The 2018 Spring Juried Show featured photography by Julie O'Connor

Juror’s Statement
Kimberly Henrikson

When the Rowayton Arts Center contacted me last fall about jurying their spring show, I was eager to participate and curious about the variety of work that would be submitted and how many pieces there would be. As it happened, there was an exceptional turnout of submissions for this show, which naturally resulted in a significant amount of competition when selecting works. There were absolutely some hard choices to make at all stages of the review process.

What was I looking for? There was no single “type” of style or means of presenting the subject that I can describe as being the deciding factor. But, in order to stand out from the crowd, the artwork needed to grab me, it needed to say something. I looked for work that made me think — about the composition, the use of the medium, the message conveyed by the subject matter. For example, did the artist take their work beyond the conventional practice and make something new, something unique, and did it challenge me to look more intently, to think about what I was seeing or how it was made? Was the technique or the medium doing something I had to stand back and reconsider? Also, was there demonstrated mastery of technique and consistency across all areas of the piece?

As you can see from the artworks selected for the show, there were plenty of outstanding submissions, and that made the final decisions for awards all the more difficult to make. Different works were successful for different reasons — an outstanding mastery of color or a strong composition or use of an innovative technique. The Photography category was the most difficult one when making selections as there was so much excellent work submitted. The Oil and Acrylic categories were also a good challenge — not only because of the sheer numbers of submissions, but because of the variations among them. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mixed Media and Sculpture categories for their innovative approaches. The remaining categories of Watercolor, Drawings, Pastels, and Prints held some wonderful surprises and exceptional talent. My hope is that viewers to the exhibition will enjoy the works chosen. There is something special about each and every one of them.


Julie in front of her photograph, A Moment with the Big Wheel, Paris