THROUGH THE LENS
Congratulations to all who entered this exhibition! Given the privilege of being a Juror, I’m partial to certain criteria, so I hope you’ll indulge me and not take it personally. The most important thing in creativity is to stay invested in its practice, which is why I awarded artists for both their images in Through the Lens — for their consistency of vision and craft. Seeing two images by an artist (with the exception of Kim Hurt) was satisfying because it revealed a fuller sense of their way of seeing and the realization of their vision.
In my many years of curating and jurying shows, I look for specific information: good handling of the camera during exposure (where to stand, how to frame the composition, exposure time), then, its development in post-production. Presentation is also essential: to mat or not, how to mount and frame, what kind of frame, when not to make an image too big (pixels!) And, most importantly, how the artist’s intention and imagination affirms that they are well-informed of history and possibility, and that they own a well-developed aesthetic sensibility from start to finish. Everyone is a “photographer” these days — sometimes hitting the mark with a beautiful shot every now and then. Not everyone is an artist.
In our present COVID state, I like ground, as in “feet on.” In other words, things in the world that I can identify with or see anew, such as the minimalist beauty of high tension wires and fans; a formidable wall made of tree and human limbs; the graceful lines of egg and fork or windswept tree. Also, the energetic mystery of abstraction, and the thrill of lift off in sunlight and darkness. These were my favorite photographs in the show: beautifully realized, consistent in personality, and finely presented.
Living in the world as an artist is one of the greatest gifts we can possess; it allows us to imagine beyond our given reality. We need it now more than ever. Thank you for this opportunity.
Curator of Photography
Harn Museum of Art