It was truly an honor to jury this year’s “Figuratively Speaking” show for The Art League of Daytona Beach. The range of work was impressive, and the attention to the figurative genre outstanding. As a juror, I typically look at two or three major factors when contemplating my decisions. First and foremost I look at compositional arrangements across the picture plane. Does the piece have an interesting juxtaposition of positive and negative space and does the space “work?” Secondly, I focus on anatomy and the obvious relationships of figurative forms. When color is incorporated, again I look for relationships of color that help to push the space and create depth in the picture plane.
I was happy to see such a wide range of styles and methods in this show. Everything from fabrics, to collage, to mixed media elements made for a wonderful blend. There was also a nice assortment of traditional and contemporary approaches to the figure, which I found exciting. Classical oil paintings, abstract works, and graphic styles all combined for a well-balanced exhibit. Photography stood out for mood and the play of light and dark, and the sculptural pieces also showed an adept hand when it came to representing the figure in three dimensions. I was also happy to see several pieces drawn directly from life, specifically a couple of watercolor/ink wash drawings that were quite successful. Artists should not be hesitant to exhibit their life or “process” drawings, as these are often very exciting representations in their own right.
Finally let me say that this show certainly lived up to the title “A Celebration of the Diversity and Spirit of The Human Form.” It was inspiring to see work from such a wide variety of seasoned and accomplished artists. Artistic vitality, from both the Daytona Beach community and from across Florida are very important factors in keeping our State’s art scene alive and cutting edge. When that exuberance is combined with a venue like the Art League of Daytona Beach, where figurative work is appreciated and displayed, everyone is a winner. Those qualities were very apparent in the submissions for this show, and because there was so much great work to choose from, my job as a juror was not easy. I congratulate all of the winners and encourage everyone to enter again next year. Thank you. – Ed Hall