First, I want to thank the Missouri Watercolor Society for the invitation to judge the awards for the 2016 International Exhibition, and second, I want to congratulate each and every one of the selected artists. The exhibition includes an impressive array of subjects, approaches, and techniques to the art of watercolor painting, and it was not an easy task to settle on the awards within such a strong field. I found the range from controlled density to a beautiful use of negative space evident in many of the submissions particularly impressive. Also noteworthy is the range of textures deployed by the artists, which often also echoes or otherwise responds to the subject matter.
My criteria for judging the awards included first of all, being drawn to the individual works, and then being rewarded by returning to them many times. A winner first had to stand out among its peers in the show, but I also wanted to be able to imagine it holding its own in a different context. I wanted the awards to incorporate the broad range of techniques and subjects that is so evident in the submissions, so the winners include representational and abstract compositions, densely layered pictures as well as works that exemplify the power of transparency, large and small paintings, urban scenes, forest views, still-lifes, portraits, and more.
The beauty of any exhibition is that every visitor will have a different experience, and respond in his or her own way. As a judge of the awards, I can only hope that I have provided a handful of artists with some small validation of their hard and sustained work, and that visitors to the show will have some food for thought—or perhaps argument—as they enjoy the exhibition, I hope as much as I have.
MISSOURI WATERCOLOR SOCIETY
2016 EXHIBITION AWARDS INTERNATIONAL
Accepted Artists Carousel