Around 150 artists submitted 450 pieces for the 61st Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art, which opens to the public at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. in Fowler-Kellogg Art Center.
There are only 26 on display, however, said Judy Barie, Susan and Jack Turben Director of Galleries.
“It’s pretty competitive,” Barie said.
Every year, a new juror selects the pieces that will be displayed in the exhibit. This year, Sharon Louden served that role, while Barie staged the paintings in Fowler-Kellogg.
Only three of the artists have already had work featured in Chautauqua art galleries.
Artist James Campbell has a piece featured for the third year at Chautauqua, as part of his series called “Wings.” At Chautauqua’s 49th National Exhibition of American Art, his piece “Nemo’s Cay” won the Barbara and Albert Turbessi Award.
“I try to keep it on the cutting edge. … I like to think that it’s contributing to the art world in some way and moving things forward,” Campbell said. “So, no, I haven’t worked on a rectangular canvas in decades, and everybody expects things to be square, and rectangular, and easily framed and all that stuff.”
Campbell said that he’s been pleased with his Chautauqua experiences so far and that the community has been “very good” for him.
He also praised Chautauqua’s galleries, and said they “tend to be a little more allowing for experimental work” and don’t always offer things people expect to see in art galleries.
“I try to push things beyond what people expect to see,” Campbell said.
This is artist Andrew Guth’s first year at Chautauqua. Guth said he was attracted to the community’s “strong reputation” and “strong creative presence” before submitting his work.
To be frank, he said, his piece in the show, “Wanting Wave (Come Back, Come Back),” is one of his favorites.
“It’s about being accepted and rejected at the same time,” Guth said.
This, he said, also ties into his personal experience of growing up an artist, wondering whether his work would be accepted or rejected.
Last year, the annual exhibit was staged throughout Fowler-Kellogg.
Both floors were needed to accommodate its 60 pieces, to celebrate the exhibit’s 60th year. Before that, it was always held at Strohl Art Center.
“I’m very excited that it’s up here (in Fowler-Kellogg Art Center),” Barie said. “We have so many walls at different angles that so many pieces have their own walls, which I think looks really beautiful.”
Barie said she worked hard to stage a “cohesive” exhibit this year and to give all the pieces “breathing room.”
“We have a little bit of everything, which is what we have every year,” Barie said. “There’s something for everyone to like and to see.”