Juror, Dr. Carol Damian, selected the metal print, The Fish That Almost Got Away, for exhibition in the "National Art Encounter Competition and Exhibition 2015." This digital image, encapsulated into coated-aluminum metal, will be on display in the Frederick O. Watson Gallery at The von Liebig Art Center in Naples, Florida, between March 14 and April 18, 2015. Dr. Damian is a Professor of Art History in the School of Art and Art History and the Past Director and Chief Curator of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University. She is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts and received her Masters of Arts degree in Pre-Columbian Art and her Ph.D. in Latin American History from the University of Miami. A specialist in Latin American and Carribean Art, she teaches classes in Pre-Columbian, Colonial, Spanish and Contemporary Latin American Art, Modern Art surveys and Women in Art. Her most recent work has been with Latin American Women and the Cuban exile artists, for whom she has written numerous catalogs and articles. She is the author of THE VIRGIN OF THE ANDES: ART AND RITUAL IN COLONIAL CUZCO (Grassfield Press, 1995) and is the Miami correspondent for Art Nexus and Arte al Dia. Dr. Damian lectures frequently on Latin American and Carribean art, has curated numerous exhibitions and is a consultant for US Customs/Homeland Security.
This digital composite of four images tells a linear story using just a single frame. Photographed in Katmai National Park, this Kodiak bear had his eyes set on this fisherman's catch, of which he would soon win his prize. Forced to avoid an encounter with the approaching bear, the fisherman tossed his catch back into the sea. The techniques used in this photo montage enable the viewer to follow an abstract timeline of events, which today are more easily produced using current photography and digital editing technologies. This image seeks to challenge our normal way of viewing an image as a snapshot of a single moment in time. A preview reception will be held on March 13, with a lecture by Dr. Carol Damian, starting at 4:00pm before the reception. This competition consists of juried works by artists from across the nation.
The Fish That Almost Got Away
Encapsulated Dye-Infused Coated-Aluminum Metal, Limited Edition of 3
To jury a broad selection of artwork of different media, different subjects, and different artistic experience is always a challenge, and this project included all the variables that one might expect. A quick run-through of all the entries set the parameters as certain skill sets began to emerge that distinguished the work of what appeared to be excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail that served as the first qualification for me. Whether the artist is a traditional painter or sculptor, photographer or digital media specialist, or creates work that mixes media in unusual ways, the work itself must be of the highest quality and presented with the care that all good art deserves and reflect the best the artist has to offer. My second criterion was uniqueness that set forth a personal vision. It is easy to imitate, appropriate, even emulate the work of others, but once an artist determines that his or her work can elevate itself above the familiar fields (abstraction, realism, impressionism, conceptualism, etc.) to become one of a kind, it will stand out from the rest. The works that made me look twice in subsequent reviews of the field and question whether the artist had a firm understanding of what he or she was doing and why, are the ones that scored the highest. Generally, such jury processes quickly see the best rise to the top immediately, and the least effective fall to the bottom. It is the middle ground that often presents the most problems – artists just on the edge of realizing their own direction that must promise a consistency going forward. These artists still have work to do but show ability.
I enjoyed seeing work from such an interesting group of artists and look forward to the final exhibition and hope it lives up to my and the organizer’s expectations.
Dr. Carol Damian
Professor Art History, Florida International University, Miami, Florida