Valdosta Daily Times


January 19, 2009

Going National

The Valdosta Daily Times — VALDOSTA — With artworks coming in from across the nation, the Valdosta State University’s Valdosta National exhibit usually receives smaller pieces.

It’s the mail. Postal rates. The shipping. Most artists don’t want to spend a fortune sending massive works to an exhibit. But they will send smaller packages.

Each year, VSU Art’s Valdosta National attracts more artists from more states. This year is no exception. Nearly 200 works were entered into the show, but the difference was, says Julie Bowland, VSU gallery director and associate art professor, this year, larger works were entered into the show.

A rare event, Bowland says.

From the entered works, 46 were selected for the Valdosta National 2009, opening Tuesday at the VSU Art Gallery.

“The show is an excellent representation of diverse, contemporary styles and genres of art from across the country,” Bowland says. “Artworks are by artists from 13 states, including Georgia, Florida, Texas, Washington, Alabama, Michigan, Ohio, Montana, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and South Carolina.”

While the show is open to artists from across the nation, it does not exclude local entrants. Valdosta National 2009’s juried works include those by Valdosta artist Colleen Harris, VSU Art students Kelly Cook and Abbie Preston, as well as VSU education student Samantha Bennett, Bowland says.

The juried works were selected by this year’s judge, Arnold Mesches, a dynamic artist in his mid-80s, who is a visiting professor at the University of Florida. A brief bio: “Arnold Mesches, born in 1923 in the Bronx, N.Y., was raised in Buffalo, N.Y., and moved to Los Angeles in 1943 to accept a scholarship at the Art Center School in 1943. In 1984, he moved to New York City and taught at NYU, Parsons and Rutgers before moving to Gainesville, Fla., where he currently teaches as a visiting professor at the University of Florida. He has had 125 solo exhibitions and is represented in major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, L.A. County Museum, Brooklyn Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn, the High, Museum of Modern Art in Sydney, Australia, and Pushkin Museum of Art in Russia. A major retrospective opens at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in January 2009. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including 1982 NEA, 2002 and 2008 Pollock-Krasner, Art Critics of America, 2004, and Florida State Individual Grant, 2007.”

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