|Trudi C. Van Dyke is an independent curator and fine arts consultant who specializes in developing exhibitions in all media for regional, national, and international exhibitions. She was formerly director of the Torpedo Factory Arts Center (Alexandria, VA) and the Ellipse Art Center (Arlington, VA). With over 15 years’ experience, she has presented numerous exhibitions in all media at galleries, embassies, and international venues. 2015 curatorial projects included the Rawls Museum (Cortland, VA), 7 East Gallery (Woodstock, VA), the Barry Gallery (Arlington, VA), and The Hockaday Museum of Art (Kalispell, MT). Her jury experiences include Cherry Creek Fine Arts Festival (Colorado), Festival of the Masters (Downtown Disney, Orlando, FL), and the 2016 Collectors of Wood Art award at the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.). She writes on the arts for Fiber Arts Now and Elan magazine. She was an adjunct faculty member in the Masters in Arts Management Program at George Mason University (VA) where she developed a course in gallery management. Van Dyke holds a Master of Science degree from Montana State University, Bozeman, MT.|
WOW…not really an art term…but the immediate reaction I had when I opened the slide show of entries for “Explore This! 13.” I felt like an explorer delving into the interpretations of exceptional artists as they shared their talents. Drawings revealed not just objects and environments but the ability to convey the spirit and soul of an observation.
Matisse said drawing is putting a line around an idea and I concur that successful artists find a way to give any subject matter insight into a sentiment. There is a visceral quality that grabs me, draws me in and holds my attention in each of the 61 chosen canvases. It is what makes them stand out.
Especially moving for me is “The Potter” by Carol Maltby. The artist has captured so much more than a portrait. The emotional quality is stirring in a way that portrays the passion of the potter for his craft. Maltby’s attention to detail, every line and color nuance, reflect and transmit the heart of the subject.
Another award winner that moves to the forefront of this exhibition is “Rumors of the Red Queen” by Paula Keyth. This surrealistically inspired abstraction drew me back repeatedly to see more. The layering quality effectively evokes the artist’s understanding of the medium and the monochromatic palette reinforces the overall emotional quality. This artist and other award winners who have gone off the path to investigate strengthen the exhibition and will start conversations about the art.
The exhibition has a myriad of outstanding works demonstrating how colored pencils and other mediums can work in harmony. Take the time to pay attention to the scale, the variety of media and unusual substrates. Choose your favorites for your own reasons, think beyond color preferences, and subject matter, find an emotional commitment and discover the magic.
It was a pleasure to judge this CPSA exhibition. Please know that there were many quality drawings that did not make the cut and to all who entered I encourage you keep honing your craft.