of pieces that you
particularly love?

JB: I'm a strong believer in the value of living with art! I have a pretty eclectic collection so it's difficult for me to pick just two. Among my favorites is a color intaglio I've had for years by printmaker Larry Welo, paintings by Deborah Chlebek and Ernie Koerlin and a black and white photograph by Julius Friedman. All of these works add immeasurably to my experience of home. I hope people who attend the Wintertide exhibition will discover work they can't live without!

Christina Schmid, University of Minnesota

Christina Schmid is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, focusing on literary criticism, arts writing, and visual culture.

NEMAA: Have you ever juried in the past? If so, what was the experience
like? If not, what are you looking forward to?

CS: Yes, I have juried before in the past. Most recently, for Sound Unseen, the annual music film festival in St. Paul. I also have served on the MAEP panel for the past year, where seven people get together once every three months to discuss proposals for the galleries at the MIA. Though not technically a jury, it is a process of articulating preferences, arguing strengths, and building agreement among panelists. I've found the process fascinating--and learned a lot about how other artists look at work and what they want from artwork. My favorite moments have been those when we start questioning why something appeals to us, when we get suspicious of what motivates our aesthetic preferences.

NEMAA: What type of artists and artwork do you find exciting?

CS: I like art and artists whose work makes me think and experience something. I know that's vague--but I like a lot of very different art and very different types of makers. I am drawn to work rich in ideas that the artist explores in a personal but relevant way. Sometimes I reach strange little conclusions like "I don't like X"--only to be proven wrong by another artist who also does "X" but in a way I find irresistible. When engaging with art, I tend to ask, why this? Why now? What does the work ask me to care about--and do I care? Does the work intrigue me, make my mind, as Terry Tempest Williams writes so memorably, "go wild in the presence of creation?"

I like artwork that leads me somewhere, that changes my day, alters my mood, stays with me, and opens my mind to something I had not considered before. I like art that gives me fleeting sensations I cannot necessarily put into words. And yet, that's exactly what I do when I write with and about art. At other times, I want to look at work that makes me laugh, because it's smart and witty and true and so right for the moment.

I'm afraid, I can't really narrow it down. I like work that is not afraid to have a heart but asks more of me than to take an interest in someone else's personal life; art that does more than cater to my intellect and says something that is meaningful outside of the context of an artworld-specific conversation. I'm afraid that's as close as I can get in answering your question. I value encounters with art that are unpredictable--so I cannot really predict with any semblance of reliability what will or will not excite me.

NEMAA: Do you collect art? If so, what are two examples of pieces that you
particularly love?

CS: Yes, I am in the habit of living with art. Most of it is work by former students, work I could not part with when the students graduated. Some of the art I live with came to me in the form of gifts, which I treasure. And some of the paintings and prints I look at daily have been bought at silent auctions, Art-A-Whirl's, and studio sales. And it's hard to choose which two to talk about.

I've been drinking tea out of a beautiful, orange-hued cup one of my former students wood-fired and gave to me last year. It fits my hand perfectly. I enjoy how light it is, how snug, how warm. Terry talked a lot about choreographing interactions through his ceramics ... and even though I drink my tea while sitting at my computer working away, not the most social of situations, it brightens my day. I know that sounds cheesy but, honestly, that's how I feel about it. I could go all theoretical and talk about how it also straddles the complicated divide between art and craft--but I won't. My appreciation is not motivated by intellectual engagement alone.

The second piece I'll talk about is a print, also by a former student--but older. Maybe 2010? I'm not sure. Brandon was interested in exploring the strange social space--a virtual social space--that smart phones and such devices open up. Then he got inspired by an essay Vito Acconci wrote in the early 2000's, a text that speculates about "landscape" and "landescape:" what eludes us when we step back and look at the places we inhabit in a panoramic, distant way? The land escapes us. The print combines a quotation from the essay with the strange orange blob shape that Brandon devised to represent this new kind of space we are creating through technology. I think about the quotation a lot. The layered streaks of color, flattened by the press, speak to the opposite of "landescape." They are marks made by touch, pressure, intimate contact of materials in an uneasy dialog. And I like all of that. I bought the piece after he graduated from the College of Visual Arts. I don't know if he still makes art, but I hope he does.

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