Eye on the Arts: Art Gallery 21 Juried Exhibition: And the Winners Are . . .

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By Marc Gave | New Pelican Writer

Wilton Mansions – Last Saturday, Art Gallery 21 hosted the awards ceremony for its 11th annual Island City Juried Art Competition. Three winners received cash prizes and ribbons, and will share an exclusive exhibition of their work at the gallery, entitled “The Winners’ Show”. Their work will hang in the gallery from December 18 this year until January 8, 2023.

Janie Reisler’s multimedia work, “What’s She Thinking?” [Courtesy]

The current exhibition, which includes some 40 works by 24 local artists, is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and by appointment until October 8.

First place in this year’s competition went to Dwight Hoffman for his oil painting “Hello, My Name Is Bob.” I am a still life alcoholic. Second place went to Janie Reisner for her multimedia work “What’s She Thinking?” And third place went to Christine Quaglieri for her multimedia piece “Scuffed Maroon”.

The juror for the exhibit was George Bolge, director emeritus of the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art and the Boca Raton Museum of Art, who brings a lifetime of artistic experiences to the neighborhood gallery. An influence on the Broward Arts Council and the county’s public art program, he is also an avid collector.

Gallery co-founder and president Constance Ruppender expressed her gratitude to board member Dr. Claire Crawford for introducing Bolge to Art Gallery 21.

Bolge spoke of his experience as a museum director who never lost touch with emerging artists. He says, “The intention is the same with the novice artist and the artist who has been doing it for 40 years. What is different is the practice – the ability. In judging a show like this, I try to match intent with the ability to deliver it. You may have the greatest idea in the world but nothing in your toolbox to express it.

In his juror statement, he wrote, “Selecting a handful of works from a large number of submitted works is always a difficult task, especially. . . while the difference in quality between those finally chosen and the remaining pieces was relatively small. I was particularly impressed by the imaginative way in which those who entered adopted ideas and focused on their own needs from outside sources – and very impressed by the way in which personal expression almost always dominated fashion or commercial considerations.

Bolge had the opportunity to see and study many works. As an art historian, he learned to juxtapose a work with others, its place in history, tradition, society. Starting out as a Greek and Roman archaeologist, he literally had to see hundreds and hundreds of statues before he knew which one was the right one.

“The job of an artist is very difficult. There is an idea that cannot be expressed in words, an ideal that must be placed in objective terminology so that viewers can use it and make them better people,” he said. “A lot of museum directors don’t judge a street art fair. I always judged everything I could because that’s where you find this brilliant little innovation. I don’t understand museum directors who don’t go out, who feel inferior to them.

Regarding novelty in art, Bolge said, “Nothing is really new. Artists are always standing on the shoulders of other artists. Art does not begin by being immortal. People take it to heart and pass it on. »

And he concluded: “In an exhibition like this, no one loses. Everyone cared enough to put an expression of emotion in writing and perform it in front of an audience.

Art Gallery 21 is located at 600 NE 21 Ct.

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