The 23rd Annual Small Format Exhibit

National Collage Society presents The 23rd Annual Small Format Exhibit | March- April 2020

Juror's Notes By Ellen O. Nelson

Each time I am involved in the jurying process, I am intrigued by the numerous aspects of art that somehow coalesce in my head. This time, I was reminded of a quote by Picasso: "Art is a lie that tells the truth." When looking at a painting of a still life containing two apples and a pear, we realize that it is not actually two apples and a pear. It is the illusion or appearance of such. When I approach a work of art, I ask myself, "Does this work tell a truth?" My first impression of a work of art seeks to answer that question. Secondly, I begin to analyze what it is about the work that speaks the truth. More times than not, it is not a specific thing but a series of relationships lined up on various spectrums. The parameters I use are craftsmanship, composition, creativity and the gestalt. It is hard for me to move to the other parameters if a certain level of craftsmanship is not met. Craftsmanship comes after years and years of practice. It is a tricky parameter, because it is the one that seduces with a pitfall: if you practice every day the same way for consistency sake, you compromise spontaneity and freedom that can be so appealing. My advice in this regard is to practice, practice, practice but also be open new ideas and techniques. Not all of your work will be or should be show quality. If you are consistently producing the same kind of art, force yourself out of your comfort zone.

View the Virtual Exhibit