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February 7, 2014

For the past 15 years, the John B. Aird Gallery has hosted a unique juried showcase of Canadian drawing. This year’s instalment is a particularly strong and balanced exhibition. I’m thrilled to have a piece represented in Drawing 2014 alongside some greatly respected media peers such as Erin Finley, Toni Hamel, Winnie Truong and Amanda Burk. Big congratulations to Amanda, whose piece “Quiescence” placed among the award winners!

“For this 15th annual juried drawing exhibition, 72 artists submitted 137 drawings for consideration by two jurors. A variety of drawing styles, media and techniques reflecting a spectrum of ideas about drawing were represented.

Two jurors, Ed Pien and Dale Barrett, selected the 33 works in the exhibition. Drawing 2014 celebrates the diversity and vitality of drawing, showcasing a range of processes, styles, materials and conceptual approaches.”

O with "The Following"

O with “The Following”

"The Following", 2013, charcoal on paper, 72 x 234 cm

“The Following”, 2013, charcoal on paper, 72 x 234 cm

I worked on “The Following” over the recent holidays. I’ve recently become interested in extending or elongating discrete moments in film. Inspired by a camera pan shot in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film L’eclisse (1962), the camera slowly pans across the commotion outside Rome’s stock exchange. My drawing captures a woman following a heavy-set man who has lost his fortunes in a stock market crash. She’s depicted twice. Technically speaking, there is a ten second delay from one end of the picture to the other. With my drawn rendition, the viewer experiences Antonioni’s scene as a single visual sweep.

The show continues until the end of the February.

Last night Drawing 2011 opened at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto. This is the twelfth year the event is held at the downtown venue. I had the good fortune of participating in this annual showcase of Canadian drawing. I’m honoured to be in a show alongside some of my favorite drawers like Amanda Burk of North Bay, Amanda Schoppel and Tom Hendry both based in Toronto. The show acquainted me with the many approaches to the drawn medium.

Me and "The Waiting" on view until March 4

This year’s jurors based their final selection of 34 works from a total of 208 images submitted by 112 artists. Each artist submitted works digitally, on a disc. As someone who is involved with organizing a similar juried show at year’s end here at Station Gallery, I began to wonder if digital submissions are the way to go. Some of the pros include:

  • getting broader exposure from artists outside the region—let’s call it “casting a broader net”
  • a more economical and stream-lined use of resources, gallery staffing, etc.
  • less chance for artwork to get damaged from over-handling
  • less gas to transport the works back and forth equals a smaller carbon footprint

And on the other side, the more traditional approach of adjudicating from original artworks has its good points too:

  •  jurors get a better sense of the scale, texture, intent, etc…
  • the final exhibition design can be stronger (i.e., themes and grouping are more apparent)
  •  the artist/gallery relationship is more organic, more personal
  • doesn’t handicap artists who don’t have access to digital equipment

It’s a dilemma. So I put it to you, the blogosphere; what are your thoughts on submitting to juried shows? Digital or Tangible; what works best?