2014 National Prize Show @ Cambridge Art Association
Text Written By Rachel Parker
On exhibition at The Cambridge Art Association is the National Prize show juried by James A. Welu, Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum. With 1,200 works submitted by 400 artists from 30 states it couldn’t have been an easy task! Welu took particular care in looking at the way artists used their chosen medium to express subject resulting in a very diverse group exhibition with a wide selection of styles and mediums. Best in Show went to Zoe Perry-Wood; social documentarian and photographer from Lexington, MA. The photograph she submitted is from her BAGLY Prom Series; a series of portraits of young people attending the Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Transgender Youth’s yearly prom. The portrait, named for its subject, Kaitlyn, is sympathetic and striking with a black background in high contrast to her red prom dress.
Outstanding Mixed Media was awarded to Warren Croce of Belmont for his There’s Nothin’ Like a Dame. The work seems to be constructed from a collection of twelve magazine or news covers obscured by a sketchy figure. Outstanding Work on Paper went to Carol Flax of West Yarmouth for Gray’s Beach Low tide; a fun and beautiful mosaic of cut paper, which show’s Flax’s attention to color. Wilson Hunt Jr. of Roslindale was awarded for his painting Law of Attraction; a popping acrylic abstract painting. The photography category was taken by Dorothy Pilla of Duxbury for Curious. Pilla staged the photograph using a fake reindeer, a la Christmas lawn ornaments. The reindeer faces away from us, looking into a glass enclosed barn where there are oxen (or cows, I can’t say I know much about these things). The real animals almost look like a reflection while the plastic reindeer is more present and active.
Outstanding sculpture when to Jesse Thompson of Providence, RI, for Dress Up (Long arm). This wild and finely crafted painted resin sculpture is perplexing, engaging, and challenging. I find myself dichotomously describing it as both life-like and fantasy-like. A young boy with a strong gaze puts on an elongated, fake arm. Perhaps the boy is putting on the “clothing” of adulthood. However, the meaning behind the work seems more complicated than that leaving a lot to the imagination.
There are countless other interesting pieces in the show including Eunice Choi’s (Im)possibility, which is a painting of a colorful fantasy landscape. On a larger scale than other works of hers I’ve seen, it dominates the space. A highlight for me was Conny Goelz-Schmitt of Beverly, MA, and her collage Tipi; a small work that shows great control over and mastery of composition and color.
The show is split between the Art Association’s two locations, Kathryn Schultz Gallery and University Place Gallery. Just a ten minute walk between the two, it is well worth the walk on a sunny afternoon!
GET THERE: Red Line to Harvard Square
SEE IT: On view through June 26th.
MORE INFO: http://www.cambridgeart.org