People weaved in and out of the Fine Arts Gallery viewing new artwork that is priced as high as $12, 000 and will be available until Feb. 3.
They were the first to visually sample the 25th Valdosta National, which is a juried art competition containing 52 pieces of art by 42 artists.
Each piece in the gallery was judged and chosen by Margaret Morrison, an assistant professor of Art in Studio Foundations, Drawing and Painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art of the University of Georgia.
This exhibition is an all-media event with pieces ranging from photography, paintings and drawings to videos and sculptures.
The 52 pieces on display are from 16 different states, including Texas, New York, Washington, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida.
When choosing a piece for a juried art competition, artists factor in different variables like venue, audience and event. In this exhibit, many of the featured artists chose their pieces based around Judge Morrison.
“I decided not to enter any of my cemetery photography, even though that’s my main subject matter, due to Margaret Morrison’s battle with cancer several years ago – I thought she might find it an unpleasant reminder,” Karen Joslin, writer and photographer, said.
David McCrae, photographer, considers other elements when choosing his art.
“I don’t enter very abstract pieces to smaller regional shows as they don’t do well in such venues,” McCrae said. “I also consider the juror and the type of work they do or show.”
Some of the displayed artwork took months, even years to prepare. Photographer Mark Alan Francis’ photo, Holi, Festival of Colors #3 was just one photo out of 50 taken over a three-year process.
“It is always way cool to be selected for a juried competition,” McCrae said. “There is a lot of good work being made, particularly in other media. To have my more traditional photographic works selected is a very real affirmation of the way I see the world. What a great feeling!”
For many of the artists, it is not about the money, but the recognition from viewers.
“Regardless of whether you sell a piece, you’re still building your reputation, your credibility as an artist, and your potential client base. Juried competitions give you the extra boost of having been chosen by an artist who has achieved a certain measure of success,” Joslin said.