Saturday, May 9, 2015

Judging the Show - Art Fair 2015

Typically, 15,000 come to the annual three-day Mother’s Day weekend Art Fair at Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills. This is the 28th annual fair -- food vendors, a wine garden, live music and 150 exhibitors add to the experience. Ceramics, textiles, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, drawing and sculpture are on display and for sale. The effort for Laumeier and each participating artist is significant. It’s a big deal.

Laumeier Sculpture Park is a living laboratory where artists and audiences explore contemporary art. It is one of the first and largest dedicated sculpture parks in the country. It is an institution of international significance as well as a unique complement to the cultural landscape of the St. Louis region. The Art Fair is one of those times the general public comes to visit this regional (arguably international) treasure. This perennial showcase is an important part of a larger conversation about contemporary art.  

Laumeier Sculpture Park will complete construction of the Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center and renovation of the Kranzberg Education Laboratory for Art this year (2015). Ambitious plans on the horizon that will provoke dialogue about art and its very real impact on how we view the world. It is an exciting time at Laumeier Sculpture Park. So here we have a community engagement that is truly a celebration of art and artists. All of the exhibitors are winners but a short list are recognized as those judged to be among the best of show. The process, of course, is somewhat secretive. It involves scrutiny of work on display prior to the show in full swing. To win recognition is a validation that doesn’t compensate for the expense and commitment of traveling from points near and far -- Creve Coeur, Chesterfield, Ballwin in our back yard to U.S. points  midwest, west, southwest, southeast and northwest and northeast.       

This year, rain is in the forecast but it is unlikely that it will dampen the spirit of what it means to be an artist. Laumeier nurtures emerging artists at art camps, it offers docent tours of its collection and welcomes guests to study and view monumental and contemporary sculptural art in an inviting public place. But it is this showcase of these passionate artists turned merchants over this weekend that reminds all of us of the dedication it takes to be a be a viable artist. Of course, jury recognition and/or revenue from sales at this show has little to do with acceptance of  the artist vision consistent with curatorial platforms. That is another matter entirely. Regardless of your position on what is or is not ART – pay your ten bucks, have a glass of wine, purchase something for your living room that matches your couch, have some fun  In that context you are still contributing to the discourse. Your opinion matters! And maybe (hopefully) you will come back and visit Lauemeier when it is FREE and the sun is shining.   

Sunset Hills (MO) – Artists at Art Fair 2015 included Jane Johnson from Port Charlotte, Florida Mark Waninger from Jamestown, IN with cheese plate made of woods; Leonard Tinnell from Missoula, MT; Holly Foss from Minneapolils, MN 

No comments:

Post a Comment