68th Annual May Show Juror:Gordon Lee, Professor of Art at Columbus Art & Design chose 110 pieces from 230 entries for the 68th Annual May Show representing a full range of approaches to creating in a variety of media.
My first impression of seeing all the entries is that there is a certain vitality and freshness to a lot of the work. What I mean is that many artists put a lot of there hearts and minds into creating these works so much so that they have pushed themselves beyond just mimicking certain styles or mannerisms. Such quality is what makes art alive and valid. The quality of these works is very high and I contribute that to the Mansfield Art Center for consistently providing outlets such as the May Show for Ohio artists to participate.
Jennifer Winkler's "Reflection Rejection is so whimsical and brutally honest that it forces the viewers to see the expression on the furry monster's face when it sees itself in the mirror. She has successfully connected a private moment in the bathroom of an unlikely furry friend with a very human-like disappointment. The piece is worthy of the Best of Show.
Sally Tharp wins the Margaret Twitchell Swank Award for Painting with "The Congregation." Her painting confronts the viewers with bigger than life drama of old dolls and Teddy bear that have done their job entertaining a generation or two of children. They look tired and worn but still have something left to perform. The paint application is softly articulated as if the painter was still talking and singing to her old friends.
The photograph "Serenity" by Hannah Barnhill captures a very delicate moment of a young woman. With her face filling the frame of reference and hair looping around the composition, it brings the viewers intimately close to her. With a warm but limited tonal and silver gelatin finishes, it is a very successful photo that wins the Sid Yellen Award for Photography.
Brian Engelbach wins the Excellence in Craft Award with his painstaking "assemblage" of the 1916 Motorbike. It is masterfully fitted together with various appropriated objects such as a tea strainer and cake pan. The "bike" feels like it is ready to take the viewer for a ride to the past. It goes beyond just rebuilding and old motorbike.
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