From STAFF REPORTS
Featuring dozens of artists from around the region, Jonesborough’s Open Juried Art Show is one of the area’s premier exhibitions. With works ranging from ceramics, acrylics, watercolors, photography, encaustic, metal work, mixed media, and more, art lovers will have the opportunity to see the best in the region as this annual event opens in April.
This exclusive event is set apart from other art exhibitions in Northeast Tennessee. Theresa Hammons, director of the McKinney Center, explains, “First, you get to see credible artists who have been through a submission process. The work that has been chosen to be in the show has been judged by someone with notable art experience.” She continues by adding that the event is important for artists and patrons alike. “Artists in the show build their visibility, and the general audience also gets the opportunity to view artwork from local artists and meet them. This in-turn builds community and relationships.”
Hammons impresses upon the important role an exhibition like this plays in the community. “For artists, entering a juried show also helps them keep their artwork and portfolio current which is critical in any occupation. But, for the general audience, by attending art exhibitions we get the experience of seeing ideas and themes expressed in new and different ways, which can be very powerful intellectually as well as emotionally. Art helps translate the world for us, and allows us to understand and process ideas that are sometimes too big for words.”
One of the most exciting aspects of Jonesborough’s Open Juried Art show is the reputation of the jurors that have been brought to town, and their fascinating lectures on the juried works that is given on opening night. In the past, the jurors have provided insight into the works of art, as well as talking points to engage with and think about. This year’s juror is Arnaldo Ugarte, a Honduran born artist who for two decades, has worked as a sculpture conservation technician under the direction of the curator at Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate in New York. Ugarte studied sculpture as well as industrial design at The Pratt Institute in Brooklyn New York from the years 1985 to 1990. He acquired his experience over the years by working in various foundries and other institutions, including the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Park at Pepsi-Co. In addition, Ugarte has assisted many well-known artists in their personal studios and foundries, such as Frank Stella, Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith and Erick Fischl, as well as numerous others. Over his professional career, Mr. Ugarte has served in an assortment of local juried art shows and has participated as a consultant in assistance to other art curators. Mr. Ugarte strives to continually engage his creativity and knowledge by visiting museum conservation laboratories and often travels to attend major art exhibitions around the country to expand his experiences in and of the art world. In his work at the Rockefeller estate, his practice as a sculpture conservation technician includes maintaining the outdoor sculpture collection as well as other objects at the estate. As an artist, Arnaldo Ugarte strongly believes that everything has the protentional of being regarded as a work of art and therefore everyone should seek to observe all aspects of visual language. He holds strong to the notion that oneself has the personal and social responsibility to constantly give their best in each and every aspect of one’s life.
Ugarte will be present on April 13 to provide a lecture at the International Storytelling Center at 6 p.m.,and will assist with the presentation of awards at the opening reception at 7 p.m. at the McKinney Center. The lecture, reception, and the exhibit is free and open to the public. Most artists will be present at the opening night reception, providing an opportunity for attendees to meet them. In addition, most of the artwork will be for sale.
The exhibit runs through May 5, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information contact the McKinney Center, (423)753-0562.