Increased submissions reflect the growing stature for Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit
The 37th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit is on view this month in the main gallery of the Alliance for the Arts. The show continues to grow in stature and statewide recognition, as evidenced by the fact that the Alliance received 120 more submissions this year than it did in 2022. That presented this year’s juror, Grace Gdaniec, with quite the challenge when it came to deciding which 60 or so works to include in this year’s exhibition.
“There were 720 artists that submitted, which is a huge number, but also a testament to the reputation that I think this exhibition has,” Gdaniec remarks. “The [review] process was long … This was a digital review. I wanted to make sure I gave pause to each piece. If they had a statement with it, really take a look at it. And I’ll say, starting to narrow the field down it did take 10 hours to kind of go through.”
Gdaniec currently serves as manager of Delray Beach’s Arts Warehouse, where she works with teaching artists to develop workshops, plans and hangs exhibitions and manages the gallery’s social media presence. Over the years, she’s seen a lot of art and gained considerable experience in selecting quality artwork for avant-garde and trend-setting art shows.
“There was so much great work. I think it’s also a testament to our state being so diverse in culture, in diverse age groups, in people coming from all around the country that there were so many different types of work, media, materials, subject matter … you know, comparing apples to oranges doesn’t even cover it. Trying to consolidate into a smaller amount was tricky, but we did. We ended up with the 66.”
The end result is a wonderfully diverse and lyrical show that features pieces in a wide variety of media, including sculpture, photography, prints, drawing and painting – from oil and acrylic to collage, watercolor and mixed media.
“So the final selections are such a strong body of work and … But there is such a selection. I mean, everything from a piece made out of felt or a photo printed on gauze to painting to sculpture to photography … I wanted to make sure there was a variety. I wanted to showcase and represent what I think is in the art world that’s happening in Florida. So I think this is just kind of a snapshot or a small sampling of that larger art world out there that is so creative.”
On the day of the opening, Gdaniec had to determine which pieces warranted special recognition, and she chose an oil painted by Tampa artist Anders Fernach as Best in Show. Gdaniec describes the piece and her thought processes this way:
“So the piece is an oil painting of a white button down shirt on a hanger and it’s just on a wall and there’s a plug in the wall on the floor, and that’s it. It’s very monochrome, just white and grays and a little yellow and it’s so simple and beautiful … and maybe I’m a sucker for painting because I have an oil history or oil painting background myself, but I just love the simplicity, and the artist did share that they love to capture kind of that mundane every-day, and there’s just something very peaceful about it. So that one, from the first moment I saw it on the computer screen was a favorite.
Recent UCF School of Visual Arts & Design graduate Nelson Garcia took second place honors. The 22-year-old only submitted his painting to All Florida as part of an assignment from Art Professor and Gallery Director Shannon Lindsay.
“I didn’t really have any expectations when submitting. I really just wanted to put myself out there and go for opportunities. But when I heard the circumstances around the show and how many pieces got submitted versus how many got selected, I was really honored to get in, really.”
He was even more astonished when his name was called as the second place winner.
“I was just glad for the experience of coming here at all, and to be announced as a winner, you know, absolutely stunned. I wasn’t expecting it at all. It’s such a great show, with so many talented artists and I’m just, again, so honored to have been picked, especially second place, I can’t even describe what that feels like, especially as an emerging artist, you know, I’m just sort of getting started in my career. Yeah, so stunned is the word.”
Kathleen Kinkopf was equally stunned to be chosen by the exhibition’s sponsor, American Art Collector, to be featured in a full-page write-up in an upcoming edition of the prestigious magazine.
After relocating from New Mexico to Cape Coral recently, Kinkopf had decided to focus on marketing and gaining greater exposure for her in 2023. The American Art Collector article will go a long way in helping her realize this important goal.
And the timing couldn’t be better for yet another reason, as Kinkopf explains.
