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Anne Ward, The Apothecary Shop, Keene, New Hampshire (detail), 2017, oil on panel

by Marguerite Serkin

A regional exhibit of juried works may suggest a circumspect, homogenous collection. Such is far from the case in the collection on view through the Biennial Regional Juror’s Choice Exhibition at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery in Keene. Drawing upon a large pool of local talent, the myriad pieces included in the exhibition cross multiple media, and reflect studied, deliberate applications that are both refreshingly current and historically germane.

Chosen from over 100 submissions, only works originating within a 60-mile radius of Keene were considered. The strict geographical requirement was offset by a broader metaphorical interpretation of place, in addition to more literal depictions of craggy hills and the architectural landmarks of downtown.

“The intimate geographic scope of the biennial helped to shape my approach in selecting works,” explained Alexandra Foradas, assistant curator at MASS MoCA, who served as juror. “In addition to selecting excellent individual works, I wanted to consider the pool of applicants more broadly, to see, for example, a critical mass of artists engaged with similar materials or subject matter. It was important to me to try to understand whether there were any shared impulses, in addition to a shared geography.

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