Schick Art Gallery

1/29/08 - 2/24/08

Reception: 1/29/08, 6:30-8:00 pm

Juror's Statement, John L. Moore

The works selected for the 2008 Skidmore Student Exhibition represent a very promising group of young artists. Painting was the dominant medium entered and were it not for limited gallery space, a number of additional works would have been included in this exhibition. To my surprise very little work was submitted in some of the other studio areas offered at Skidmore: sculpture, textiles and graphics.

Sarah T. Glasser's painting, Unity, received The Best in Show Award for its inventiveness and execution. A headless, partially limbless, monumental, slightly transparent nude figure struts through the woods. It is a superb painting offering humor and a bit of the surreal. Rich in color, engaging in its movement and imagery, it also shows she has a good sense of scale.

Jessie Edelman's painting, In Love, received the Renee Van Dewater Memorial Award in painting. It is impressively energetic and rich in color, which suggests she has natural skill in abstract painting. The sense of ease in the handling of paint and her manner of moving from the soft creamy areas of colors in the lower right hand section to the rich and expressive areas of the center is equal to any of the best recent abstract paintings I have seen. 

Sam Merwin's mixed media installation of computers, sound, text and drawn images, A Series of Tubes, is an impressive conceptual work in the exhibition and puts a focus on the dangers lurking on the internet regarding pornography and other sex crimes. It is a critique on an important contemporary societal issue. It is not a light work and reading the text is revealing. It received the Renee Van Dewater Memorial Award in any media. 

The selected grouping of eight small format photographs of the same size suggested a thematic exhibition within the overall selection of works making up this year's exhibition. The photos seem to suggest unsuspecting dangers or persons under surveillance. Mattan Ingram's photo presents a picture perfect young girl with hope and innocence, while Katherine Jacobs' photo of the black hooded young man presents a staged sinister look. In between these two photos are others suggesting impending dangers, people being followed or watched, and looming dark shadowy figures. Individually they are good and interesting photographs, as a group I found them to have a quality of suspense and edginess.

I would have liked to have seen more work by Meredith Mowder. Her Untitled figure of hair and wax is an impressive life-sized sculpture with its mix of oddness and sadness. It reminds one of a cross between George Segal and Robert Gober. Each of the ceramic works in the exhibition seems of the highest quality and I like Katina Zulakis' two lithographs a lot. The large charcoal drawing by Michael Natter resembles a panel of a partly human nude creature straight out of a horror comic book minus the text. Well, I had to have it in the show; here again imagination rides on the dark side.

In closing, I repeat: there are very promising young artists working in the studios at Skidmore. It will be interesting to see how their work develops over the next six months. It was a pleasure for me to have this opportunity to see the works of these students.

John L. Moore