The Awards Presentation
Juror: Nancy Hillis, M.D.
Gallery Director: Julie Weaverling
I was honored to be asked by Julie Weaverling, Director of Front Porch Gallery, to jury the annual contemporary art exhibition.
Front Porch Gallery is a lovely gallery in Carlsbad, California just north of San Diego. It’s funded by grants from California Lutheran Homes Foundation, FACT Foundation, Pacific Homes Foundation and Sunny View Foundation. The gallery is an outreach program of Front Porch.
Jurying an exhibition is no small task. There were 477 submissions and only 66 works of art were chosen to be in the exhibit.
I pored over the art for 8 hours.
Jurying Art Is Inherently Subjective
I wrestled with the fact that jurying an art exhibition is inherently subjective.
In the end it wasn’t about technique. They all had their own repertoire of technique and design skills.
It was ultimately about expression, about feeling something, some emotion, some sense of aliveness in the work, humanity, surprise, work that evokes the ineffable, the inarticulable, the mystery of life.
The decision between first, second and third places was the hardest. In many ways any three of the art works could have “won” first place.
So it came down, to me, to the question of: What is the artwork that is inscribed in your memory? The one or ones you’ll never forget?
The art work that was simply unforgettable to me was: Bad Liver and a Broken Heart by Shelby Marzoni.
I would like to thank all the artists who participated in this exhibition as well as the organizers, in particular the director of Front Porch Gallery, Julie Weaverling. This has been a truly impressive show of creativity.
There were over 400 submissions and only 60 could be selected for display.
Jurying is an inherently subjective activity.
As a psychiatrist, author and artist I approached this task with an eye towards evocativeness and invention. I looked for art work that evoked surprise, inspired profound reflection, expressed deep feelings and/or mirrored the human condition.
I was not looking for rendering or technique, but rather to be moved emotionally. In this sense, technique was subservient to message.
It was challenging to choose which art works would occupy the featured spots in the exhibition. In the end, I asked myself: Which pieces could I not get out of my mind?
These are the “forever” works we strive to create. The ones we never forget.
Thanks to all the wonderful artists who participated in this exhibition,
Nancy Hillis, M.D.
Video Interviews of Artists
1st Place: Shelby Marzoni
Riveting. Masterful, haunting and unforgettable painting. Evocative of Rembrandt in the depth of feeling in the eye’s expression.
2nd Place: Gina Pisello
Elegant and unforgettable. A book left over from the beginning of the world. Paradoxically purposeful and incomprehensible.
3rd Place: Tricia Alexander
Mysterious. Eerily disquieting. A peaceful mother-daughter tableau replete with tension and sadness that draws the viewer into their story.
Honorable Mention: Paul Brown
A striking image both architectural and abstract juxtaposing modern and old elements and relationships.
Honorable Mention: Tony Gangitano
Honorable Mention: Lisa Bryson
Interview: Dr. Kevin Daly
Interview: Daniel Brogan
It was wonderful to meet the amazing artists at the Front Porch Gallery Annual Juried Exhibition.
From my studio to yours,
P.S. If you want to learn more about trusting yourself on your artistic journey, you can get my book The Artist’s Journey >>> HERE.
For those of you who want to have your hands free to paint while listening to The Artist’s Journey, you can find my Audiobook >>> HERE.