“Generally, the focus of my work is primarily female figures and they are in some kind of environmental setting. There’s a lot of nature, flowers, animals and such. This piece, in particular, is called Earth Keeper, and it’s a very strong woman, but within her body is a surreal face, and the face is Earth’s memory. On her arm is a monarch butterfly, and that represents the connection between the earthly world and the spiritual world …. I’m proud because this is International Women’s History Month and I think it’s really great timing and I very proud that it’s on display right now.”
You can see the 37th Annual All Florida Juried Exhibit through April 1. Admission is free, although a $5 donation is requested to help the Alliance defray expenses.
- Alliance Gallery Director Emily Radomski echoes Juror Grace Gdaniec’s comments on the quality and caliber of the work submitted for this year’s show: “The caliber of artwork submitted shows how much artistic talent there is in Florida. We’re so excited that we get to display a highlight of this talent in the upcoming exhibition.”
- Gdaniec describes her evaluative process this way: “As I was going through the submissions I just started to pull some that, for lack of a better word, just intuitively stood out to me … or there was something that was a little different about them, whether it was the use of material, the image itself, composition.”
- The jurying process was a “blind review,” meaning that the juror had only the image of the artwork and the artist’s statement about it go on in deciding whether or not to include the piece in this year’s show.
- As every juror knows, judging art is highly subjective and a different juror would likely have chosen a significantly different show from the pool of submissions that the Alliance received for this year’s show. So artists who didn’t make it into this year’s show should continue to hone and refine their craft and submit their work for inclusion in future shows. “It’s interesting that this show every year picks a different juror because each juror/curator out there has a different eye, has different background, has different education in the art or learned experience,” Gdaniec notes. “That’s what makes it really unique each year because my opinion, essentially, could be completely different from another person who might have looked at the same set of art.”
- For more on Juror Grace Gdaniec, read here.
- In all likelihood, Gdaniec will be reaching out to a number of this year’s artists for exhibitions at Art Warehouse. “I’m happy to say I’m going to be writing down a lot of these artists’ names to potentially use for exhibitions in the future because I’m really impressed with the work.”
- Read here to see the names of all the artists whose work was juried into this year’s All Florida Juried Exhibit.
- The Best in Show winner received $1,000 in cash.
- You can read about Best in Show artist Anders Fornach and his award-winning painting, White Shirt, here.
- “I usually paint experiences that are personal to me – narratives about masculinity and where I fit into masculinity, where I don’t fit into masculinity and, by extension, whether or not masculinity as a thing exists, even, because it’s a concept that is a box that people will choose to fit in or get out of,” says Second Place winner Nelson Garcia. In his piece, Melting Down, he explores the ways in which advertising, social media and internet pornography influence male body image and performance issues. “In my piece, I contrasted using myself,” Garcia amplifies. “I put an image of internet pornography on the screen, very stereotypical masculine body and then me. Because my body doesn’t fit into any of those shapes.”
- For Second Place, Garcia received a $250 Gift Certificate from Golden Paints. He intends to redeem it for an assortment of acrylic pigments as he intends to transition from oils to that medium in his new series of works.
- Kathleen Kinkopf has been drawing and painting for as long as she can remember. After graduating the University of Miami in Ohio, Kathleen worked as an art director and graphic designer in Texas before moving west to Sante Fe New Mexico, where she exhibited work as far and wide as Seattle, Houston, Cincinnati and South Korea. She also enjoyed two museum exhibitions in Albuquerque.
- Kinkopf is also a writer. Her recent book, Inhabiting Bliss, has won ten awards to date. “It’s been a wild success,” says Kinkopf. “It’s been really fun.” Inhabiting Bliss is available on Amazon.
- The 37th Annual All Florida Juried Show is sponsored by American Art Collector, which is a monthly magazine and website specially written for collectors, galleries and painters of traditional fine art. Articles emphasize mainstream art by today's favorite artists.
To read more stories about the arts in Southwest Florida visit Tom Hall's website: SWFL Art in the News.