Kelly Green’s “Winter Pale” was named this exhibition’s Best of Show.
Pennsylvania Winter: People, Places, and Things Juried Exhibition
Pennsylvania Winter: People, Places, and Things is an online juried exhibition that includes artists whose primary residence is in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Forty images were chosen by juror Patrick McGrady, the Charles V. Hallman Senior Curator at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art.
Patrick shared some thoughts on his selection process and talked about the award-winning pieces on Friday, November 27 during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts’ December to Remember virtual event. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see Patrick’s written juror statement.
A total of $1,500 was awarded in this exhibition. The exhibition is made possible in part by sponsorships from the State College Framing Company & Gallery, Jennifer and Brad Karch, and the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County. Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support!
Click or tap on the images below to see larger versions. Please consider purchasing art from this exhibition! Original art makes a unique and special gift. To purchase any of these works, please contact Jennifer Shuey, Director of Development at (814) 574-6106.
When judging a work of art, I generally find, as I suspect do most individuals who are similarly charged, that my first reaction is purely intuitive. There’s something immediate, certainly more of a feeling than a rational thought, about the initial encounter with an object that either makes me want to stop and look some more—to dwell, in order to better understand the attraction—or encourages me instead to move on, often without so much as a “how do you do.” The eye is not infallible. To be sure, each of the 133 submissions for Pennsylvania Winter received multiple and prolonged views, and further consideration did elevate a few entries into the exhibition. But not one was demoted from the group formed from the first look.
Lying at the heart of the selection process is evidence of craft: mastery over the chosen medium, comprehension of color theories, knowledge of the machinations that can enliven the picture plane. Success in these areas alone can garner a work’s entry into the exhibition, but ideally we seek another level. Some call it vision, others transcendence, perhaps creativity—whatever it is that lifts art beyond the mere transcription of nature. It can elude description, but much as Justice Potter Stewart wrote when deciding Jacobellis v. Ohio (look it up!), I know it when I see it.
In the portrait aptly titled Winter Pale, this better measure of talent resides not so much in the learned depiction of anatomy as in the blue greens, pale lilacs, and grays that invade the white of the woman’s tunic. I’ve searched in vain for such coloration on every white shirt I own. It doesn’t exist in any real light; it animates the lower portion of the picture here purely for our pleasure. In Juniata Winter Morning, whose author has long observed that shadows are as alive with pigment as are the sunniest hillsides, how many would have allowed a foreground tree to sing so prominently in counterpoint? And in the photograph Mail Pouch Snow, why didn’t the artist simply photoshop out the drainpipe that cuts across the barn’s face?
Congratulations to those artists whose offerings have been selected for the exhibition. Studying your work has brought me great pleasure, and I trust that viewers over the show’s run will be equally rewarded. To those artists whose images were not chosen to go on view, I pray the experience will not dampen your enthusiasm. We all learn by doing, and continuing to submit your work is the best way to measure your progress. And to the ministers behind the Central Pennsylvania of the Arts winter exhibition, particularly Jennifer Shuey and Rick Bryant, I thank you kindly for allowing me to be a part of your celebration, and I salute you for your long-lived efforts to enlighten our communities.
Patrick J. McGrady
Charles V. Hallman Curator
Palmer Museum of Art, Penn State
Patrick J. McGrady is the Charles V. Hallman Senior Curator at Penn State’s Palmer Museum of Art. He oversees the European portions of the museum’s collections and specializes in works on paper with a primary concentration on prints from the fifteenth through the mid-twentieth century. In his twenty-eight years at the Palmer Museum he has curated more than eighty exhibitions in fields ranging from Old Master prints to twentieth-century American painting. Among the exhibitions he is currently organizing are Pennsylvania Scenery, a selection of early landscape views from the Tavern Collection; Ukiyo-e: Images of the Floating World, which features examples from the museum’s collection of Japanese woodblock prints; and a presentation of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century intaglios titled Another Look at the Old Masters.
In addition to his duties with the Palmer Museum, Dr. McGrady has taught courses at Penn State on impressionism and post-impressionism, Wassily Kandinsky and Der Blaue Reiter, connoisseurship, European modernism, and the history of printmaking. He also lectures widely on these topics and others, including fakes and forgeries and stolen art.