18th Annual Juried Show At Newburyport Art
As you would expect of any show centered in a location as picturesque as Cape Ann, the Newburyport Art Association’s 18th Regional Juried Show — juried by Artscope publisher Kaveh Mojtabai — replicates its most beloved features while spotlighting them alongside other global wonderlands that make this more than a regionally themed show.
Mojtabai said it took four nights to go through the approximately 450 entries before selecting the final 153. “I approached looking at the work through several factors, [including] visual and technical quality and subject matter from a media point of view that a public audience may initially recognize the subject — such as the oil on canvas of a boatyard marina [Roy St. Christopher Rossow’s “New Bedford Harbor Nocturne 1”] or photograph [by Lysa Burns] of an old collectible car, neglected in a makeshift garage shed, titled ‘retirement,’” he said, noting he kept in mind the intended target audience around the Newburyport area, as well as its marine life, socio-economic status and the cultural history of greater Boston.
“This gives the public viewer the respect to understand the work before it gets too complex — for example, abstract or provocative art. I also selected a number of works that may be considered more complex — I didn’t leave avantgarde material out — so that the viewer could see less obvious quality work and the creative and technical work involved in making them.”
The story behind how these works were created is as fascinating as the end product; here’s a look at my own personal favorites, through their creator’s words:
Many of the traditional Cape Ann views you would expect in a show like this are represented. John-Paul Jimenez’s “A Day on Plum” triptych painting, capturing the island’s morning, midday and evening skies, is one of the best, but it’s his “Great Blue Heron #1” photograph that is truly one of the show’s highlights.
He took the shot from fairly close range. “This male was in full breeding plumage and just a real ham,” Jimenez said. “I probably spent a good half hour with the beast. For this particular shot, I angled the frame to capture an indirect representation of the setting. Those wavy reflections energize the shot and stage the animal’s balanced pose wonderfully. I have never seen anything quite like that and wanted to share it.”