Fewer pieces in SPSCC’s juried art exhibition gives local artists room to shine

Monday, July 8, 2019

Article via The Olympian
By Molly Walsh

South Puget Sound Community College’s Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition gives plenty of space to works by 20 South Sound artists, many of them well-known figures in the local art world.

“I went in knowing that I wanted to have a sparser exhibition so the people whose work was selected were given an opportunity to shine,” guest juror Dawna Holloway, owner of Seattle’s Studio E, told The Olympian. “I wanted each work to have room to breathe.”

This year’s show, opening Monday, has about 30 percent fewer artists and 30 percent fewer works — just 28 total — than the college’s previous juried exhibitions.

The result, said gallery manager Sean Barnes, is “a more open kind of show, perhaps even more intimate.”

“It’s a very tight exhibition, a very clean exhibition,” he told The Olympian. “The work is of really high caliber, and the openness enhances the exhibition. It’s a really strong show.”

The show includes two paintings by Lynette Charters, who won the viewers’ choice award at last year’s juried show and whose work is attracting accolades well beyond Olympia. This year’s paintings are again from her series of feminist reinterpretations of older works that replace female figures with expanses of bare wood.

Viewers are invited to linger with each piece, and lingering might lead to noticing connections among some of the works.

Sculptures by Irene Osborn and Julia Szten, both of strong female figures, resonate and contrast with Charters’ “Vallotton’s ‘White and Black’ Muses” and “Tiepolo’s Muse with a Mandolin” and with Marilyn Frasca’s “Something About Syria” and “Something About America,” monotypes of comfort in violent times.

Of particular note are images with spacious backgrounds that echo the spacious feeling in the gallery. There’s Doyle Fanning’s wistful “Still Point,” a collage in which a flower and a feather echo one another across an expanse of open sky. And there’s Susan Christian’s quietly mysterious “Quinceanera Hem,” in which just a bit of fabric, captured in motion, interrupts the painting’s long expanse.

White space also is used to great effect in John Shlichta’s “Just the Way I Found It,” a papercut that includes the cut-away black paper in a jar below the image, and Cyrra Robinson’s cast-brass sculptures of complex organic forms.

The show includes diverse media despite its small size, including photos by Stacy Hicks and a quilt by Lynette Hunter.

Southwest Washington Juried Exhibition

  • What: South Puget Sound Community College’s annual juried art show showcases a carefully chosen collection of work by 20 South Sound artists.
  • When: On view July 8-Aug. 22, with opening reception and presentation of awards from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 11. The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and by appointment.
  • Where: The Gallery at the Minnaert Center for the Arts, South Puget Sound Community College, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia
  • More information: 360-596-5527, spscc.edu/gallery
A bronze-cast statue reminiscent of cephalopod tentacles
Cephalopod #3, cast bronze, by Cyrra Robinson