So excited to be invited to show my paintings at the Harvard Art Show! The Adams ArtSpace Exhibition gathered works from artists around the world in the historic University in Cambridge last Friday, October 12, 2012.
I loved the theme of the, show, which was “Compassion,” A theme I have been thinking a lot about recently. The Harvard Art Show was curated by Roni Paverick, and she did a wonderful job of gathering pieces that complemented each other but were all very different. She oriented the pieces so that they flowed very naturally from one to the other, I really admire her natural eye! The Harvard Art Show reminded me of how much I enjoy themed art shows, I would love to do more of them. I would love to do a series of themed shows from the mundane (coffee is one of my favorite brainstorms, or fruit) to the very serious (pro-life and pro-choice artwork in the same space). I loved that all the work was so different, and each piece had its own interpretation of compassion.
The red and green graphic designer’s print, which read “Compassion makes you see and act” really struck me. It was more my husband’s style than mine, I tend towards the over emotional representational pieces where he enjoyed a limited palette and more abstract geometric pieces, but it was the literal message of the piece, only visible through red heart glasses, that really struck a chord with me, and set the tone for how I would remember the show.
So the hardest thing for me in every art show is writing an Artist’s Statement. I love the fact that there are so many fake “Statement” generators like 10gallon.com and ArtyBollocks because I feel like the majority of the artist statements I read at galleries and musuems have been spit out of one of these template generators. When I write my “non-generated” Artist Statement, it is like trying to condense a hundred conversations with different viewers into a tiny paragraph that doesn’t do justice to one square inch of painting.
Maybe the reason why artists have trouble writing their statements (hence the need to generators…) is that the art they make is made because it said something visually that couldn’t be said verbally. There are times when a critic’s interpretation of a work, or an art historian’s explanation of the context of a work are helpful, but even then they do injustice to the art by assuming too much.
Here is my artist statement from the Harvard Show:
Compassion: Dance as an allegory of compassionate expression. The activity of ballet as a formal art requires a specific individual to enact or carry out the written steps of choreography in a way that respects, holds true, and expresses the intent of the composer. At the same time, the true artistry of dance only comes into being in the act of the individual’s form and physical activity. In this series I explored the relationship of a dancer to her choreographed step as a metaphor for everyman’s responsibility to complete steps in the world that are choreographed and yet become beautiful through the individual flair in the particular, time and space bound performance in the world. As we dance through our lives, our impact on others is our expressive flair, following in the ethical steps that God’s law has written for us.